Popping champagne cork causes emergency landing of jet

Technically Incorrect: A member of the cabin crew opens a champagne bottle. The cork flies into the plane's ceiling. The oxygen masks drop. Oh, woe.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

It seems a popping champagne cork can bring down a plane.

© The Food Passionates/Corbis

If you've seen and heard everything, this story isn't for you.

For me, though, this is a new one. Here, you see, is the tale of a champagne cork bringing a plane down earlier this month.

No, it wasn't shot from the ground by malicious types. Instead, a member of the cabin crew merely opened a champagne bottle.

As the Telegraph reports, the cork was popped on budget airline EasyJet. It flew into the ceiling panels and smashed them.

It's not clear whether this was a particularly excitable cork or whether EasyJet's panels are excessively sensitive.

What is clear is that the oxygen masks descended and so did the plane -- in an emergency landing. The plane was two hours into its flight from London's Gatwick airport to Dalaman in Turkey before it made a detour to Malpensa airport in Milan, Italy.

A representative of EasyJet said, "EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY8845 from London Gatwick to Dalaman on 7 August diverted to Milan Malpensa as a precautionary measure due to a technical issue with the cabin crew oxygen masks."

The spokesman said the oxygen masks needed to be reset.

A bottle of champagne contains 90 pounds per square inch of pressure, around three times more than your Subaru's tires. Some believe that a cork can pop at speeds of 40 or even 60 mph. Some scientists believe it's usually more like 24.8 mph.

You'll be wondering, of course, how far a champagne cork can fly. It seems that the longest recorded flight of a cork (who measures these things?) is 177 feet and 9 inches.

One can only be glad that no one was hurt in the EasyJet incident. The plane continued its journey after a seven-hour delay.

I wonder if the champagne was free the rest of the flight. I also wonder who opened it.