Officials stated that the aircraft touched down without incident and there were no casualties after passengers on a Delta flight safely evacuated using the emergency slide on Wednesday, following the failure of the plane’s front landing gear to deploy upon landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Firefighters appear to be helping passengers disembark from the aircraft through an inflatable slide that extends from a door on the plane. Photos show the scene from the runway, with the nose of the aircraft on the ground but the wings and wheels underneath.
Chris Skotarczak, a passenger traveling from Buffalo, New York to his Charlotte office, expressed, “Sliding down that chute is definitely one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had during my 10 years of work-related travel.”
According to Skotarczak, if he hadn’t witnessed the plane’s shadow without the front wheel down and received instructions to prepare for an emergency landing, he would have assumed that everything was fine.
The pilot told us that we are going to land and we are going to hear a big thud and a lot of grinding, but it was almost smoother than a regular landing, the AP, the Associated Press, told Skotarczak.
Skotarczak was one of the 96 passengers, along with two pilots and three flight attendants, on board the Boeing 717 plane that departed from Atlanta and was bound for Charlotte.
All passengers were transferred to the terminal. The airport announced that they were endeavoring to evacuate the aircraft and recommence activities on the runway.
Delta Air Lines stated in a “statement” that nothing is more important than the safety of our people and customers, while safely managing to land Flight 1092 without any reported injuries, despite many scenarios and extensively training flight crews. This is a rare occurrence.
The airline stated that it is now focused on helping passengers reach their final destinations and assisting the Investigations Board Safety Transportation National and Federal Aviation Administration in fully cooperating and removing the plane.
Delta stated that the pilots successfully brought the aircraft to a landing despite the absence of the front landing gear. This decision was made after air traffic controllers observed that the doors for the front landing gear were open, but the gear itself had not been lowered. As a precautionary measure, the pilots flew past the air traffic control tower, allowing controllers to visually examine the aircraft. This action was prompted by the pilots receiving an indication of an unsafe condition regarding the front landing gear as they neared the Charlotte airport.
After the emergency landing, the crew calmly guided the passengers to the emergency slides at the two exits.
Throughout the entire flight, he did not need to carry his backpack, so he placed his wallet inside it before disembarking, and passengers were instructed to leave all other belongings on the aircraft. However, Skotarczak, the traveler from Buffalo, arrived at work in less than four hours after the plane landed, carrying only his cellphone and a water bottle.
“I was absolutely planning to purchase a lottery ticket, but I am unable to,” he stated.
In the upcoming week, Skotarczak and his spouse are planning to travel to Europe for their vacation, and he mentioned that his spouse inquired if he would be comfortable with air travel once more.
Skotarczak expressed, “I told her that it is impossible for the same person to experience it twice. I just put myself at risk for the sake of the team.”
An unnamed passenger shared a video of the landing, which showed people on the plane quietly braced themselves by holding onto the seats in front of them, with their arms and heads down.
The footage displayed an ordinary touchdown. The individual capturing it remarked, “That was actually quite good.”
A. Gregory Zahornacky, a former captain with a major airline and an assistant professor of aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, stated that failures of landing gear are exceptionally uncommon and the airlines have an outstanding record of maintaining planes.
According to Zahornacky, when the nose gear failed to function properly upon landing, the crew carried out their designated duty of deploying the remaining landing gear to absorb the impact and ensure a safe landing.
Said Zahornacky, who piloted the DC-9, which is the predecessor to the Boeing 717, expressed, “I am confident that they made every effort both physically and humanly to inspect and ensure that they were able to lower the landing gear.”
I think that everything here was handled correctly and safely, which is the big takeaway. The safety of the crew and passengers is secondary, and I believe that there is very minimal damage to the aircraft. “This could be the best potential outcome we could expect in a situation like this,” he said.