Alaska-Bound Delta Boeing 767-300ER Diverts To Buffalo Over Cockpit Issue

A Delta Air Lines Boeing en route to Anchorage diverted to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport on Saturday evening after the pilots reported a cockpit issue. The flight, which had 158 people onboard, was a scheduled Delta service flying between New York and Anchorage.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER diverted to Buffalo on Saturday after cockpit issues. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

Cockpit issues cause Delta diversion to Buffalo

According to a report by Simon Hradecky in The Aviation Herald, the Boeing 767-300ER (registered as N184DN) was cruising northeast of Buffalo late on Saturday afternoon. The aircraft was operating flight DL892. That flight is the regular 16:49 departure from New York’s John F Kennedy Airport that heads out over Canada for the eight-hour plus cross country flight to Anchorage.

After departing from JFK, DL892 climbed to 34,000 feet and was nearing Lake Ontario when the aircraft veered back towards Buffalo. The Aviation Herald reports a cockpit issue caused the diversion. Simple Flying has contacted Delta Air Lines for further information but they were unable to provide further details.

The flight landed safely at Buffalo at 18:00. Owing to hot brakes, the aircraft did not immediately taxi off runway 23. After 17 hours in Buffalo, the aircraft continued through to Anchorage. That flight departed just before midday on Sunday and landed safely in Anchorage at 13:27. The aircraft, N184DN, is operating DL790 back to JFK at the time of publication.

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An aging Boeing 767-300ER with a history of minor incidents

Delta’s operating aircraft, N184DN, is over 28 years old. It first flew for Delta in March 1993. As you’d expect from such an old aircraft, it has been involved in a few incidents over the years.

In 2008, while flying to Kiev, there was an instrument failure over the Atlantic. The pilots radioed in the loss of a flight data computer, resulting in losing one altimeter and one airspeed indicator. As a result, the aircraft dropped below reduced vertical separation minimum airspace.

The following year, N184DN left tire debris on the runway after departing Tokyo. Pilots decided to continue onto the destination airport, Portland. Upon arrival, the pilots declared an emergency. The plane landed safely, but observers reported some smoke coming from the left main gear after landing. Tire debris was also found on Portland’s runway.

In 2010, N184DN was involved in a bird strike incident on departure from JFK Airport. As a result, after circling and dumping fuel, the plane returned to JFK, landing safely. In the same year, a flight attendant working on N184DN broke their ankle after the aircraft hit turbulence on a flight from Guam to Tokyo.

Delta Air Lines is planning on retiring its remaining Boeing 767-300ER fleet. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

After that, N184DN had an uneventful flying history until September 2018, when the aircraft was involved in a hydraulic failure incident. The plane was departing JFK en route to Paris when the pilots reported the hydraulic failure while climbing out of New York.

In similar circumstances to Saturday’s landing in Buffalo, the aircraft landed safely back in New York, but it was a high-speed landing. Consequently, the brakes overheated, and four tires deflated. Since that incident, N184DN had a trouble-free run until Saturday.

Delta Air Lines plans to retire its remaining Boeing 767-300ERs by the end of 2025 after several decades of flying the aircraft type. According to aircraft database ch-aviation, Delta Air Lines has 32 Boeing 767-300s in active service.