The Utah Jazz NBA team, including Australian sensation Joe Ingles, had to make an emergency landing on Tuesday (local time).
The Delta airliner hit a swarm of birds immediately after takeoff, damaging an engine.
Flightradar24, which tracks global air traffic, said the plane’s left engine was faulty.
#DL8944, Salt Lake City-Memphis, returned shortly after takeoff with left engine trouble.
757-200 has PW2037 engines. Delta’s charter 757.
Wednesday’s game between the Jazz and Grizzlies was on the charter plane’s itinerary.
Jazz informed USA Today that the plane landed safely.
Everyone is shaken but okay
Delta confirmed the incident but denied it was a Jazz charter.
Delta confirmed it was looking for a new “customer” plane.
The plane impacted a flock of birds while taking off, the statement said.
The left engine shut down, so the pilot reported an emergency and returned to SLC.
The plane landed safely and departed.
Delta Airlines is looking for another plane to transport clients.
Utah Jazz appreciate near-miss
Jazz players thanked the safe landing on social media.
Royce O’Neale tweeted “GOD is awesome” after hearing the news.
Mitchell tweeted a praying hand emoji.
Rudy Gobert tweeted, “Beautiful day.”
The Jazz will play the Grizzlies on Wednesday on a five-game winning run.
Utah’s 114-75 home win over Cleveland Cavaliers is their seventh wire-to-wire victory this season.
Mitchell played 25 minutes Monday, but he’s been scoring since the All-Star break.
In Utah’s last ten games, he’s averaged 29.2 points while shooting 50% overall and 46.3 from the 3-point range.
Mitchell: “My film work is the main cause.”
“When you can’t get physical reps in a condensed season and need to rest your body, it’s the mental aspects of understanding how teams will guard you, what’s open, and manipulating circumstances to get what you want.”
The Jazz swept the Grizzlies in Utah last week and will try to sweep the season this week.
In each game, Mitchell averaged 35 points.