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Passenger on Delta flight with cracked windshield says it was, ‘scariest 10 minutes of my life’

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Passengers on a Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City arrived safely in Utah early Saturday morning after a storm forced their plane to be diverted to Denver Friday night due to a cracked windshield caused by hail.

“I fly constantly and this was the scariest 10 minutes of my life,” said passenger Robin Jones after arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport early Saturday morning. “I thought, ‘OK. Have I told everybody that I love that I love them?’ And as soon as I realized I had done that, I was like, ‘I’m alright. Everything’s going to be OK.’”

Delta flight 1889 made an emergency landing after getting caught in lightning, rain and hail. Photos sent in by viewers showed the aircraft’s windshield was shattered and the nose of the plane was heavily damaged by the severe weather.

Delta Spokeswoman Liz Savadelis tells CNN the Airbus A320 was scheduled to land in Salt Lake City but was diverted to Denver. Denver International Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale told CNN that one person was taken to a hospital. Coale did not provide a reason, but did say the aircraft went through "severe turbulence."

One passenger described the damage of the plane.

“We went around the corner from the window, we could see the shattered windshield,” said passenger Rob Wessman. “We could see kind of a hole over the engine where lightning had struck. We could see the nose of the plane was missing. It was really intense.”

Savadelis said plane had cracked windshields and damage to the radome -- the nose cone area that houses weather radar and navigational equipment. Details on whether that equipment was damaged weren't immediately available.

The plane landed safely in Denver just before 9 p.m., and the passengers were put on other flights to continue their travel, according to CNN.

16 comments

  • bob

    Hail damage. That’s scary. No plane is supposed to fly under the “anvil” of a thunderstorm. But weather radar is not perfect. Often a plane will “see” a relatively minor storm which blocks a worse one beyond it. A pilot can find himself in deep doo-doo very quickly at 500 mph.

    • Will

      You have it backwards. Large areas of convective wx will absorb radar energy thus shadowing returns behind them.

  • Tom

    The flight originated in Boston, why did the reporter say they were “rerouting from Salt Lake City? Weather over and just east of the Rockies is always a challenge. Waves of air over the Rockies create turbulent rides. Can’t imagine why they couldn’t have gone around that severe an area of weather. I’ve been in too many of these SLC to Denver flights and they are never fun..

  • Tom

    The flight originated in Boston, why did the reporter say they were “rerouting from Salt Lake City?” Weather over and just east of the Rockies is always a challenge. Waves of air over the Rockies create turbulent rides. Can’t imagine why they couldn’t have gone around that severe an area of weather. I’ve been in too many of these SLC to Denver flights and they are never fun..

  • Mike

    Delta has not lost a passenger since the 18 years I have been working there. Very safe and conservative operation.

    • zodak999

      27 August 2006; Delta Connection (Comair) CRJ-100; Lexington, KY: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Lexington, KY to Atlanta, GA. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, about one half mile (800 m) from the end of the departure runway. The event occurred shortly before sunrise, and there was no reported precipitation at the time of the event. The aircraft took off on a shorter runway that is typically used by smaller private aircraft rather than the airport’s main runway.
      Two of the three crew members and all 47 passengers were killed.

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