Sunday, December 31, 2017

Delta Air Lines, Boeing 717-200, N957AT: Incident occurred December 30, 2017 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (KDTW), Michigan

DETROIT - A flight departing from Detroit and going to Atlanta was forced to head back to Detroit after crews found a bird flying in the cockpit. 

The pilot spotted a sparrow fly into the cockpit and the flight was delayed while crews searched for the birds.

Maintenance crews were called in to try and find the bird. The pilot announced they may have to do a plane swap after crews were not able to locate the bird. 

Ultimately, the plane took off, but shortly after take off the bird reappeared in the cockpit. The Captain decided to turn the plane around and head back to Detroit. 

After landing back in Detroit, crews were able to find the bird and remove it from the plane. 

The airplane should be taking off and head to Atlanta after a long delay. Some passengers had to rebook their flights because the delay caused them to miss their connecting flights. 

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ROMULUS, Mich. - Delta officials said a Saturday flight to Atlanta returned to Detroit because a bird had entered the plane.

Delta Flight 1943 at Detroit Metro Airport bound for Atlanta was taxiing to the runway when the captain turned it back to the gate for something he had never seen in his 20 years as a pilot -- a small bird snuck on board and was in the cockpit.

The pilots became aware of the small bird in the cockpit shortly after takeoff, which had entered the plane during boarding, officials said.

The bird was so small, they couldn't find it, even after more than an hour of searching.

The captain said he thought it was a hummingbird, which is the only bird that can fly backward. It's quite appropriate for what a passenger says happened next.

"Literally an hour into the flight, he goes, 'I have an update that the bird is back and it's going a little nuts in here in the cockpit and we do not feel safe continuing on this flight, so we're going to go back to Detroit,'" passenger Brian Buonassissi said.

The captain made the decision to return to Detroit out of an abundance of caution, avoiding a potential distraction during the flight. Officials said the plane landed without incident.

The bird was safely removed and set free, officials said. The plane resumed the flight to Atlanta.

Buonassissi, who is an international DJ and was trying to get to a show, admits it was frustrating to not just continue on to Atlanta, but agrees safety has to come first.

"I have had some crazy stories, but that one takes the cake for sure," Buonassissi said.

Buonassissi made his gig. The only discrepancy between his account and Delta's is instead of an hour into the flight, Delta said the plane turned around shortly after take off. 

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  1. Even the birds are getting lazy and wise on how to scam the system and get a "free ride". Or maybe it was "global warming" causing record cold up north and the bird wanted to go south quickly!

  2. It's really cold outside in the northeast, they are calling it a major freeze. Man, we could use a big fat dose of "global warming"!