Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating

***Update on 04/14/2020 @ 15:33UTC – Inserted additional details from Delta Air Lines***

On April 12th, a Delta Air Lines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta was canceled after the aircraft performed a rejected takeoff after an engine ingested two geese. The aircraft returned to the stand safely, but the service was canceled.

Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating
A Delta Boeing 737 rejected takeoff in San Francisco due to geese. Photo: Nathan Coats via Flickr

The incident

The Aviation Herald reports that a Boeing 737-900 for Delta Air Lines was operating flight DL2049. This regularly scheduled commercial flight flies from San Francisco to Atlanta – Delta’s largest hub.

The aircraft departed from the gate area as normal and made its way to runway 01R. Then, the flight took an interesting turn. During the takeoff roll, the right-hand engine ingested two geese leading to a high-speed rejected takeoff.

High speed rejected takeoffs occur when the aircraft has to halt its roll at a speed greater than 100 knots over the ground. The aircraft safely vacated the runway and returned to the apron. Delta then canceled the flight.

Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating
The right-hand engine ingested two geese. Photo: Boeing

Delta did not report any injuries to passengers or crew. Meanwhile, the San Francisco tower initiated a runway inspection after the incident to check for hazards to other departing aircraft.

The airline offered Simple Flying the following statement:

“Delta flight 2049 operating from San Francisco to Atlanta encountered birds on departure. The flight safely returned to San Francisco and taxied to the gate for maintenance evaluation. Customers have been reaccommodated on an alternate aircraft.”

In addition, Delta confirmed that there were 37 customers aboard the 737-900.

The aircraft

Operating this flight was an aircraft registered as N867DN. Which, according to Flightradar24, is a three-year-old 737-900ER. The 737-900ERs have 180 seats. There are 20 in first class, 21 in Comfort+, and 139 Main Cabin seats.

Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating
The aircraft involved in the incident was delivered to Delta in 2016. Photo: Formulanone via Flickr

In recent years, Delta has gained notoriety for being a major Airbus customer. This includes commitments for hundreds of new aircraft including A321neos, A350s, A220s, and A330neos. Meanwhile, last year, Delta took delivery of its last Boeing aircraft on order (for now) – a 737-900ER. However, there are 130 of the type in the airline’s fleet – more than any other aircraft type.

By family, Delta has 217 Boeing 737s in its fleet, including ten of the-700 variant and 77 of the -800 variant. This compares to a total of 219 Airbus A320 family aircraft consisting of 57 A319s, 62 A320s, and 100 A321s per data from Planespotters. However, the share of A320 family aircraft is expected to increase with an additional 100 A321neos on order.

Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating
There are more 737-900ERs in the airline’s fleet than any other type. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 737s primarily operate domestic flights and shorter international hops to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.

Geese and planes

Birds and planes do not go together. Bird strikes – especially from large birds such as geese – can be especially damaging for an aircraft. Thankfully, this incident occurred on the ground where the aircraft was able to successfully come to a stop with no injuries reported.

Some may remember the famous US Airways flight 1549 that ditched in the Hudson River. The aircraft struck into a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from New York-La Guardia causing a loss of engine power.

Delta Boeing 737 Engine Ingests 2 Geese While Accelerating
US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson after suffering a birdstrike. Photo: Getty Images

In other inidents, an SAS A330 returned to Copenhagen after also striking a flock of geese back in October, a United A319 in Vancouver last November also rejected takeoff due to a birdstrike.

Were you on this flight? What happened? Let us know in the comments!