747 from San Francisco to Sale Lake - Emergency Landing

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Emergency Landing No One Injured in 727 Incident

A Delta Airlines jet bound from San Francisco to Salt Lake City sits on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport after an emergency landing. (Tom Van Dyke/AP Photo)

The Associated Press S A N F R A N C I S C O, March 14  A Delta Air Lines flight bound from San Francisco to Salt Lake City made an emergency landing last night after experiencing problems with its landing gear, according to airline and airport officials.

The Boeing 727-200 landed without any injuries to people on board, although the pilots could not use their right landing gear, said airport spokeswoman Kim Dickie and Delta spokesman Dan Lewis. Emergency crews were waiting for the flight.

The pilot informed the passengers of the landing-gear problems soon after takeoff. The plane then circled the airport for an hour, as airline personnel tried to decide whether they could fix the landing gear, which was stuck in a half-retracted position. While circling, the pilots dumped excess fuel.

Silence on the Plane It was so silent on the plane, except for a baby crying, which made us mothers even more tense, passenger Jane Vaughn of Utah told KTVU television in San Francisco.

As the plane landed, its right wing dragged on the runway and broke. Sparks came from the wing as it scraped the ground and it was doused with fire-extinguishing foam, said airport spokesman Ron Wilson. Passengers exited by an inflatable slide.

It seemed like an eternity from the time we went to the braced position until the time we finally touched the ground. And as we touched the ground, we could hear the wing dragging along the ground, said Vaughn.

Lewis said the landing went quite well.

Passengers Cheer the Crew Reports are the passengers cheered the crew after they got back, he said. Lewis said the airport would leave determination of the cause of the mechanical problems to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will investigate.

There was conflicting information about the number of people on board. Delta reported 79 passengers booked on the flight, along with seven crew members. News reports had just 70 passengers actually embarking, said Lewis.

Some planes bound for San Francisco were routed instead to Oakland or San Jose because the runway where the emergency landing took place was temporarily closed.

Flight 1972 was scheduled to leave at 6:35 p.m. and arrive in Salt Lake at about 9:15 p.m. It was then scheduled to travel on to Kalispell, Mont., arriving 11:45 p.m. The flight landed back in San Francisco at 8:01 p.m.

-- suzy (suzy@nowhere.com), March 14, 2000

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