. . . it looks like I wasn’t far wrong!
Last week I wrote about electrical issues with three different Airbus aircraft after liquids were spilled on control panels in the cockpit, including uncommanded engine shutdowns. I asked whether an “open container law” might be needed for Airbus cockpits.
What’s the old saying about “There’s many a true word spoken in jest”? Flight Global reports:
Airbus A350 operators have been ordered to define a “liquid prohibited” zone in the cockpit, after two incidents in which beverage spillages on the centre pedestal led to in-flight shutdown of a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine.
. . .
In an emergency directive the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has warned that inadvertent spillage on the engine-start panel or electronic centralised aircraft monitor panel – both located on the pedestal – could potentially result in a dual engine shutdown.
Preliminary technical investigation, it says, indicates “abnormal operation” of components in the panels resulting from the spillages. Uncommanded shutdown followed “some time” after the spillage and subsequent engine relight attempts were not successful.
Airbus has published a temporary revision to the aircraft’s flight manual, dated 4 February, defining a “liquid prohibited zone” for the cockpit and the procedures to be followed in case of a pedestal spillage.
There’s more at the link.
What next? Cup-holders in the cockpit, carefully positioned to keep drinks away from vulnerable consoles? Perhaps the aircraft industry might learn from vehicle manufacturers, and festoon their cockpits with cup-holders in all directions! How about a robotic “spill control steward[ess]” who’ll quickly mop up the mess when pilots have an oopsie? With all the automation already in aircraft cockpits, there’s got to be room for that . . .