US: Pilot spills coffee on control panel, plane diverted

Published: Sep 15, 2019, 13:47 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that no injuries were reported

This image has been used for representational purposes only
This image has been used for representational purposes only

A commercial plane was forced to divert to Shannon airport in Ireland after the pilot spilt a cup of coffee on the aircraft's control panel.

As per reports in CNN, the Airbus A330-243, operated by Condor, was travelling from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun, Mexico on February 6 when it was forced to divert. The pilot had more than 13000 hours of flying experience. He was handed over a cup of coffee without a lid which spills when the plane was flying over the North Atlantic Ocean and carried 326 passengers and 11 crew members.

As per the report, the coffee spill on the audio control panel and made it very hot. It produced smoke and a burning smell. The damage caused "significant communication difficulty for the flight crew." It also forced them to wear oxygen masks.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that no injuries were reported and that the airline changed its procedures after the incident to ensure cup lids are provided for flights on all the routes.

The pilot was forced to divert the flight after one of the buttons began to melt. A spokesperson for Condor told CNN in a statement, "Flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancun on February 6, 2019, diverted to Shannon airport as a precautionary measure due to a minor amount of smoke in the cockpit after liquid spillage."

"After the aircraft was fully inspected and repaired by our team of engineers, the flight continued via Manchester due to the legal operating hours of the crew. As safety is always our top priority, we have comprehensively investigated this incident and reviewed the procedures of liquids in the cockpit," the spokesperson added.

The crew members were reminded to use appropriate containers. "Our crews were reminded to ensure careful handling as well as to use appropriate containers for their water or coffee. We apologize for any inconveniences the diversion might have caused to our guests," the spokesperson said.

(with inputs from ANI)

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