Passenger talks about Delta flight diverted to Chattanooga
There was an unexpected stop in Chattanooga for travelers on a Delta flight Tuesday evening. The plane was headed to Atlanta when they made an emergency landing in Chattanooga.
"The pilot was super good with everything,” said passenger Russell Baumgard. “Everyone was calm, there wasn't any panic attacks."
Baumgard left Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a vacation in New Orleans. He was worried about snow in the North delaying his flight, but instead it was thunderstorms he should have worried about.
"The weather around Atlanta was terrible, according to what they told us,” explained Baumgard. “We were circling to wait to land and then the engine got struck by lightning."
He was on Delta flight 2050 to Atlanta expecting a layover. The Federal Aviation Administration said around 3:30 the pilot reported a possible lightning strike and declared an emergency.
The plane made an emergency landing around 30 minutes later at the Chattanooga airport.
"I was on the wing seat, the exit row. So, I just saw this flash,” recalled Baumgard. “I'm sitting there watching my movie and I see this flash. Then, I kind of felt the engine go out and idle a little bit."
Officials say 164 passengers were on the plane, which landed safely for inspection.
Baumgard said the most stressful part of the whole situation is figuring out how he's getting to Mardi Gras, "It's actually been more of an inconvenience than it was scary. It wasn't scary at all; it's just an inconvenience to me."
The FAA released this statement:
"Delta Air Lines flight 2050, an MD-90, landed safely at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport at 3:38 p.m. EST after the pilot reported a possible lightning strike and declared an emergency. The flight departed George Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and was headed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when it diverted. Contact the airline for passenger information. The FAA will investigate.”
Delta released the following statement:
“Delta apologizes to the customers of flight 2050 for the delay incurred after the flight diverted to Chattanooga due a mechanical issue. The safety of Delta’s customers and crew is always our top priority. The aircraft is undergoing maintenance evaluation while the airline is working to get customers to their destination as quickly as possible."