I believe I saw this aircraft fly over my house for 23 last night just before 10:00pm, I recall mostly because it was lower than most aircraft are at that stage of the approach (maybe something to do with the comm problem?)
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Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23169 posts, RR: 23 Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8965 times:
The diversion apparently resulted from the captain spilling coffee on the radio equipment. Following from Transport Canada daily incident reports:
The United Airlines Boeing 777-200 aircraft (operating as UAL940) was on a scheduled IFR flight from Chicago (O'Hare) International Airport, IL, USA (KORD) to Frankfurt International Airport, Germany (EDDF). The flight crew advised that they had communication problems and subsequently reported that they were experiencing navigation problems as well. The flight crew cycled through codes 7500 and 7600. With the help of their company dispatch staff, the flight crew confirmed the problem to be a NAV/communication issue and not a valid code 7500. The flight crew initially diverted to return to Chicago (KORD) but subsequently declared an emergency, squawked code 7700 at 0231Z and diverted to Toronto (CYYZ). ARFF services were notified and responded. The aircraft landed on runway 23 at 0253Z without incident.
UPDATE: Supplemental information from the Federal Aviation Administration: TSOC staff reported that the United Air Lines, Inc. corporate office had indicated that the Pilot in Command had inadvertently squawked a 7500 code after spilling coffee on the aircraft's radio equipment, which interfered with the communications equipment. The aircraft was subsequently squawking code 7600. After trying to return to Chicago (KORD), the flight crew diverted to land at Toronto (CYYZ) without incident.
Well... this is why flight deck crew should drink out of cups with lids that are spill-proof, very popular standard operating proceedure here in the EU with many Airlines.... I believe there was a First Choice Airways A320/321 in IBZ where one of the pilots spilt coffee on the centre console causing the aircraft to be grounded for several days.
citationjet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2312 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8926 times:
The captain spilled coffee on the communications equipment.
United Airlines B772 near Toronto on Jan 3rd 2011, spilled coffee causes loss of communication.
"The FAA reported after contact with the company, that the pilot in command had spilled coffee over the radio equipment which interfered with the communication equipment. He inadvertently sent the unlawful interference code, then changed to loss of communication code."
ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12675 posts, RR: 13 Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6261 times:
This incident does raise some questions as to how some spilled coffee can cause such a problem. I would think there would be better sealing of the panels of such critical equipment to limit intrusions of liquids, dust, ect. as well as the costs of a diversion as in this case.
Perhaps as others have suggested here there should be rules by airlines or NTSB/FAA rules as in the EU requiring cockpit staff to use secure tops on all beverage service containers to limit spills if the are spilled from a move of an arm or if there is turbulence.
Sankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2237 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5918 times:
I am actually quite surprised (impressed?) that coffee and beverage spills in the flight deck have not resulted in more incidents over the years. Think about it... does not take much to cause a spill in such a cramped environment.
Just like I am also puzzled (relieved) that to my knowledge, there has never been an aircraft accident caused by lit cigarettes setting something on fire, given how common smoking on-board was until the 1990s! Looking back now, I am amazed smoking was ever allowed on board aircraft, for safety reasons alone.