An accidental coffee spill was behind a hijacking alert that caused a Frankfurt-bound United Airlines flight to make an unscheduled stop in Canada.
One of the the three crew members in the cockpit spilled a drink onto radio equipment when the plane encountered light turbulence – and as most people know liquids and electronics don’t mix. Transport Canada explained that the plane’s communication system “inadvertently squawked a 7500 code after spilling coffee on the aircraft’s radio equipment, which interfered with the communications equipment.”
The 7500 code is used to indicate hijacking or unlawful interference.
According to Maryse Durette, a Transport Canada spokeswoman:
The flight crew had advised that they had communication problems and subsequently reported that they had some navigation problems as well and from there the pilot in the command diverted the flight onto Toronto.
According to the Transport Canada report, the country’s defense department was notified, but United Staff were able to notify them that they were experiencing communication issues, and not being hijacked – so the Boeing 777, along with its 241 passengers and 14 crew members was able to land without fighter jets being scrambled. [The Age; Image]