Coffee spill in cockpit forces plane to divert transatlantic flight to Ireland

Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A transatlantic flight from Germany to Mexico was forced to divert to Ireland after a pilot spilled a cup of coffee on the airplane's controls, according to a report.

According to a report in the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, the Airbus A330-243, operated by Condor, had taken off Feb, 6, 2019, from Frankfort and was heading to Cancun when it was forced to divert its route and land at an airport in Shannon, CNN reported.

The pilot, 49, had 13,135 hours of flying experience, according to the report. He spilled a cup of coffee onto the plane's audio control panel, which began to emit smoke, the report said.

The plane was flying across the North Atlantic Ocean with 326 passengers and 11 crew members, CNN reported. The spilled coffee caused "significant communication difficulty for the flight crew" and forced them to wear oxygen masks, according to the report.

When one of the buttons on the control panel began to melt, the pilot decided to divert the flight to Ireland, according to CNN.

"The operator also issued a flight crew notice reminding pilots to be careful with liquids," the report said.

In a statement, a spokesman for Condor told CNN, "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.

"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."

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