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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: DCA12CA043
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of DELTA AIR LINES INC
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2018
Aircraft: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320 211, registration: N331NW
Injuries: 150 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 10, 2011, at about 1157 central standard time, Delta flight 1691, an A320-211, N331NW, experienced a bird strike during initial climb after departure from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (KMSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota. There were no injuries to the 150 passengers and crewmembers onboard and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 regularly scheduled passenger flight from KMSP to Reno–Tahoe International Airport (KRNO), Reno, Nevada.

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • In-flight collision with birds during initial climb, which resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft.