Delta Airlines Boeing plane loses emergency slide in mid-air after JFK takeoff

A Delta Airlines flight was forced to return to New York on Friday after an emergency slide billowed out from above one wing shortly after take-off.

The Boeing plane, bound for Los Angeles, landed safely back at John F Kennedy Airport at around 8.35am.

Flight 520 declared an emergency after cabin crew noticed a “flight deck indication related to the right wing emergency exit slide, as well as a non-routine sound from near the right wing,” Delta Airlines told The Independent.

The airline said there were 176 passengers, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the plane. The Boeing 767 had been heading to Los Angeles International Airport.

Cabin crew “reported a vibration”, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The federal agency is investigating the incident.

Delta also confirmed to The Independent that the Boeing 767-300ER plane has been removed from service.

“As nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people, Delta flight crews enacted their extensive training and followed procedures to return to JFK,” the spokesperson said.

“We appreciate their professionalism and our customers’ patience for the delay in their travels.”

The incident is the latest in a string of issues involving Boeing’s aircraft and increased scrutiny on the company’s operations. The FAA is currently investigating issues at the company relating to tyres, cabin pressure and various engine or mechanical issues.

A whistleblower told a Congressional hearing last week that Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is unsafe for operation, after an emergency door “blew out” on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this year. On Sunday, a Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing in South Africa after a rear wheel exploded during take-off.

The company’s CEO and two other executives announced their resignations at the end of March, while a $355 million loss for the first quarter was announced Thursday as repairs and safety concerns take priority.

The Independent asked Boeing for a statement on this latest incident, but the company said it would defer to Delta Airlines, only stating that the plane was 33 years old.

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