A private airline pilot in India is facing disciplinary action for violating safety guidelines during a flight.

On Jan. 15, local time, the BBC, Times of India and other foreign media reported that Indian airline SpiceJet was investigating two pilots who allegedly filmed eating in the cockpit during the flight.

The controversial photo showed a man holding coffee and Indian dumplings without lids in his hands right next to the cockpit lever.

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Indian aviation regulations reportedly have a directive that pilots and crew can eat food and drinks in the cockpit, but all cups must have lids.

However, the photos of the scene ignored all safety regulations, and the controversy grew when the photos were shared on social media.

Aviation expert Mohan Ranganathan, who first released the photo, said, "Even the slightest turbulence can spill coffee into an airplane's electronics and damage the system, which is a criminal offense."

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As the controversy continued, SpiceJet said it would continue to investigate further, saying, "It is not clear when the photo was taken, whether the person in the photo was a crew member, or even what happened on the aircraft in question."

"The two alleged pilots have been removed from flight duty and disciplinary action will be taken as soon as the investigation is concluded."

"He was on his way to the northeastern city of Guwahati from Delhi, where the Hindu festival Holi was held, on Jan. 2," the BBC reported, adding that no other details were known.

On the other hand, local customers who saw the photos of the scene were outraged, with reactions such as "What if the coffee spills", "It's dangerous even if you're not flying", "I feel bad about my work ethic", and "Is there anything as important as safety".

(Photo= Twitter 'Mohan_Rngnathan', YouTube 'SpiceJet')