A Delta Air Lines regional jet made an emergency landing Sunday night at Rapid City Regional Airport following an engine failure with the aircraft.
According to initial reports, the flight involved Delta Air Lines flight 5057 from Minneapolis to Rapid City, a Canadair Regional Jet 200 operated by Endeavor Air on behalf of Delta Connection.
The airplane took off from Minneapolis at 9:52 p.m. Central time on Sunday. Emergency reports were sent to Rapid City Fire Department Station 8, located at the airport, that the aircraft was experiencing issues and would make an emergency landing.
According to scanner traffic, dozens of first responders arrived at the airport and staged for the jet’s landing. Scanner radio traffic also indicated the Delta Connection jet made a flight detour over the Badlands to dump excess fuel prior to landing.
However, technical specifications for the Canadair Regional Jet 200 indicate the aircraft does not have that capability. Flight tracking software shows the jet did make a slight detour over the Badlands.
The Journal has contacted Delta Air Lines in an attempt to confirm details of the flight and the emergency landing. As of Monday afternoon, the Journal has not received a response from Delta Air Lines.
Kaley Meyer, a passenger on the plane, told the Journal on Monday the pilots notified passengers of the engine failure shortly before landing.
“Basically from my understanding and the pilot that sat next to me, something happened with the oil and one of our two engines completely shut off. So, we did a one-engine landing. It was the scariest plane ride ever,” Meyer said.
“All they said is we were having an emergency landing and that one of our engines wasn’t working and we landed safely shortly after. Our pilots were amazing and calm. (It was a) scary situation that could have been a lot worse, but with the training and skills our guys had, we made it safe.”
The aircraft landed safely at 10:19 p.m. Mountain time and first responders cleared the plane from any emergency. Normal flight operations resumed at Rapid City Regional Airport approximately 20 minutes after the plane landed.
Airport executive director Patrick Dame was not able to speak on the conditions of the flight itself, referring the Journal to contact Delta Air Lines. Dame said airport and emergency staff were notified of the emergency landing to get assets in place for the landing.
“From our position, it was good to see that there was no issue with this particular landing and they were able to get them to the gate,” he said.
In September 2020, airport personnel and first responders held a drill to practice what it would be like if an emergency landing happened as part of the airport’s exercise designed to test and evaluate the response plans of agencies. The airport is required to perform full-scale emergency exercises every three years as part of the airport’s certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Dame said Monday the September drill was extremely effective in preparing the response to Sunday’s emergency landing.
“It’s always good to make sure we have the coordination to get other agencies to respond to an incident,” he said. “We also do monthly response calls at the airport for our crews that are here to practice on the field.”