Delta Air Lines Recovers Emergency Slide That Separated from Boeing 767 After Takeoff

On Friday, April 26, 2024, Delta Air Lines Flight 520 from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles returned to JFK shortly after takeoff due to a vibration reported by the crew. The flight, operated by a 33-year-old Boeing 767, had 183 people on board. After the aircraft safely landed, it was discovered that the emergency slide had separated from the aircraft.

Emergency Slide Separates from Aircraft

During the incident, the flight crew noticed an indicator light related to the right overwing emergency exit and heard an unusual sound near the right wing. Delta stated, “As nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people, Delta flight crews enacted their extensive training and followed procedures to return to JFK.”

The airline appreciated the professionalism of the crew and the patience of the customers for the delay in their travels. The Boeing 767 involved in the incident was taken out of service for further evaluation, and passengers were accommodated on a different flight to Los Angeles later that morning.

The emergency slide incident on Delta Air Lines Flight 520 has raised concerns about aircraft safety and maintenance. While the flight crew’s prompt action and adherence to procedures ensured the safety of the passengers and crew, the occurrence of such incidents highlights the need for continued vigilance and investigation in the aviation industry.

Slide Recovered in Queens, New York

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation confirmed that Delta recovered the slide on Sunday, April 28, in a jetty near Beach 131st Street in Queens, approximately 10 miles from JFK.

The emergency slide was found by Jake Bissell-Linsk, a New York attorney whose firm filed a lawsuit against Boeing following the Alaska Airlines door blowout in January. Bissell-Linsk noticed the slide trapped on the rocks within feet of his oceanfront home in Belle Harbor, Queens.

Several hours after Bissell-Linsk’s discovery, a crew of Delta workers arrived to retrieve the slide. They fished the chute out of the water and loaded it into the back of a pickup truck.

FAA Investigation and Recent Incidents

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident, and Delta has pledged to fully cooperate with the investigation. The FAA stated, “Delta Air Lines Flight 520 returned safely to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York around 8:35 a.m. local time on Friday, April 26, after the crew reported a vibration.”

This incident is one of several concerning events involving commercial flights in 2024. In January, an Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing due to a blown-out window, and in April, an engine covering fell off a Boeing jet and struck a Southwest Airlines plane during takeoff in Denver.

Multiple planes had a close call on the JFK runway days before the emergency slide mishap. The series of incidents has raised questions about the overall safety of commercial air travel and the maintenance practices of airlines and manufacturers.

Ongoing Efforts to Ensure Aviation Safety

As the FAA continues its investigation, Delta Air Lines and other airlines will need to work closely with regulators and manufacturers to address potential safety issues and maintain the highest standards of aircraft maintenance and operation.

The aviation industry must remain committed to identifying and addressing any potential safety hazards, ensuring that all aircraft are properly maintained and that flight crews are well-trained to handle emergencies.

Continued collaboration between airlines, manufacturers, and regulators is essential to maintain the safety and reliability of commercial air travel, as the industry works to regain the trust and confidence of passengers in the wake of these recent incidents.