Coffee Spill Nearly Downs Serbian President’s Plane

Many flights have been delayed by coffee:

  • Maintenance fixing a coffee pot in the galley
  • Pilots turning up late for departure because they had to stop at Starbucks in the terminal

But did you know that coffee caused a plane to lose altitude?

Last week the President of Serbia’s plane plunged when the co-pilot spilled coffee on the control panel.

[T]he co-pilot accidentally activated the emergency slot extension when trying to clean the coffee from the panel. That reportedly caused the plane to dive and the brief shutdown of one of the engines. Unsurprisingly there was panic among passengers.

The captain then stabilized the aircraft and returned to the capital Belgrade.

The Serbian President’s trip to the Vatican was cancelled, and the co-pilot has been suspended.

(HT: Gargoyle on Milepoint)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Pilot dropping a paper clip behind control console caused our AK flight to return to gate, two hour delay while maintenance disassembled console.

    I’d imagine coffee would cause just as much a concern of shorting electonic parts and is potentially disastrous just from the spill. What are the rules for drinks in cockpit?

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