Pilots in the cockpit of Etihad Airways (Photo: Walla System!)
Almost upside down coffee:
Two pilots of the Indian low-cost carrier Spicejet (Spicejet) were suspended after a photo of a full cup of coffee they placed on the cockpit controls and rudders went viral.
As we know, even if only a small amount of liquid was spilled, it had the potential to critically affect the aircraft's systems.
The incident happened while Hindus across India were celebrating Holi, also known as the "Festival of Colors".
According to the photo, it seemed that the pilots participated in the celebration and indulged in the cockpit with Gujiya cookies, a traditional dessert that is usually eaten during the holiday.
Next to the Gojiya was a disposable cup full of coffee that was placed on the control instruments, on the March 8 flight from New Delhi to the city of Guwahati.
The photo was shared on social media, and quickly went viral - for all the wrong reasons, mainly due to angry reactions from pilots and aviation safety professionals around the world.
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SpiceJet has identified both the pilots who were enjoying gujhiyas after keeping the cup of coffee on the center console.
Both have been off-rostered until the time inquiry isn't completed.
Source: https://t.co/0Bq22d379F pic.twitter.com/dJOhOtzKx9
— JetArena (@ArenaJet) March 15, 2023
A hot drink?
Only from an airtight container
The Times of India website, which reported the case, points out that many airlines have strict rules regarding how hot drinks are drunk in the cockpit, because of the same risk inherent in liquids that may spill on the flight systems.
For example, in many companies the pilots must drink only from sealed containers and avoid holding the container over the various controls.
Following the publication of the photograph, the airline Space-Jet announced that it had verified the identity of the pilots involved in the incident and they were grounded until the end of the investigation.
"Space-Jet has a strict policy regarding the consumption of food in the cockpit, and all flight crews adhere to it. Upon completion of the investigation, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken," the company said in a statement to the media.
In addition, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority of India is also investigating the incident.
Cup of coffee