Here’s the proof (from AP)
TORONTO – 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 Transport Canada report said United Flight 940 was diverted to Toronto late Monday and landed safely at Pearson International Airport. In a twist reminiscent of the plot of the 1964 Glenn Ford movie ‘Fate Is the Hunter’, the coffee spill caused distress signals to go out, including code 7500, which means hijacking or unlawful interference.
The report says Canada’s defense department was notified, but that with the help of United dispatch staff the flight crew confirmed it to be a communication issue and not a hijacking.
In the film Fate is the Hunter, a pilot is suspected of drinking and causing an airliner crash that kills 53 people. Eventually, a test flight re-creating the actual flight shows that the crash was caused by a series of events — including a cup of coffee spilling and shorting out wiring which falsely indicated an engine fire — and not by pilot negligence. You see? Coffee the culprit once again.
Coffee disasters in flight make this line from Bob Dylan’s song seem pertinent. “One more cup of coffee before I go… to the valley below.” Crunch. Here’s the White Stripes’ version.
Other coffee-related calamities:
1. After a mid-air collision between a US surveillance aircraft and a Chinese Navy fighter jet in 2001, Chinese pilot Lt. Cdr Wang Wei is killed, and the American crew makes an emergency landing on Hainan Island. They try to destroy sensitive kit by pouring freshly-brewed hot coffee into disk drives and motherboards. It reportedly doesn’t work.
Isn’t that typical? But when you do it accidentally…
2. BP’s coffee spill
3. More evidence that drinking coffee just leads to trouble:
4. Even (sometime Belfast resident) Charlie Chaplin knows coffee is more trouble than it’s worth.
5. But the biggest coffee calamity? Adding milk. Why? Why ruin good coffee? If it’s too hot – wait.