Emergency landing after pilot spills coffee

A US flight made an emergency landing in Canada as pilot spilled his coffee in the cockpit.

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2011, 18:21 PM IST

Toronto: A US flight from Chicago to the
German city of Frankfurt, with 255 people on board, reportedly
made an emergency landing in Canada because the pilot spilled
his coffee in the cockpit.

The United Airlines Flight 940 was diverted to Toronto
just after 10 PM on Monday night, after the plane developed a
communications problem, according to an airline spokesman.

But, Transport Canada, the agency that regulates
transportation in Canada, has claimed that the malfunction was
due to the Boeing 777`s pilot dumping his cup of coffee on the
plane`s communication equipment, the `Daily Mail` online said.

The spilled liquid caused the plane`s radio to send
out transponder code (or `squawk`) 7500, denoting highjacking;
The crew were able to stop the faulty squawk, but decided to
land anyway, the report said.

The 241 passengers and 14 crew members were put in a
different aeroplane once on the ground in Toronto, flown back
to Chicago, put up in a hotel and then flown to Frankfurt on
Tuesday afternoon, it said.

When asked about coffee triggering the diversion and
mass delay, United Airlines avoided the subject.

"Our review of the communications issue encountered
on flight 940 continues, so it`s too soon to comment on any
particulars that led to the captain`s decision to divert,"
United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson was quoted as saying.

"But important to note the crew did maintain contact
with controllers, and the decision to divert to Toronto was
the captain`s," he added.

The name of the coffee-spilling pilot has not been
released.

PTI