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Last updated: 15 July 2019
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 10 November 2011
Time:11:57
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-211
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N331NW
C/n / msn: 318
First flight: 1992-03-25 (19 years 8 months)
Total airframe hrs:59784
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5A1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 144
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 150
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP) (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP), United States of America
Destination airport:Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV (RNO/KRNO), United States of America
Flightnumber:DL1691
Narrative:
Delta flight 1691, an Airbus A320-211, N331NW, experienced a bird strike during initial climb after departure from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (KMSP), Minnesota. There were no injuries to the 150 passengers and crewmembers onboard and the airplane was substantially damaged.
According to the flight crew, a flock of "50-100" large white birds, possibly geese, appeared in front of the airplane during initial climb. The first officer, who was the pilot flying, increased the rate of climb to attempt to avoid the flock, but at least one bird made impacted the aircraft. After striking the bird, the flight crew received an Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor message for loss of cabin pressure and the right side airspeed indication became erratic. The flight crew declared an emergency and made an uneventful landing back at KMSP.
Examination of the aircraft after landing revealed substantial damage to the forward pressure bulkhead and minor damage to the right engine.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "In-flight collision with birds during initial climb, which resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 years and 10 months
Accident number: DCA12CA043

Classification:
Bird strike
Forced landing on runway

Photos

photo of Airbus-A320-211-N331NW
accident date: 10-11-2011
type: Airbus A320-211
registration: N331NW
photo of Airbus-A320-211-N331NW
accident date: 10-11-2011
type: Airbus A320-211
registration: N331NW
 

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN to Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 2241 km (1400 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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