Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Pilot Spills Coffee In The Cockpit

Captain pulling an aircraft throttle

Captain pulling an aircraft throttle

A trans-Atlantic flight with 326 passengers on board was forced to make an emergency landing after the pilot spilled a cup of coffee in the cockpit. The Airbus A330-243 was flying from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun, Mexico when the pilot decided to land the plane at the Shannon Airport in Ireland because his audio control panel stopped working due to the spill. 

Investigators say that the pilot placed the hot cup of coffee, which did not have a lid, on a tray table instead of in a cup holder. While most of the coffee landed on the pilot's lap, a small amount of liquid spilled on the audio control panel.

The spill knocked out the audio in the cockpit and the pilot reported a strong electrical burning smell and noticed smoke rising from the panel, so he decided the safest thing to do was land in Ireland. Engineers repaired the damage and the flight went to Manchester, where a new crew took over because the original crew had surpassed the number of hours they could legally work.

Following the incident, the airline, which was not identified, started putting lids on all liquid containers and told the crew they were required to use them.

Photo: Getty Images