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Coffee spill causes diversion for US flight

TORONTO (AP) — A pilot's spilled coffee accidentally triggered a hijacking alert and caused a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, to make an unscheduled stop in Canada. A Transp . . . ( Más...

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TTail 0
can you explain how two stories on the same subject come out so differently. one story says UAL 777 lands in canada because the radio's were not working correctly, another story says coffee spilled by a pilot, sets the hijack warning off?? which is true which one is spin by the airline??
Cow Bert 0
at least it wasn't some sick pilot barfing all over the console
Robert Fleming 0
I agree with TTail-2 different scenario stories....same result
jkirk420 0
If he spilled coffee on the transponder and it was squawking 7500, then it wasn't working correctly. I'm sure the media is going to clump everything on the pedestal that's not a power lever under the category of "radios". Sounds like the same story, just got more details in the second one.
eiseln 0
The reports always remember to tell you that the transponder code for hijackings is 7500, but they never point out that when your radio fails, the transponder code is 7600.

From the reports I've read, after the coffee killed the radio, I'm guessing the pilots may have dialed 7500 by mistake instead of 7600. Or, if they'd previously been assigned something like 0500, and started the change with the first digit, there could be a brief moment when the plane was sending 7500 before they finished dialing in the new code. Either way, I don't think the coffee itself caused the hijack signal.
Ric Wernicke 0
At the first day of transponder school you learn not to switch through 7500 and squawk hijack. It makes the folks in the cab all sick and nervous. 7500 for hijack, 7600 for lost comm, and 7700 for emergency. I was taught "75 taken alive, 76 technical glitch, 77 going to heaven."

I bet the FAA is already working on a new rule. No liquids forward of the cockpit door unless in an approved sippy cup.
Cow Bert 0
Maybe he stopped using his sippy cup/spill-proof thermos mug for fear of having his coffee swabbed by TSA at the checkpoint.
@ric "75 taken alive, 76 technical glitch, 77 going to heaven"

I never heard that one before. Looks like there's something new I can pass along to future students...when I finally have some.

sparkie624 0
Just a guess of what happened here, The captain accidentally spilled the coffee in what is known as an RTU (Remote Tuning Unit). It inoped his Communications and Changed his transponder to 7500. A One in a millin shot. Using the remaining com which is normally used for ACARS or Company AIRING he probably was in communication with his company dispatcher. The way it sounds, the tuning was automatic, not commanded by the crew.
Ronald Padgett 0
Seems to me that 75 is an obsolete code. I mean TSA is keeping us safe even if passengers are arresting people with bagels. "Land this plane or I'll attack you with cream cheese." (3 oz container, of course)
SF Johannsen 0
How do we really know if it intially WAS the pilots fault? Sure, he might be "mister butter-fingers" holding a coffee cup, but there is always the scenario of a flight attendant passing the beverage from behind, rather than saying, "left-side or right side of you." Time and time again I hear Captains main complaint is how unsafe it is, but the attendants or anyone else still continue to do the same thing without thinking twice about it. Just a thought.

On the other hand, putting in the wrong code in on the transponder..but still 75 and 76 are pretty close together. I also thought these codes were supposed to be confidential, and not public information for security reasons? Mistakes clearly made and easily corrected, but the fact of the matter; the errors-and errors can cost people-time, money, and safety. Wonder what his review will be like.
sparkie624 0
My understanding was that it got into the electronics and the transponder code was changed automatically without pilot control. With a lot of new planes on an RTU (Remote Tuning Unit), the Com/Nav/ADF/Transpnder/and if installed HF is all control from the same panel. Coffee shorts out Audio Integrating and changes the Transponder Code.


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