Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-900 Returns to Salt Lake City Airport After Dropped Engine Panel

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Summary

  • A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-900 was forced to return to Salt Lake City International Airport after losing an engine pylon panel shortly after taking off.
  • Flight DL56 safely returned to SLC, with the aircraft staying on the ground since the incident.
  • A replacement Airbus A330-900 operated the flight between SLC and AMS.

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330neo, operating flight DL56 between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was forced to turn back to its origin airport as one of the engine’s pylon panels blew off the aircraft, landing safely at the airport several hours later.

Losing engine panel mid-flight

According to a report on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system, the aircraft, an Airbus A330-900, registered as N405DX, lost an engine pylon from the number one engine (left-hand side engine) on March 24, 2024.

Photo: KITTIKUN YOKSAP | Shutterstock

The panel detached on takeoff, added the report. The aircraft, operating flight DL56 from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), departed SLC at 16:45 local time (UTC -6).

Air traffic control (ATC) data provided by LiveATC.net archives indicated that a local controller cleared the aircraft to an altitude of 12,000 feet (3657 meters) and maintain normal speed at around 16:45.

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Turning back to SLC

The Airbus A330-900 continued climbing as it departed SLC, reaching a maximum altitude of 35,000 ft (10,668 m). However, at 17:53, the widebody jet began turning back and descending to SLC. The flight crew never squawked 7700, the code for a general emergency onboard, during the entire duration of the flight.

After landing at SLC, Delta Air Lines A330-900 has no further scheduled flights, according to Flightradar24 data. Its subsequent itinerary from AMS to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) has also been canceled. The flight-tracking website’s records showed that the aircraft landed at SLC at 19:29. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines sent a replacement aircraft, an Airbus A330-900, registered as N419DX, to operate the flight between SLC and AMS using the special flight number DL9906. The aircraft, which departed SLC at 15:12, landed at the Dutch capital at 7:20 (UTC +1) on March 25, 2024.

N409DX Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-941 (1) (1)

Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Similar to the flight between SLC and AMS, Delta Air Lines was forced to send the same replacement aircraft to operate the Airbus A330-900, which lost an engine pylon panel, and the subsequent itinerary between AMS and JFK. The flight, using the code DL9927, is scheduled to be operated by N419DX, with a departure time of 7:30.

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Four-year-old A330-900

According to ch-aviation data, Airbus delivered the A330-900 to Delta Air Lines on February 28, 2020, just a few weeks before international travel was largely shut off due to governments across the world closing their borders due to the pandemic.

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-900

Photo: viper-zero | Shutterstock

Nevertheless, the aircraft, which is owned by the Dubai-based aircraft lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Capital, has stayed active even during the pandemic. In total, the airframe has 16,189 flight hours (FH) and 1,887 flight cycles (FC) as of December 31, 2023.

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