Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Coffee: Part Two

Fatigue-related aviation accidents are extensively studied, but what about coffee-related accidents? I've never seen a report that commented on the availability of coffee to the pilots at various stages of flights, or a toxicology analysis that remarked on the absence of caffeine. Searching for "coffee" in the NTSB Accident Database finds mostly reports from witnesses who were drinking coffee when they observed an airplane crash in their back yard, or accounts like, "The pilot stated that he and his passenger had some coffee, and he then called the Flight Service Station."

There are a few like this one:

"The flight encountered moderate turbulence, while in cruise flight. During the encounter, a coffee pot fell from a serving cart into the lap of a passenger. The top came off the pot, and hot coffee spilled on the passenger, causing injury."
The passenger was a seven-year-old kid, too, so that's a definite vote against coffee.

I remember hearing an anguished cry on the company frequency, followed by a rueful voice informing us that the captain had spilled his coffee all over himself. A bit like the joke everyone knows ...

The pilot is making a routine cabin announcement, "Ladies and Gentlemen we have reached our cruising altitude of thirty--AAAAAAGHHHHHH!"

After a moment of silence the pilot sheepishly reactivates the intercom, "I uh apologize for that folks. As I was speaking, one of our fine flight attendants was handing me a cup of coffee and it spilled all over me. You should ... uh ... see the front of my pants."

A passenger hollers back, "You should see the back of mine."

I'm not going to tell the one with the punchline, "Miss, don't forget the coffee." You all know it, and Cockpit Conversation has to draw a line in the sky somewhere.


rich said...

Ooh I don't know it. Come on - spill the beans.

Anonymous said...

Google the search string pilot "don't forget the coffee" -- I'm sure you'll find it.

Lisa said...

I didn't know that one.

I like the way snopes describes it as a "joke-cum-legend". Hmmm.

Lord Hutton said...

What rich said. And I bet there are others.