194 Delta passengers found themselves on a remote Alaskan island for more than 12 hours on Christmas Day.
Delta Flight 128, a Boeing 767-300 traveling from Beijing to Seattle, encountered “potential engine trouble” ennroute to Seattle. The flight diverted to Shemya Island, home to Eareckson Air Station. Roughly 1,500 miles from Anchorage, the island serves an an Air Force refueling hub and is able to accommodate civilian aircraft.
Delta sent another plane to Alaska with mechanics and a new crew from Seattle. The plane arrived roughly 11 hours after the diverted flight had arrived.
It is still not clear what happened to the aircraft. Delta refused to go into any more detail than “potential engine trouble.” One passenger noted on Twitter:
We lost one engine, landed on a US air force base in Alaska in the middle of the ocean. Delta sent another plane from Seattle to pick us up, and after waiting for 12 hours we are finally on the flight back. What a great story to tell my grandchildren.
He also posted the excellent picture above.
With the federal government in partial shutdown mode, Delta is fortunate it was able to utilize the U.S. facility in Alaska. While not clear what passengers did during the extended layover, I have to agree with the comments of the traveler above. At least it is a great story…
image courtesy of @shibarollben/Twitter