A Delta Air Lines flight headed to London from Atlanta was forced to turn around twice on Tuesday night after pilots were baffled by a mysterious noise coming from somewhere on the plane. If those passengers weren’t afraid of flying before, they probably will be now.
The bizarre incident saw Delta Flight 284 depart as scheduled from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at around 7:30 pm, only to turn back near the North Carolina and divert back to Atlanta, WSB-TV reported. That first journey took about two hours.
Pilots reportedly heard a loud “bang” come from the plane and opted to turn the plane around “out of an abundance of caution.” Delta did not specify as to what caused the noise or whether mechanics were able to diagnose the problem that night.
Nevertheless, about 200 passengers were asked to wait for a few more hours until another plane was made available. That plane used the same flight number and managed to take off again without incident.
It wasn’t until just after takeoff that the banging noises rang out – and this time, they were so loud that passengers were painfully aware that something was wrong.
“I heard that. I felt it,” passenger Alex Brown told the outlet. “It was like someone dropping a lead ball on the floor. And [the pilot] came back on and said we’re going to turn around. Everything is OK with the airplane but as caution, we’re going to turn around.”
As compensation for the ill-fated journey, Delta offered passengers lodging at nearby hotels and rebooked their flight for 7:00 pm on Wednesday.
“Airplane mechanics are still looking at the two planes from Tuesday trying to determine what the problems were,” the airline confirmed.