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People are just finding out why fire engines spray water at planes when they land

People are just finding out why fire engines spray water at planes when they land

It's a fun tradition that we hope doesn't stop

Ever wondered why fire engines spray water over some planes after they land?

No, me neither. But apparently the answer has finally been revealed, and it may surprise you.

You may have been at an airport gate looking out the window and bang, two powerful streams of water are shot over a taxiing plane.

But why?

Well, following on from people debating why tugboats shoot water into vessels at sea after a clip went viral, the reason is very interesting.

It happens at sea to welcome or bid farewell to larger vessels that are moving in or out of the port.

Users on X were shocked at why it happens, with one saying: "I never knew this was a thing."

Another user put: "You have to water the ocean so that it grows!"

But that doesn't answer the question of why it happens in the aviation world.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol carry out the ritual as a tradition for many incoming planes, and has offered an extensive explanation as to why on its website.

Have you seen it before?
YouTube/Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

In the ritual, two fire engines are parked either side of the runway, creating an arc for the plane to taxi under on the way to its gate.

On its website, the airport states: "Water salutes are used to mark special occasions. This can be anything from the inaugural flight of a new airline or the arrival of a new type of plane to an Olympic team returning home."

It also highlighted that it isn't just a matter of spraying water from a fire engine, but 'the engines need to be positioned carefully, in safe locations', which is crucial so the plane can safely pass through.

Factors such as wind, the green light from Air Traffic Control and the pilot are taken into consideration, and if all goes well, it will be announced to the passengers upon their arrival.

I can imagine that seeing fire engines, water hoses and flashing lights when you land might not be the most welcoming sight.

It has an important meaning.
YouTube/Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

It is also important to note that firefighters ensure there is enough water in the tankers to put out an actual fire if necessary.

There are, of course, rare occasions where actual fires to planes upon landing need to be put out by the fire engines standing by.

Some people seemed to be aware of these traditions beforehand, but to the many previously confused individuals who though they were getting a drive through plane wash, now you know.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia/Getty Stock Photo

Topics: Travel, Weird, Social Media