Delta Air Lines’ Airbus A320 returns to Minneapolis after several issues


A series of blackouts saw a Delta Air Lines Airbus return to Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27. The incident, which only recently came to light, prompted pilots to declare an emergency and, facing braking issues, requesting the longest runway available.

A Delta Air Lines A320 returned to Minneapolis in late May after reporting several breakdowns. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Problems reported with landing gear, brakes, reversers and shocks

A report by Simon Hradecky in The herald of aviation On Sunday, the Airbus had just taken off from Minneapolis (MSP) and was en route to Baltimore (BWI). The Airbus A320-200 (registration N342NW) operated the DL1205. The report says 142 passengers and crew were on board the flight.

Immediately after take-off, the pilots stabilized at 4000 feet, reporting a mechanical failure. After troubleshooting, the pilots declared an emergency. They reported that they had a landing gear shock absorber fault, the landing gear did not retract, several of their brakes did not work, the reversers did not work, and normal braking did not work. not.

“Okay, we’re probably going to have some pretty hot brakes by the time we stop,” the pilots can be heard saying in Minneapolis as they made their final approach.

A quick landing after an hour of flight

According to flight tracking websites, the plane had provided return service from Minneapolis to Portland on the same day without incident. DL1205 is 7:58 PM departure from Minneapolis St Paul International Airport to Baltimore Washington International.

The aircraft took off southeast before making a 180 ° turn and heading northwest of Minneapolis. DL1205 then orbited west of the airport, completing several large loops before lining up for a return approach to Minneapolis. The aircraft maintained a low altitude throughout orbit, staying at nearly 6,000 feet, and reached a top speed of 325 miles (524 kilometers) per hour. N342NW was traveling at approximately 210 miles per hour passing the threshold of runway 12R at Minneapolis.

According to The Aviation Herald, after pilots identified issues with their brakes, they told Minneapolis they needed the longest runway available.


The plane has a long history but without incident at Delta Air Lines

Available images online shows the Airbus making a fast landing on runway 12R. Lights of standby emergency response vehicles are visible. As the plane came to a stop safely, firefighters rushed towards the plane. N342NW remained at the end of the runway until a tug came to tow it. There were no reports of injuries to passengers and crew on board. The plane spent less than an hour in the air.

The ch-aviation aviation database reveals that N342NW is 28.64 years old. As of December 31, 2020, the aircraft had completed 81,103 flight hours over 36,075 flight cycles. Prior to flying for Delta Air Lines, the narrow-body Airbus flew for Northwest Airlines between 1993 and 2008. In 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines, rebadging numerous Northwest aircraft.

Despite the age of the aircraft, the first recorded incident with the N342NW reflects the rigorous maintenance and inspection programs at Delta and previously at Northwest.

Passengers on the affected flight continued onto BWI the next morning in another aircraft. They got to Baltimore 13 safely but 13 hours late.

The plane involved in the May 27 incident, the N342NW, remained in Minneapolis for nearly 24 hours after the quick landing. He operated the DL1205 to Baltimore Washington International the following evening, May 28, without incident. The aircraft has since resumed its normal flight list.

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