Delta A320 Returns to Minneapolis After Multiple Issues
by Andrew Curran June 14 2021
A series of faults saw a Delta Air Lines Airbus return to Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27. The incident, which has only recently come to light, caused the pilots to declare an emergency and, facing braking problems, ask for the longest available runway.
Problems reported with landing gear, brakes, reversers, and shock absorbers
A report by Simon Hradecky in The Aviation Herald says the Airbus had just taken off from Minneapolis (MSP) and was en route to Baltimore (BWI). The Airbus A320-200 (registered as N342NW) was operating DL1205. The report says 142 passengers and crew were on the flight.
Just after takeoff, the pilots leveled off at 4,000 feet, reporting a mechanical fault. After troubleshooting, the pilots declared an emergency. They reported that they had a landing gear shock absorber fault, the landing gear did not retract, several of their brakes weren’t working, the reversers were not working, and normal braking was not working.
“Okay, we’re probably going to have some pretty hot brakes by the time we stop,” the pilots can be heard telling Minneapolis as they made their final approach.
A fast landing after one hour in the air
According to flight-tracking websites, the aircraft had operated a return service from Minneapolis to Portland on the same day without incident. DL1205 is the 19:58 departure from Minneapolis St Paul International Airport bound for Baltimore Washington International.
The aircraft took off to the southeast before doing a 180° turn and tracking to the northwest of Minneapolis. DL1205 then orbited to the west of the airport, completing several large loops before lining up for an approach back into Minneapolis. The plane maintained a low altitude throughout the orbit, staying close to 6,000 feet, and reached a maximum speed of 325 miles (524 kilometers) per hour. N342NW was moving at around 210 miles per hour as it passed the threshold of Minneapolis’ runway 12R.
According to The Aviation Herald, once the pilots identified problems with their brakes, they told Minneapolis they needed the longest runway available.