Coffee spill forces aircraft to divert flight

An aircraft that carried 36 passengers was forced to divert after the pilot accidentally spilled coffee in the cockpit


A surprising event has surfaced where a transatlantic flight had to be diverted to the Republic of Ireland, as a pilot spilled coffee on the controls of the aircraft. The Air Accidents Investigative Branch informed that the Airbus A330-243, that is operated by Condor, was travelling from Frankfurt in Germany to Cancun in Mexico on February 6, 2019. The aircraft was forced to jettison fuel and divert to Shannon airport.

The plane had a 49 year old pilot who had a 13,000 hours of flying experience and was given a cup of coffee without a lid by the cabin crew and accidentally dropped it over as the plane was flying over the North Atlantic Ocean while carrying 11 crew members and 326 passengers. The liquid was spilled over the audio control panel that became very hot and produced smoke and a burning smell. The damage to the panel had caused significant communication difficulty for the crew and forced them to wear Oxygen masks.

The equipment on the plane had become so hot that one of the buttons on the control panel began to melt and had prompted the pilot to divert. The Air Accidents Investigative Branch informed that no injuries have been reported and that the airline had since then changed the procedures to ensure cup lids are provided for the flights on all routes. The branch added, “The operator also issued a flight crew notice reminding pilots to be careful with liquids”.

A spokesperson for Condor, a part of the Thomas Cook Group in a statement said, “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 a liquid spillage.” The aircraft was then fully inspected and repaired by the team of engineers and it continued through Manchester due to the legal operating hours of the crew.

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