Transatlantic flight carrying 326 passengers diverted after pilot spills coffee

Plane diverted after pilot spilled coffee report

Condor Airlines said the diversion was"precautionary

Sky News reports that the incident, which occurred on February 6, caused the Airbus A330 flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun, Mexico to turn back and divert to Shannon.

Most of the liquid fell onto the commander's lap and a small amount spilled on the main ACP1.

The audio control panels were damaged when a pilot spilt coffee. By 5pm, it became "very hot and failed", creating an electrical burning smell in the cockpit.

With the hot liquid causing a strong electrical burning smell and smoke rising from the panel, the captain made a decision to divert, the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.

The first audio control panel malfunctioned immediately.

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The AAIB report found the 49-year-old captain had put his coffee cup on a tray table - where objects were "vulnerable to being knocked over" - despite Airbus recommending pilots use the cup holders provided.

"During the diversion, the flight crew alternately used supplementary oxygen, with one pilot on oxygen at all times", the report said.

Luckily, the smoke stopped on the way to Ireland and the plane landed without further incident, and no one on board the plane had any injuries from the fumes.

The AAIB said the small size of cups used by Condor "generally discouraged" use of the holders as it was hard to grasp them.

The flight continued by way of Manchester, because of the crew's legal operating hours, after the plane was inspected and repaired.

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"We have comprehensively investigated this incident and reviewed the procedures of liquids in the cockpit. Our crews were reminded of [the need for] careful handling as well as to use appropriate containers for their water or coffee", the spokesperson added.

In the aftermath of the episode the flight operator, Condor, changed their procedure to ensure that cup lids are provided for flights on all routes. "The operator raised an action to source and supply appropriately sized cups for the aircraft's cup holders".

A spilled cup of coffee caused a lot of trouble.

This article was updated to include a Condor Airlines statement.

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