Three Delta Air Lines flights during the last ten days have suffered engine problems and diverted course. (That’s as often as Delta issues weather waivers for New York City airports! :- ) ) Engine trouble certainly isn’t uncommon; but mid-air engine failures shouldn’t exactly be routine.
The first was August 10 when Atlanta-bound Delta 1457 left Greenville/Spartanburg — but returned about 45 minutes later when the MD-88’s left engine quit working.
Then this past Saturday, August 10, flight 651 from Providenciales in Turks and Caicos set a course for Atlanta. At 34,000 feet, the crew had to shut down the A320’s right engine and divert to Nassau.
The very next day, Delta 122 from Boston to Edinburgh diverted to Portland because of an engine compressor stall. That plane was a 757.
Aviation blog Flight Deck Friend notes, “Safety statistics suggest that less than one in every one million flights will have an engine failure or forced engine shutdown in the air or on the ground. This works out at approximately 25 such failures a year across commercial aviation.”
Which makes three in less than two weeks on one airline a little disconcerting.
Yes, twin-engine planes are designed to fly on one engine in the event one fails or is shut down. But the frequency of these incidents is a tad startling, yes?
Is Delta doing some weird Allegiant Air impersonation or something? (Low blow, sorry. 😉 )
What’s Causing These Problems?
Commercial pilot Robert Katz discussed the August 10 incident with WSPA’s Diane Lee and told her, “I’m concerned there may have been neglected maintenance on this engine. These engines are extremely expensive. And it’s really easy for the bean counters to cut corners.”
What Do You Think?
I anticipate always favoring commercial air travel — including Delta, for now — over automobile, rail and bus.
But are you at all concerned over the spike in Delta engine troubles? Please share in the Comments section below your thoughts and insights!