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Reports: Jazz plane en route to Memphis makes emergency landing after hitting birds on takeoff

Jason Owens
·2-min read

A charter plane flying the Utah Jazz to Memphis had to make an emergency landing on Tuesday after it hit birds on takeoff, according to multiple reports. 

News broke Tuesday afternoon that a Boeing 757 returned to the Salt Lake City airport shortly after takeoff. Flightradar24, which monitors global air traffic, noted that the plane appeared to have trouble with its left engine. 

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Andrea Urban of Fox 13 in Utah reported that the plane was a charter flight carrying the Jazz to Memphis for a Wednesday game against the Grizzlies. She also reported the plane collided with birds on takeoff, leading to the engine problems. 

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Delta: 'Aircraft landed without incident'

Fox 13 later reported that the Jazz confirmed that it was their plane. Delta 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 reads. "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."

Jazz players react to scare

Jazz forward Royce O'Neal tweeted "GOD is good" shortly after the news broke.

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Donovan Mitchell simply tweeted the praying hands emoji.

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Rudy Gobert appeared to be upbeat after the scare.

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There were no reports of injuries. The Jazz and Grizzlies are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 24: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz warms up before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 24, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
A plane carrying members of the Utah Jazz had to make an emergency landing on Tuesday. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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