March 30 (UPI) — The Utah Jazz‘s charter plane was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday after striking a flock of birds shortly after takeoff, resulting in an engine issue.
The Jazz were traveling to Memphis, Tenn., to take on the Grizzlies. Utah is scheduled to play Memphis on Wednesday.
“As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds,” Delta Airlines said in a statement. “The left engine was shut down, [and] the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport. [The] aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back.”
A Jazz spokesperson said the team charter “returned safely to the Salt Lake City airport today after a bird strike.” No injuries were reported following the incident.
— Sydney Glenn (@SydneyGlennTV) March 30, 2021
Several Jazz players made posts on social media following the scare and appeared to express gratitude for the safe landing. All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell posted a praying hands emoji on Twitter, while star center Rudy Gobert wrote, “It’s a beautiful day!”
The Jazz have the best record in the NBA at 35-11. The team is still expected to travel to Memphis for Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies.