Delta plane makes emergency landing at DIA, windshield shattered

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DENVER  — A Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City made an emergency landing in Denver Friday night after the plane was severely damaged in a storm.

After getting caught in a severe storm with lightning, rain and hail, Delta flight 1889 landed at DIA just before 9p.m. on Friday, KSTU reported.

Photos from KSTU, show the aircraft’s windshield was shattered and the nose of the plane was heavily damaged.

A Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City was diverted to DIA after significant damage to the plane was caused by a hail storm Friday night.

One passenger was taken to the hospital upon request, but no injuries were reported.

“It was the scariest ten minutes of my life,” one passenger said.

The damage was severe, and so was the storm flight 1889 passed through. When the flight arrived at DIA passengers saw what had happened to the plane.

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

One person was taken to a hospital, DIA spokeswoman Laura Coale didn’t provide a reason, but did say the plane went through “severe turbulence.”

Passengers were then put on other flights to finish their travel, but a local aviation expert is still surprised the plane went through that severe of weather.

“It’s highly unusual for a pilot to get himself into a situation where the airplane is damaged to that extent,” said Steve Cowell of SRC Aviation. “But the FAA and the NTSB are going to be examining not only the aircraft, but of course they’re going to be questioning the pilot and his choices of route.”

Cowell has been a pilot for more than 40 years, and says there may have been other factors involved but pilots have plenty of resources to track severe weather.

“Pilots are taught from day one to avoid thunderstorms by 20 miles at least,” he said. “Always give a thunderstorm a very, very wide berth.”

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to investigate the incident. Delta Airlines did not comment.

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