Airbus redesigns control panel in case of future coffee spills in the cockpit.
Airbus has redesigned an entire control panel for its Airbus A350 aircraft recently following cases of engine failures caused after the pilots accidentally spilled beverages in the cockpit.
Two Airbus A350-900s experienced single-engine shutdowns because of spilled coffee on the control panel in the last eight months. The engines start switch and some electronic aircraft monitoring systems are located in the control panel.
One of the shutdowns was on Delta Airlines flight from Detroit to Seoul, South Korea, on January 21. The plane was above northern Canada when the engine turned off. The flight diverted to Fairbanks, Alaska.
The other incident occurred on November 9, 2019, about an hour after a cup of tea spilled on the same pedestal of an A350-900. The operating appears to have been Asiana. Similarly to the Delta mishap, the right-side engine shut down and the crew could not restart it. The flight data recorder showed a similar high-pressure shut off valve closure.
Following these two incidents, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) released an airworthiness directive that banned liquids in the cockpit near the center console.
If EASA gives its approval the new spill-proof panels will be installed in A350-900s and -1000s within the next eight months.