Fire Crews Were Supposed to Use Water, But Apparently Selected Foam Instead.
In an embarrassing gaff by the Dutch military, the first operational F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF) got coated in firefighting foam instead of water when the aircraft arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base on Thursday.
The incident wound up on Redditt.com, where a string of amusing and off-color remarks immediately followed.
One report on Facebook said the fire crews had forgotten to switch their tanks from “foam” to “water” following their response to an emergency earlier in the day, resulting in the embarrassing gaff.
The aircraft was being flown by Ian Knight, Commanding Officer of the 323 Test & Evaluation Squadron, the unit that has conducted the F-35A testing for the Dutch military.
This first F-35A to be based in the Netherlands was arriving in Leeuwarden after being ferried from Cameri FACO (Final Assembly And Check Out) facility in Italy, where it was built under license from Lockheed Martin, and carried out its first flights.
The flight was significant since the other eight Dutch F-35As have been conducting flight testing from Edwards AFB in the U.S. The F-35A will replace the F-16 MLU in RNlAF service.
The impromptu Ibiza-style foam party didn’t seem to dampen Dutch spirits any, and the arrival ceremony continued as planned, although no one danced in the foam in celebration.