'Everybody is shaken': Plane carrying NBA team makes emergency landing

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
The nose and engine of the plane, pictured with with significant damage.
The front of the plane and one of the engines suffered damage. Image: KTSU

A charter flight carrying the Utah Jazz NBA team, including Australian star Joe Ingles, was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday (local time).

The Delta plane was forced to return to Salt Lake City airport after an engine was damaged when the plane struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff.

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Flightradar24, which monitors global air traffic, noted that the plane appeared to have trouble with its left engine.

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The charter flight was carrying the Jazz to Memphis for a game on Wednesday against the Grizzlies.

"Fortunately the plane landed safely," a Jazz representative told USA Today

"Everybody is shaken, but they're okay."

Delta later provided a statement confirming the incident, without acknowledging that it was a Jazz charter flight. 

Delta noted that it was working on finding another aircraft for its "customers."

"As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds," the statement read. 

"The left engine was shut down, the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport. 

"Aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back. 

"Delta Airlines is working on finding another aircraft to get their customers to their destinations."

Utah Jazz players, pictured here disembarking the plane after the emergency landing.
Utah Jazz players disembark the plane after the emergency landing. Image: KSTU

Utah Jazz players thankful for near-miss

Several Jazz players expressed their gratitude for the safe landing on social media.

Royce O'Neale tweeted "GOD is good" shortly after the news broke.

Donovan Mitchell simply tweeted the praying hands emoji.

While Rudy Gobert tweeted: "It’s a beautiful day."

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The Jazz will take a five-game winning streak into their clash with the Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Utah's comfortable 114-75 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night was the fifth consecutive game in which they led by 20 points or more, its eighth wire-to-wire victory, and its largest margin of victory this season.

Mitchell played only 25 minutes in Monday's game, but he continues to light up the scoreboard particularly since the All-Star break.

Joe Ingles, pictured here in action for the Utah Jazz against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Joe Ingles in action for the Utah Jazz against the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

He is averaging 29.2 points over Utah's past 10 games while shooting 50 percent overall and 46.3 percent from 3-point range.

"I think my film work is the biggest reason," Mitchell said. 

"When you can't always get the physical reps in a shortened season and you need to rest your body, it's the mental things of understanding how teams are going to guard you, what's going to be open and manipulating the situations to get anything you want."

The Jazz swept a back-to-back set against the Grizzlies last week in Utah and will look to complete a season sweep. 

Mitchell scored 35 points in each of those games.

with agencies

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