Utah Jazz’s Team Plane Makes Emergency Landing Following Bird Strike

The Utah Jazz’s team plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Salt Lake City on March 30 after a bird strike caused engine failure.

According to NBA.com, the Boeing 757-200 took off at around 1:15 p.m. and was headed for Memphis, where the players are expected to face off against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 31. But a team spokesman told the website a bird strike then caused an engine fire and the loss of an engine.

“As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds,” Delta officials said in a statement to TMZ. “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.” 

NBA.com also confirmed the pilots turned back around and safely landed the aircraft. The team members reportedly boarded a different plane hours later and left for Memphis.

While the website noted the athletes were “shaken by the incident,” it also reported that “no one on the plane was harmed.” 

After the emergency landing, several players, including guard Jordan Clarkson, tweeted praying hands emojis. Forward Royce O’Neale did the same and wrote, “GOD is good.” In addition, forward Jarrell Brantley posted on social media, “God up 1 forever.”

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