Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with an extensive history of providing legal representation in aviation accidents. Throughout our history, we have represented plaintiffs against the majority of commercial US airlines involved in a crash and nearly two dozen foreign air carriers. Our attorneys are highly skilled and respected, and have fought hard to improve safety in the aviation industry while also recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for people affected by plane crashes.
Our legal experience includes litigation against Delta Air Lines and other major airline carriers.
A Snapshot of Delta Air Lines
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines, Inc., operates out of its major hubs located in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.
The company began in 1928 as a crop-dusting service and air mail delivery. As the company grew, it merged with or purchased other airlines, including: Northeast Airlines, Western Airlines, a part of Pan Am, Northwest Airlines, and Chicago and Southern Air Lines. It has major operations in nearly every region of the world and a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. Delta, through its SkyTeam partners, operates approximately 15,000 flights each day.
Delta also has joint venture partnerships with international partners, including Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Virgin Australia. Delta is part of the SkyTeam alliance, which includes 18 other member airlines.
Through Delta’s regional carrier program Delta Connection, it has contractual arrangements with Compass Airlines, Endeavor Air, GoJet Airlines, Republic Airline, and SkyWest Airlines.
Delta Air Lines transports more than 180 million customers on an annual basis and offers flights to more than 304 destinations in 52 countries. The airline employs about 86,500 employees worldwide. In 2017, Delta Air Lines had pre-tax income of $5.5 billion.
Delta Air Lines’ Fleet
Delta’s fleet is one of the largest in the world, with 909 aircraft. The carrier’s fleet has a mix of Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas aircraft, with Boeing making up more than half the airline’s planes.
Airbus A220-100 — 12 in service
Airbus A220-300 — 0 in service (deliveries begin in 2020)
Airbus A319-100 — 57 in service
Airbus A320-200 — 62 in service
Airbus A321-200 — 80 in service
Airbus A321neo — 0 in service (deliveries begin in 2020)
Airbus A330-200 — 11 in service
Airbus A330-300 — 31 in service
Airbus A330-900neo — 0 in service (deliveries began in 2019)
Airbus A350-900 — 13 in service
Boeing 717-200 — 91 in service
Boeing 737-700 — 10 in service
Boeing 737-800 — 77 in service
Boeing 737-900ER — 126 in service
Boeing 757-200 — 111 in service
Boeing 757-300 — 16 in service
Boeing 767 300ER — 57 in service
Boeing 767-400 ER — 21 in service
Boeing 777-200ER — 8 in service
Boeing 777-200LR — 10 in service
McDonnell Douglas MD-88 — 78 in service
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 — 36 in service
Delta Air Lines’ Accident and Incident History
Since 1947, Delta has been involved in several accidents, resulting in the loss of over 300 people. The following is a summary of some of Delta’s fatal accidents and incidents:
Delta Air Lines Flight DL414, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, August 18, 2019
Delta Airlines Hard Landing
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200 experienced a hard landing at Ponta Delgada Airport on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, damaging the aircraft’s fuselage and its landing gear. Flight DL414 was carrying passengers on a seasonal route between JFK Airport in New York and the Azores when the runway incident occurred at around 8:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019.
Although the plane is intact, portions of the fuselage crumpled in the landing, thus placing this airplane out of service, resulting in the cancellation of the return flight, Flight DL415. Whether the plane can be flown again will be determined after the plane is inspected.
A rescue flight, Flight DL9959, flew to the Azores to pick up stranded passengers for their return to New York.
No physical injuries have been reported so far, but the incident is a reminder of how quickly a seemingly uneventful flight can turn terrifying and put people’s safety at risk.
Cause of Delta Aircraft’s Hard Landing Unclear
Officials have not said what caused the Boeing 757 to land with such force that the fuselage was caused to crumple in several places. Although the Azores area is known to have extremely windy weather, it is not clear whether that was a factor in this incident. After the plane landed, it successfully taxied and passengers disembarked in the usual way.
Speaking with a reporter for The Sun, one passenger said, “I was on the flight—have flown 1000+ flights in my life to date and this was by far the hardest landing I’ve ever experienced. Big cross winds hit right as we were touching down.”
Experts suggest damage to the plane could have been caused by the aircraft’s nose gear contacting the runway with excess force.
Delta Air Lines Issues Statement
Following the incident, a spokesperson for Delta said the airline is “investigating damage to the 757 aircraft that operated flight 414 from JFK to Ponta Delgada, Azores on Saturday. A replacement aircraft was dispatched to operate the return flight back to New York.”
Delta Air Lines Flight 1288, Pensacola, FL, July 6, 1996: 2 passengers died and two were seriously injured when just prior to takeoff the airplane experienced an engine failure that resulted in engine debris penetrating the fuselage.
Delta Air Lines Flight 1141, Dallas/Forth Worth Airport, August 31, 1988: 12 passengers and two crew members were killed when the plane crashed after takeoff, due to improperly configured wing flaps and slats.
Delta Air Lines Flight 191, Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles with a stop at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, August 2, 1985: in Delta’s worst crash to date, 137 people were killed when the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas/Fort Worth attempted to land during a thunderstorm.
Delta Air Lines Flight 723, Boston, July 13, 1973: 89 people died when a flight from Burlington, Vermont, to Boston, Massachusetts, crashed during its final approach due to pilot error.
Delta Air Lines Flight 954, Chicago, December 20, 1972: 10 people died on a flight from Tampa, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois, that crashed during landing when it collided with North Central Airlines Flight 575
Delta Air Lines Flight 318, Waskom, TX, May 17, 1953: 19 people were killed on a flight from Dallas Love Field on approach to Shreveport, Louisiana when the plane crashed during a thunderstorm.
Delta Air Lines Accidents and Incidents Handled by Baum Hedlund
An AV* rated firm, Baum Hedlund has handled claims in the following Delta Air Lines incidents, including:
Delta Air Lines death during flight, enroute to Shanghai, China, 2019
Delta Air Lines slip and fall off steps on exit in California, 1995
Delta Air Lines in flight emergency, McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Tampa to Los Angeles, 1992 (two injured passengers)
Delta Air Lines Flight 1141, Boeing 727-232, Dallas/Fort Worth Int’l Airport, runway crash, 1988 (the families of two passengers killed)
View additional plane crash and aviation accidents handled by Baum Hedlund:
Commercial Airline Crashes Case History
Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered harm as the result of a crash or accident on a Delta Air Lines flight, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 800-827-0087. Our lawyers handle both domestic and international cases.