The only US airline that’s really known for lackluster maintenance is Allegiant. Nearly half of their pilots said that they wouldn’t feel safe having their families fly on Allegiant, and Allegiant has an unparalleled number of unscheduled landings, aborted takeoffs, etc. (at least as far as US airlines go). For example, over the course of a year, a single Allegiant MD-88 had as many incidents as Delta’s entire fleet of nearly 120 MD-88 aircraft.
So before I write this post, I want to emphasize that I think Delta is generally very focused on safety, and while they don’t have an especially new fleet, they maintain their planes well.
However, here’s a story that’s a bit… puzzling. AirlineGeeks reports that a single Delta Airbus A330 had three engine incidents over the course of a week. Between May 20 and May 26, 2017, a Delta A330-200 with the tail number N861NW had the following three incidents:
- On May 20 the plane was bound from Amsterdam to Detroit and had vibrations in the right engine on approach, causing them to divert to Toronto
- On May 24 the plane was bound from Detroit to Amsterdam, and as it started its descent the right engine stalled three times, and the pilots received an error message from the wing anti-ice system; the plane landed safely, though emergency services were called
- On May 26 the plane was bound from Amsterdam to Detroit, and over Ireland the crew received an oil pressure warning from the right engine; the plane made an emergency descent, and landed in Shannon
Featured image via Kentaro IEMOTO on Flickr
While I have no doubt that Delta runs a safe operation overall, something tells me that three incidents with the same airplane over the course of a week aren’t a coincidence. Hopefully Delta does a thorough investigation of what happened…