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Delta Air Lines

Delta plane returns to airport after emergency slide 'separated' from aircraft

Zach Wichter

A Delta Air Lines flight returned to JFK Airport in New York City shortly after takeoff Friday when the emergency slide "separated" from the aircraft.

According to Delta, flight 520 to Los Angeles received priority to return to the airport after the flight crew saw an indicator light related to the right overwing exit and heard a "non-routine" sound near the right wing. 

“As nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people, Delta flight crews enacted their extensive training and followed procedures to return to JFK," a statement from the airline said. "We appreciate their professionalism and our customers’ patience for the delay in their travels."

The flight was operated by a 33-year-old Boeing 767 according to data from, and passengers were accommodated on a different flight later in the morning. The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the incident and Delta said it would cooperate with that investigation and is supporting efforts to retrieve the slide. 

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Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at

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