Yesterday’s Delta Boeing 717 flight DL1943 from Detroit to Atlanta became a 22 minute trip from Detroit to Detroit when there was a bird discovered flying around the cockpit. And it wasn’t the first time a bird flew around the cockpit that day on that plane.
During boarding a bird — reports vary that it may have been a sparrow or a hummingbird (“which is the only bird that can fly backward”) — flew into the cockpit. The flight took a delay while maintenance searched for the bird. For an hour. But they couldn’t find it, and eventually the plane took off.
However shortly after takeoff the bird started flying around the cockpit again, and the pilot decided it was enough of a safety risk to turn right around and land back in Detroit. A passenger reports the captain announced,
‘I have an update that the bird is back and it’s going a little nuts in here in the cockpit and we do not feel safe continuing on this flight, so we’re going to go back to Detroit,’
Once at the gate they managed to catch the bird. It was “safely removed and set free” and they took off for Atlanta a second time.
Delta in Atlanta
Worst best line about the incident? “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a bird on a plane.”
(HT: Ken A.)