Delta Airbus A350 encounters flight control issue while landing in Los Angeles

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A Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 has reportedly faced control issues as it flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Although the flight landed safely, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to investigate the incident, indicating that the nature of the issue was serious enough to warrant such a move. 

On March 10, 2024, Delta flight DL301 was flying from Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport (ATL) headed for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – a routine daily flight that is scheduled to take four hours and 55 minutes. On the day of the incident, the flight was operated by one of the carrier’s 28-strong fleet of A350-900s (registered N505DN).   


The flight departed Atlanta at 21:19, almost five hours later than scheduled. As the flight approached the greater Los Angeles area, the crew prepared for a normal arrival using runway 25L at Los Angeles. However, while the aircraft was on its final approach, the crew reported a possible problem with the flight controls and requested vectors from air traffic controllers to enter a short holding pattern while they ran checklists and attempted to troubleshoot the control issue.  

The controller operating the tower frequency at Los Angeles subsequently canceled the approach clearance and issued vectors for DL301 to enter the extended left downwind for runway 25L. The aircraft complied with the instruction and after one circuit, rejoined the final approach for runway 25L once more. The aircraft eventually made a safe landing on runway 25L at the normal speed at 22:53 local time.   


Following this incident, the FAA released a statement saying that it would be conducting a full investigation into the incident.  

“Delta Air Lines Flight 301 landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport around 10:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, March 10, 2024, after the crew reported a possible flight control issue. The Airbus A350 departed from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The FAA will investigate.” 

Although the FAA investigation is likely to take weeks, if not months, to report back, all A350 operators will be keen to learn more about the exact nature of the flight control issue that affected DL301 and whether there are wider ramifications for all operators of the type. 

According to ch-aviation, the aircraft involved in the incident is 6.35 years old, having been delivered to Delta in December 2017. The aircraft is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and seats a total of 306 passengers – 32 in business class, 48 in premium economy, and 226 in economy class.     

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