Two SpiceJet pilots in India were grounded after a viral photo showed an uncovered cup of coffee precariously close to the plane’s thrust levers.
The captain and first officer of a flight between Delhi and Guwahati snapped a photo mid-flight of a SpiceJet paper cup of coffee and guyijas, a sweet pastry enjoyed during Holi, on the control board. The photo appears to show the pilots celebrating Holi, a Hindu holiday that took place on March 8, while piloting the aircraft. The photo eventually made it’s way to Twitter where it sparked outrage.
Aviation experts warned that if the coffee had spilled on the thrust lever, the plane’s control could have been dangerously impacted.
Retired pilot and former head of operations IndiGo Shakti Lumba said, “It was totally inexplicable behavior. All pilots are aware of the dangers of spilled liquids in the cockpit.”
Aviation expert Mohan Ranganathan claims he received the photo from a “pilot friend.” He was the first to share the picture on social media.
“Even the slightest turbulence and coffee spills on to the electronics, it will foul the systems. This is a criminal act,” he said in warning.
In the cockpit, strict regulations in India stipulate that all beverages must have a lid.
The pilots have been disciplined. A spokesperson for SpiceJet said, “It is not clear from the post when was the photograph taken, whether it is recent or old, the sector being operated or the crew or even the aircraft in question. We are trying to ascertain these details.”
On Twitter, Ranganathan said, “Samosa and tea at 37000ft, cruising at 0.79M!Even horoscope cant save you if there is an emergency.”
@CaptShaktiLumba @AwakenIndia @leofsaldanha @NarendranKs @OMRcat @jagritichandra @nambath @JM_Scindia Samosa and tea at 37000ft, cruising at 0.79M!Even horoscope cant save you if there is an emergency pic.twitter.com/6UfhnDfzOk
— Mohan Ranganathan (@Mohan_Rngnathan) March 14, 2023
That’s a pretty big mistake to make https://t.co/dPf110tvHx
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 18, 2023
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