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145th Airlift Wing Assists with Aircraft Lift Following Emergency Landing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mary McKnight
  • 145th Airlift Wing

Delta Airlines flight 1092 made an emergency landing on the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport’s runway June28.

As scheduled, the aircraft departed the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at approximately 7:25 a.m. and arrived in Charlotte at approximately 8:40 a.m. Due to mechanical issues with the front landing gear, the pilot made an emergency landing.

Despite the landing difficulty, various videos posted online indicates the pilot executed a smooth landing, ensuring the safety of all 96 passengers and 5 aircrew members, including himself. Hours after the passengers and the crew disembarked, members of the North Carolina Air National Guard arrived on the scene to assist with lifting the aircraft.

“The 145th has a letter of agreement to provide support to the Charlotte airport,” said Col. Lisa Kirk, vice wing commander of the 145th Airlift Wing. “Our airfield management office was contacted by the airport with a potential request for assistance due to a nose landing, gear up situation, with a Delta Airlines’ flight.”

Per proper protocol, airfield management reached out to maintenance, who reached out to logistics planning and the staff’s judge advocate for guidance; from there, the request went to wing leadership for final approval.

“The Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery system was set up within 2 hours of the final ‘go’ call,” said Kirk. “The assistance was critical to getting the aircraft off the runway for operations to resume at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Two ISU-90s (rapidly deployable containers), one flat bed, and approximately twenty-five troops later, the mission was in motion.

“After receiving a call from the 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander I met with the maintenance organization,” said Master Sgt. David Lancaster, ground transportation superintendent, 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “We proceeded to load the ISU-90s containing the Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery equipment, that maintenance needed to lift the aircraft.”

The 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron not only deployed the equipment to the flightline but bussed approximately 20 maintainers to get the job done.

“Within the past 5 years we’ve acquired all of this new equipment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brian D. Barefoot, superintendent of the equipment maintenance flight, 145th Maintenance Squadron. “Equipment we have trained with, but never used in a real-world application. Today, under
unfortunate circumstances, we were able to bring our training to fruition and our maintainers were able to utilize the equipment live and in living color.”

To help move along the process, the equipment was in place and ready to lift when the Delta Airlines’ team arrived.

“The Delta [Airlines] team was immensely impressed with the operation," said Kirk. “The aircraft was lifted, allowing Delta to evaluate any damage and tow the aircraft off the runway. Thankfully, there were no injuries to any of the 104 souls onboard and airport operations were restored as quickly as possible,” Kirk expressed. “Additionally, this Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery event served as a certification to 20 maintainers, saving 320 man-hours and an excess of $5,200 for responding to a real-world situation versus a training scenario,” explained Kirk.

Echoing Kirk’s sentiments, Lancaster summed this experience up describing this moment in time as a showcase of the training, skills, and abilities gained throughout their careers. Hence, multi-capable Airmen.