GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Sometimes emergency situations in the air are handled so smoothly by pilots and air traffic controllers travelers never even hear about them.
But on August 10, Delta flight 1457 with “138 souls on board” had to circle back to the airport shortly after takeoff.
“We’re going to declare an emergency, we have an engine loss on the left engine,” the pilot said to air traffic control.
Longtime commercial pilot Robert Katz listened to the air traffic audio to give us perspective.
“What I’m hearing based on the audio, the pilots handled this matter very well. Air traffic control accommodates their every request,” Katz said.
He said the controller closed the airport to all but the emergency plane, and emergency services were put in position on the ground.
Airlines are not required to report a single engine failure to the NTSB. But Delta told 7 News it was a mechanical failure.
“I’m concerned there may have been neglected maintenance on this engine. These engines are extremely expensive. And it’s really easy for the bean counters to cut corners,” Katz said.
Commercial airliners are designed to fly safely on just one engine.
But 7 News has also learned Delta had a left engine failure of the same flight out of GSP in June. We are waiting to hear back on what the airline is doing to fix the problem.
GSP can’t comment on the incident since it doesn’t oversee the control tower or the airlines, but we talked to officials here about the Governor’s proclomation declaring this “South Carolina Aviation Week.”
“We have over $2.9 billion in impact through the operations at the airport, and that’s commercial flights you may be more familiar with but cargo flights, general aviation and just the jobs of people who work here, almost 15 thousands people owe their jobs to GSP airport,” Tom Tyra, with GSP, said.