Foam path

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A foam path is the aviation safety practice of spreading a layer of fire suppression foam on an airport runway prior to an emergency landing. Originally, it was thought this would prevent fires, but the practice is now discouraged.

The U.S. FAA recommended foam paths for emergency landings beginning in 1966, but withdrew that recommendation in 1987, although it did not bar its use. In 2002, a circular recommended against using pre-foaming except in certain circumstances. In particular, the FAA was concerned that pre-foaming would deplete firefighting foam supplies in the event they were needed to respond to a fire. Also, foam on the runway may decrease the effectiveness of the landing airplane's brakes, possibly leading to it overshooting the runway.

Foam is still used in aviation firefighting, usually in conjunction with Purple-K dry chemical.

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