Utah Jazz team plane makes emergency landing; no injuries reported

Feb 10, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; General view of basketballs on a rack before the Charlotte Hornets play the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bronson-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz’s charter plane was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after departing Salt Lake City International Airport on Tuesday after the aircraft hit a flock of birds, causing engine trouble.

The Delta Boeing 757 plane, which was carrying the Jazz to their game against the Grizzles in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, had to return to the airport after the collision with the birds forced the left engine to be shut down.

No injuries were reported, but a Delta spokesperson told FOX 13 in Utah it was Flight 8944 involved in the bird strike and the Jazz confirmed it was their players aboard, per reports.

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“As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds,” Delta said in a statement to FOX 13. “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.”

It is unclear when the Jazz will get another plane.

Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neal, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson were among Jazz players who tweeted a praying hands emoji, while center Rudy Gobert simply tweeted, “It’s a beautiful day!”

Airplane engine trouble has practically been the only thing that has been able to stop the Jazz, who have won six straight games to raise their record to a Western Conference-leading 35-11.

— Field Level Media