Delta Boeing 757 carrying NBA team Utah Jazz forced to make an emergency landing after bird strike

A Delta Airlines Boeing 757 carrying NBA team, Utah Jazz, was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off from Salt Lake City airport after a bird strike.

The Boeing 757-200, with registration N651DL, was performing flight DL8944 from Salt Lake City International Airport to Memphis on Tuesday. The charter flight was carrying the Jazz team for a game on Wednesday.

The aircraft hit a flock of birds shortly after take-off from runway 35, and the left-hand engine was damaged. The crew stopped the climb at 8000 feet and returned to the origin airport for a safe landing some 15 minutes after departure.

The damage after a Delta charter carrying the @utahjazz struck a flock of birds mid-air today. The plane turned around and made an emergency landing at @slcairport. #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/h7IyL5usmL

β€” Marc Sternfield (@msternfield) March 30, 2021

“As the aircraft was taking off, it hit a flock of birds. The left engine was shut down, the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport,” said Delta spokesperson.

“Aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back. Delta Air Lines is working on finding another aircraft to get their customers to their destinations.”

Statement from Jazz: β€œA Utah Jazz team charter flight was forced to safely return to the Salt Lake City airport this afternoon after striking a flock of birds that caused an engine fire and failure. The Jazz departed later in the evening for their game in Memphis on Wednesday.”

β€” Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 31, 2021

Several Jazz players expressed their gratitude on Twitter after they were able to successfully make the emergency landing.

GOD is good πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ

β€” Royce O’Neale (@BucketsONeale00) March 30, 2021

πŸ™πŸΎ

β€” Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) March 30, 2021

It’s a beautiful day!

β€” Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) March 30, 2021

 Image Credit: Marc Sternfield

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