Delta Plane Dumps Fuel Over Lake Michigan

Detroit A Delta Air Lines spokesman says a flight on its way to Seoul, South Korea, had to dump fuel and return to Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a cockpit light showed there was possibly an open maintenance panel on the outside of the aircraft.

Spokesman Trebor Banstetter said Flight 159 took off from Detroit at 4:48 p.m. Saturday and that the indicator light came on about 30 minutes later.

Banstetter said the aircraft circled Lake Michigan and dumped fuel for about an hour to help ensure a safe landing. He said the plane, which had 375 passengers on board, landed “safely without incident” shortly before 7 p.m.

Plane dumps fuel Lake Michigan
Plane dumps fuel Lake Michigan

“The pilot chose to return to Detroit out of an abundance of caution,” Bandtetter said. “After releasing fuel in order to reduce the landing weight, the aircraft landed without incident.”

He added that maintenance staff would look at the plane and the Atlanta-based airline would accommodate passengers.

Flight Aware, a flight tracking website, shows the plane made several circles above northern Lake Michigan, near Traverse City, before flying south, reports the Record Eagle.

The airplane and its 375 passengers landed in Detroit safely shortly before 7 p.m. and the aircraft was taken out of service for inspection. Passengers were placed on a different flight.

Cherry Capital Airport and U.S. Coast Guard officials did not respond to or assist in the incident, according to officials from both organizations.