A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 has been taken out of service after a wayward celebratory water cannon salute for a retiring pilot.

The incident occurred at United’s Washington Dulles hub after Pratt & Whitney PW4077-powered aircraft N772UA like the one below arrived as scheduled from Paris. Although specific details are still under investigation, a United spokeswoman confirms that some action caused unknown damage to both the aircraft’s engines.

United 777

“We are conducting a full investigation and are currently looking at the aircraft to ascertain damage,” she says. The overhaul is being conducted by United’s Dulles line maintenance facility.

No other details are currently being discussed by United, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was not available for comment.

However, we have learned from one source that the incident involved the airport’s fire department, which was planning to provide a water cannon salute to the aircraft’s pilot, who was completing his last scheduled flight. For reasons still to be explained, instead of water, the fire trucks blasted foam at the 777. Both of the aircraft’s PW4077 engines are now being examined.

According to Flight sister product ACAS, the aircraft was delivered new to United toward the end of 1994. No damage has been reported in the aircraft’s 11 years of service.

Source: FlightGlobal.com