A Delta Air Lines aircraft has become stuck in the mud after landing in Buffalo, with passengers being stranded on the tilted aircraft until they could be towed clear.
What are the details?
Delta Air Lines flight DL5058, operated by a CRJ-900, had just successfully completed an uneventful flight from New York LaGuardia. The weather had been stormy, with scatted showers drenching the airfield.
What happened next is a little bit of a mystery. According to ABC 13Wham, the aircraft slid a little bit too far off the taxiway as it was making its way to the ramp and it ended up on the grassy mud.
The aircraft appeared to tilt a bit and become pinned in the grass. For all aircraft’s ability to fly over any obstacle, they do lack the ability to drive over uneven terrain and thus the aircraft was well and truly stuck.
— Heather Ly (@HeatherLyWGRZ) December 1, 2019
“It was like so scary, I literally thought we were gonna tip over,” said passenger Keara Donnelly to ABC 13Wham. “I think people thought at first that another plane or like a car or bus like crashed into us,” said Clare Brown in the same news report.
It took around an hour to successfully pull the aircraft free and all passengers were taken to the gate.
ARFF Chief Bill Major briefs reporters on the Delta plane that slid on the taxiway this morning at the Buffalo Airport. No injuries and no impact on airport operations. @BUFAirport @tapd1404 pic.twitter.com/OhuhiPOcA2
— NFTA Newsroom (@NFTANewsroom) December 1, 2019
There were 68 passengers and four crew members on board, but thanks to everyone remaining seated with belt buckles on (as you should) no injuries were reported.
How many CRJ-900’s does Delta operate?
Delta Air Lines uses a fleet of 154 CRJ-900’s across their entire regional fleet network. These aircraft are not actually part of the airline’s mainline fleet (which their smallest aircraft is the new A220-100, which they have 28 of) but rather operated by two different airline contractors.
Delta Air Lines contracts the CRJ-900 to SkyWest and Endeavor Air, the latter of which is owned outright by Delta (which is a bit confusing as it might defeat the purpose of having a regional subsidiary).
To understand more about why the big three airlines in the United States use contractors for their regional routes (unlike some other airlines), then you can peruse this article here.
What do you think? Would you have remained calm onboard this aircraft during this delay? Let us know in the comments.