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Delta flight grounded after bird strike

LIHU‘E — A Delta Airlines Airbus was grounded in late March after a bird made contact with the aircraft during its arrival in Lihu‘e.

The plane was a new Delta Air Line Airbus A321NEO performing a routine flight 344 from Seattle to Lihu‘e on Monday, March 25, when upon arrival a bird struck the nose of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Delta aircraft arrived at Lihu‘e Airport at 7:19 p.m. and had its wheels on the ground and was moving on the runway when a bird made contact with the plane, damaging the nose of the plane.

Airport Fire Chief Jacob Martinez with the Department of Transportation Hawai‘i (DOT) reported to The Garden Island (TGI) that a barn owl was the bird involved in this incident.

The aircraft was carrying a total of 185 passengers on board and was immediately grounded upon landing, canceling the aircraft’s return flight back to the state of Washington with no other scheduled flights affected.

The plane was grounded at Lihu‘e Airport for 24 hours and was repositioned to return to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the following day on Tuesday, March 26 as flight DL 9887. It is believed that the damage was not structural since the aircraft resumed its flight the following day.

DOT said that back in 2023, there were a total of 33 bird strikes, but none were damaging. This year (Jan-Mar) there have been seven strikes, two of those incidents causing damage but the damage amount in those separate incidents is still pending.

The aircraft will remain at Seattle-Tacoma Airport while this investigation continues and more maintenance checks are conducted. Delta Airlines could not be reached for comment.
Source: The Garden Island

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