LAX-bound Delta flight makes emergency landing after exit slide issues on Boeing aircraft

A Delta Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles was forced to return to New York to make an emergency landing after the crew reported issues with an exit slide on the right wing of the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

Delta Flight 520, which was headed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning, encountered complications shortly after takeoff. The flight crew detected a flight deck indication related to the right wing emergency exit slide and heard an unusual sound emanating from near the right wing.

In response to the situation, the flight crew promptly declared an emergency with air traffic control to receive priority clearance back to JFK Airport. The aircraft successfully landed back at JFK and taxied to a gate under its own power. Onboard were 176 customers, two pilots, and five flight attendants.

"After the aircraft had safely landed and proceeded to a gate, it was observed that the emergency slide had separated from the aircraft," Delta said in a statement. The airline assured that it is fully cooperating with retrieval efforts and investigations into the incident.


A Delta flight was forced to return to its departure airport. (Credit: FlightAware)

Delta emphasized its commitment to safety, acknowledging the professionalism of its flight crews and expressing gratitude for customers' patience during the delay caused by the emergency landing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the emergency landing of Delta Flight 520, attributing the return to JFK to a crew report of vibration. The FAA will conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

FOX 11 reached out to Boeing for comment on this latest incident and they deferred to Delta. A Boeing spokesperson did note that FAA records indicated the airplane involved is 33 years old.

Boeing has been facing increasing scrutiny over the safety of its planes after a door plug blew out of a Boeing 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, leaving a gaping hole in the plane.

The accident halted progress that Boeing seemed to be making while recovering from two deadly crashes of Max jets in 2018 and 2019. Those crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed 346 people, are now back in the spotlight, too.


About a dozen relatives of passengers who died in the second crash met with government officials for several hours Wednesday in Washington. They asked the officials to revive a criminal fraud charge against the company by determining that Boeing violated terms of a 2021 settlement, but left disappointed.

Earlier this week, video obtained by FOX 11 showed a Lufthansa Boeing 747 aircraft bounce on the runway at LAX during a hard landing. No one was injured in the incident. 

SUGGESTED: Boeing 747 carrying 345 people bounces on LAX runway during hard landing, video shows

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.