Delta Air Lines Airbus A320 Returns To Minneapolis After Multiple Issues

A series of faults saw a Delta Air Lines Airbus return to Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27. The…

Delta Air Lines Airbus A320 Returns To Minneapolis After Multiple Issues

A series of faults saw a Delta Air Lines Airbus return to Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27. The incident, which has only recently come to light, caused the pilots to declare an emergency and, facing braking problems, ask for the longest available runway.

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

Problems reported with landing gear, brakes, reversers, and shock absorbers

A report by Simon Hradecky in The Aviation Herald on Sunday says the Airbus had just taken off from Minneapolis (MSP) and was en route to Baltimore (BWI). The Airbus A320-200 (registered as N342NW) was operating DL1205. The report says 142 passengers and crew were on the flight.

Just after takeoff, the pilots leveled off at 4,000 feet, reporting a mechanical fault. 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 weren’t working, the reversers were not working, and normal braking was not working.

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

A fast landing after one hour in the air

According to flight-tracking websites, the aircraft had operated a return service from Minneapolis to Portland on the same day without incident. DL1205 is the 19:58 departure from Minneapolis St Paul International Airport bound for Baltimore Washington International.

The aircraft took off to the southeast before doing a 180° turn and tracking to the northwest of Minneapolis. DL1205 then orbited to the west of the airport, completing several large loops before lining up for an approach back into Minneapolis. The plane maintained a low altitude throughout the orbit, staying close to 6,000 feet, and reached a maximum speed of 325 miles (524 kilometers) per hour. N342NW was moving at around 210 miles per hour as it passed the threshold of Minneapolis’ runway 12R.

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


The plane has a long but incident-free history at Delta Air Lines

Footage available online shows the Airbus making a fast landing on runway 12R. Lights from waiting emergency response vehicles are visible. As the aircraft safely came to a stop, fire engines raced to the plane. N342NW remained at the end of the runway until a tug came to tow it off. There were no reports of injuries to the passengers and crew onboard. The aircraft spent less than one hour in the air.

Aviation database ch-aviation reveals N342NW is 28.64 years old. As of December 31, 2020, the plane had flown 81,103 hours over 36,075 flight cycles. Before flying for Delta Air Lines, the narrowbody Airbus flew for Northwest Airlines between 1993 and 2008. In 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines, in the process, rebadging many of Northwest’s aircraft.

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

Passengers on the affected flight continued onto BWI the following morning on another plane. They arrived in Baltimore 13 safely but 13 hours behind schedule.

The aircraft involved in the May 27 incident, N342NW, remained in Minneapolis for almost 24 hours after the fast landing. It operated DL1205 across to Baltimore Washington International the following evening, May 28, without incident. The plane has since resumed its normal flying roster.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Switzerland Looks To Reopen On June 28th For Vaccinated American

Switzerland is set to re-open to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and Canada. The news comes…

Switzerland Looks To Reopen On June 28th For Vaccinated American

Switzerland is set to re-open to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and Canada. The news comes just days after the United States relaxed entry requirements for travelers from Switzerland.

Switzerland will re-open its borders to travelers from the United States in late June. Photo: Getty Images

Swiss border re-opening for North American travelers in late June

Multiple media organizations report that pending final ratification by the Swiss Parliament on 23 June, Switzerland will lay out the welcome mat to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and Canada on June 28.

“We are extremely happy,” says Switzerland Tourism director GCC Matthias Albrecht. “Now that borders will open, we can’t wait to welcome each one of you.”

Before the travel downturn, Switzerland was enjoying a surge in passenger arrivals from the United States. Across 2019, arrivals from the United States grew 10% to over 1.1 million, the third consecutive year of substantial growth. Off a much smaller population base, 126,198 Canadians also flew to Switzerland. Like their southern neighbors, Canadians were heading to Switzerland in increasing numbers each year.

A United Airlines Boeing 787 heading out off Zurich Airport in Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

Welcome news for Switzerland’s biggest airport

For Zurich (ZRH) Airport, Switzerland’s biggest airport, the prospect of additional aircraft and passenger traffic from across the Atlantic is good news. The airport has been campaigning to ease travel restrictions, saying passenger numbers through Switzerland’s airports are down 75%, and thousands of jobs are at risk.

“The economic damage to the entire airport ecosystem is huge because international air travel has been severely restricted for more than a year now,” says Stephan Widrig, CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG, the operator of Zurich Airport.

In May, 450,00 passengers moved through ZRH. That is a big improvement on the May 2020 numbers but 83.4% lower than May 2019. There were 8,043 aircraft movements in May, down 67.1% on May 2019 aircraft movements.

“The desire to travel and the easing of travel restrictions by many countries are noticeable at Zurich Airport,” the airport said in a statement accompanying those recent figures.

Far from the 2019 heyday, flights into Zurich from across the North Atlantic are now scarce. United Airlines operates daily flights from both New York’s Newark (EWR) Airport and Washington Dulles (IAD). Air Canada is operating several flights a week between Toronto’s Pearson Airport (YYZ) and Zurich. SWISS is flying into Zurich from Miami International Airport (MIA), New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (JFK), and Newark.

SWISS aircraft at Zurich Airport. Photo: Zurich Airport

SWISS set to be a big winner

Switzerland’s largest airline, SWISS, is set to be a big beneficiary of the border re-opening. SWISS had already seen growing demand for services from North America (albeit off a very low base) on the back of growing vaccination rates.

“The rise that we have recently seen in our bookings for the summer months clearly shows us how keen people are to travel,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour.

Over June and July, SWISS will fly or resume services to 49 destinations from its key Zurich and Geneva hubs. Over the summer, the airline will operate 85 routes from Zurich, eyeing the leisure and VFR markets. SWISS says this is an improvement on 12 months ago but still well below (50% to 55%) 2019 flying levels.

SWISS says they’ve been tailoring flights to meet market demand. With the borders about to open for vaccinated United States-based travelers, they should soon be bumping up the frequencies of their transatlantic flying.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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