Last night, a Delta Air Lines A320 made an emergency landing in Denver as the flight was enroute from Boston to Salt Lake City, after it had flown into a hail storm which cracked the front windshield.
From the Denver Post, A Delta Airlines plane made an emergency landing Friday night in Denver after hail cracked the front windshield and punched the nose cone, terrifying passengers who screamed and cried.
“There were times when we felt like the air dropped out from under us. We could see lightning spider-webbing over the wings and hail pounding the plane,” said passenger Beau Sorensen of Provo, Utah.
The Airbus A320 was diverted and landed safely at Denver International Airport at 8:42 p.m., according to Ian McGregor, an FAA spokesman.
Delta Flight 1889 was en route from Boston to Salt Lake City International Airport when it was pelted by hail, according to McGregor.
Sorensen said the plane flew through a powerful thunderstorm in Nebraska near the Colorado border.
The turbulence battered the plane, shaking it sideways and up and down, bouncing like a cork on a rough sea, Sorensen said. The plane dropped 14,000 feet in altitude over a two-minute time span.
“Babies were crying. Some young teens behind me were screaming and crying,” Sorensen said.
As shaken as passengers were, they could not see the damage the storm had done to the nose of the plane. As suddenly as the storm struck, it was over. Almost immediately the plane veered more sharply south.
Emergency vehicles surrounded the plane after it landed and came to a stop on the tarmac. One older woman was attended by paramedics.
“I think it was more stress and anxiety than anything,” Sorensen said.
After they climbed off the plane, some 130 passengers stood near the window in amazement at how much damage was done to the front of the plane, he said. They and flight attendants took pictures of the cone. One attendant told it was her worst flight in 30 years of working as a flight attendant.
“Delta should give the pilot of my flight a sizable bonus for saving our butts,” Sorensen wrote on Twitter. “Glad to be alive.”
The FAA will investigate the incident.
Passengers were then flown to Salt Lake City on another plane, Delta spokeswoman Liz Savadelis said.
” The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority,” she said.
Sorensen said some children who were on the plane refused to get on another plane and their parents rented cars and drove to Salt Lake City.
A team of Delta maintenance workers is evaluating the extent of the damage to the plane, Savadelis said.
Great job for the pilots who were able to land this plane safely in Denver despite the cracked windshield.