Delta flight loses engine, makes emergency landing at ORF

Norfolk International Airport (Photo: WAVY/Kara Dixon)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Delta Airlines flight from Norfolk to Detroit turned around and made an emergency landing at Norfolk International Airport Thursday morning.

Delta Flight 5319 took off from Norfolk to Detroit at 10:59 a.m. Steve Sterling at Norfolk International says the pilot declared an emergency at 11:15 a.m. after one of the Bombardier CRJ-700 plane’s two engines stopped working.

The pilot turned the plane around and landed it safely at Norfolk International Airport. Sterling says there were 62 people on board the flight, including crew and passengers.

Sarah Falls, a passenger on the plane, said she heard a loud noise once the plane left the gate. She said the noise was so loud, she could not hear the person talking next to her.

Falls said she soon smelled smoke and the back of the cabin became hazy.

“I kept looking at the flight attendant at the rear of the plane. I couldn’t see why she wasn’t reacting to the situation,” Falls said.

Falls said the noise got louder and it sounded like there was not enough power in the engine.

During takeoff, Falls said many passengers, including herself, began texting their loved ones because they thought the plane would not make it.

“It’s a pretty bad situation when you text your loved ones that you tell them you hope you see them that night,” she said.

According to airport officials, the pilot ended up returning to the Norfolk airport due to the loss of an engine.

Falls said she’s unsure why the plane took off because of the noise everyone heard, but she believes it’s because of the delays and backups plaguing Delta this week.

“It was alarming that we even went up in the air when it was having such an audible problem,” she said. “It felt like they were stressed out to get out in the air. They had equipment failures or they weren’t taking their time.”

Airport officials said the plane landed safely and passengers were taxied back in.

Instead of getting another ticket to Detroit, Falls decided to head home to be with her son.

She said she was too shaken up from the flight to continue traveling and questions whether she will fly on the airline again.

“They were not communicative enough with folks on the plane about what was going on and they didn’t react quickly. I feel like Delta shouldn’t have put that plane in the air. It shouldn’t have gotten off the runway,” said Falls.

10 On Your Side reached out to Delta Air Lines for a statement regarding the emergency landing.

A spokesperson for the company said that, “the safety of our customers and crew is always out top priority.”

Delta said the plane re-departed for Detroit after a maintenance evaluation.

Norfolk International Airport. Credit: WAVY/Kara Dixon.
Norfolk International Airport. Credit: WAVY/Kara Dixon.

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