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Tags Current Affairs

Foaming runway

Date: 08 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Recently a medical aircraft made a hard landing on its belly after its wheel had separated from the body during take-off.

 

Background

The aircraft was transporting a patient from West Bengal to Mumbai. It’s wheel separated while taking off from Nagpur after re-fuelling.

 

Details

  • The most unique part during its landing was that airport officials sprayed foam on the runway during its hard landing.

  • A foam path is a method of spraying fire resistant foam on the runway before an emergency landing. This is to prevent aircraft from catching fire.

  • During the crash landing, liquid fuel escapes from aircraft and evaporates to form air-vapour mixture that is highly flammable.

  • The foam will cover the liquid and prevent it from evaporating or forming the dangerous flammable compound.

  • This method is typically used when landing gear of an aircraft has failed or cannot be used. In such a condition, there is usually sparking due to friction that can causes fire.

 

Concerns

  • Several leading aviation agencies took back the recommendation given to use foam path citing improper evidence of success.

  • They suggested considering factors such as pilot experience, wind and visibility conditions, skill and visual etc before using this technique.

  • Data has also shown that landing made by using foam pathway have not shown reduction is risk of fire or damage to aircraft.

  • There is also increasing evidence to suggest that foams will not prevent liquid fuel from evaporating and forming an inflammable compound.

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