Diversion in the Big Sky Country

Aircraft: Airbus A319
Livery: Delta Air Lines
Origin: Glacier Park International Airport (KGPI)
Destination: Glacier Park International Airport (intended KMSP- DIVERTED)
Flight Time: 43 minutes
Server: Training

Good morning from Glacier Park International AIrport! After a nice week enjoying the stunning mountains of Montana, its time to head home with Delta Air Lines over to Minneapolis.


Security was a breeze, and we boarded right on schedule. I took my seat up in Comfort +, with a great engine view. The seat was OK, but this aircraft was fitted with the older cabin, so nothing special. The Wi-Fi was great though, and the entertainment screen worked fairly well.


A local spotter was live-streaming a spotting session on YouTube, and I grabbed this screenshot of our plane getting its engines fired up for 2 and a half hour hop to MSP.


After a short taxi and powerful takeoff roll, we leapt into the sky off of Runway 20, met with some light winds making our departure slightly bumpy. A turn after our initial climb gave us stunning views of Kalispell and Flathead Lake.


We leveled off at FL280, and the FAs began their cabin service when disaster struck. Suddenly, the plane dropped and the left wing dipped wildly. 3 of the crew members were thrown up against the ceiling, and the carts were lifted off the ground before crashing down again, spilling their contents all over the floor.

A few passengers who had unbuckled themselves were thrown about the cabin. People screamed as we were rocked by extreme turbulence for about 20 seconds before things smoothed out. The cabin was a mess. People lay injured in the aisle, the galley contents were spread throughout the fuselage. Some pieces of the ceiling had come off. The cabin was silent for a few moments, until the wing dipped into a wide hall and the pilot came on the PA. “Good morning from, the flight deck,we are declaring an emergency, and heading back to Glacier Park Airport. Please be seated with your seatbelt fastened in case of more turbulence. We appreciate your cooperation.”

As the plane completed its 180 degree turn, the two un injured flight attendants began helping people back into their seats, providing medical care as they went. A doctor seated in first class and a neurology nurse behind me offered their services.


It took about 15 minutes to re-secure the cabin, and by that time, we were turning downwind for runway 20. Things were relatively smooth, but the cabin was already trashed.


A pilot flying a TBM930 down to Provo caught this shot of our plane a few miles from touchdown.


As we crossed over the runway threshold, I could see the rows of fire trucks and ambulances waiting for our arrival. One soft, albeit floaty touchdown later, and we were rolling down the asphalt, heading towards the last runway exit.


Having heard the events unfolding on LiveATC, a local spotter raced over to catch our arrival, and subsequently posted the photos on his Instagram page.


We safely taxied and parked back at our original gate. Un injured passengers were asked to stay seated, while paramedics boarded to remove the 13 injured passengers and crew from the aircraft and transport them to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment.

I found a replay of our flight on LiveFlight, which shows our turn back to the airport. Once the unharmed passengers deplaned into the terminal, we were informed our flight was canceled because of extensive damage to the interior of the plane.

Another aircraft was flown in from Salt Lake City that evening, and we got home after an uneventful flight around midnight.

What was your favorite picture?

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0 voters
12 Likes

Sorry to hear that. Nice pictures, and gotta give credit to the pilot on this flight!

2 Likes

MY ENGLISH IS GOOD; BUT IT CAN BE GOODER meme - Piñata Farms - The best meme  generator and meme maker for video & image memes

7 Likes

Never fun to get diverted. The pilot did really do a good job though. They both deserve a raise

2 Likes

I would definitely give the pilots a raise. Luckily, they didn’t have to go through this mess on the 737 🥵

2 Likes

Probably the worst would be in like a turboprop, where you’d really feel it

2 Likes

Yeah, that’s true.

1 Like

me wondering why you didn’t divert to Great Falls lol
great photos all together

2 Likes

He wanted a challenge

1 Like

my guess would be that Helena has bigger maintenance facilities.

1 Like

then go to Paro

3 Likes

Or Lukla, that might be harder.

2 Likes

Ah, dang. I should have done that. Or maybe Lukla.

2 Likes

or even Saba

3 Likes

What I’m saying.

@BenjiTheBull should host a Lukla fly in 🤔

2 Likes

Courchevel is where it’s at

2 Likes

Saba isn’t hard to land, just runway is so short.

2 Likes

You’ve been watching to much Swiss001

3 Likes

I tried landing a CL35 there 2 weeks ago 💀
the mountain nearly ended me and absolutely destroyed my ego

2 Likes

for sure

2 Likes