A plane carrying an entire NBA team was caught in a freak accident that left the shell badly damaged upon landing.
The NBA stars of Oklahoma City Thunder got an in-flight shock as they took the red-eye from Minneapolis to Chicago, when they were struck by something mid-air, leaving the nose of the aircraft badly dented.
Writing ‘I guess we hit something? 30,000 feet up…’, Josh Huestis shared a photo of the damage:
I guess we hit something? 30,000 feet up… pic.twitter.com/Rem9GmwRKq
— Josh Huestis (@jhuestis) October 28, 2017
Josh quickly followed this up with his own theory on what could have possibly hit.
Clearly the players weren’t phased by a little heavy duty turbulence and joining in, fellow player Patrick Patterson shared his own account.
After hitting terra firma, he joked on Instagram Stories:
When you accidentally hit superman while flying.
Carmelo Anthony asked the question on everyone’s lips in the caption:
What possibly could we have hit in the SKY at this time of night? Everyone is Safe, Though. “All Praise Due” #ThunderStrong
Steven Adams hoped for an explanation from NASA and tagged the space organisation on Twitter and posed the question, (alongside a pic of the damage):
How did this happen?
Cue: The UFOlogists and conspiracy theorists and extra-terrestrial believers.
Some claimed it was Sesame Street‘s Big Bird, others added it must have been aliens and one elusive observer commented:
The truth is out there.
I've told my friend a thousand times not to be flying around at night w/ that hammer. It's dangerous. BTW… anyone heard from Thor lately??
— Chatrick Clark (@ChatrickClark) October 30, 2017
A fan Marvelled (ahem) at the thought Thor was responsible, perhaps in a timely Hollywood-orchestrated Ragnarok prank.
Another wondered about the quality of the ‘pre-inspection’ and others thought Thunderbirds are go again, while a more sensible theory stated ‘rapid decompression caused by an internal failure has caused the nose to implode inwards’.
So let’s hear from the people in the know, shall we?
Rapid decompression caused by an internal failure has caused the nose to implode inwards
— Domjan Talijancich (@DTalijancich) October 28, 2017
A spokesperson for Delta told local Oklahoma newspaper The Norman Transcript:
Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago.
The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.
Safety is Delta’s top priority.
The Thunder left Minneapolis shortly after the conclusion of Friday night’s game against the Timberwolves, landing at about 1 a.m. CT at Midway International Airport in Chicago, where they were scheduled to play the Bulls on Saturday.
People always say flying is one of the safest modes of transport, but accidents like this – and this plane landing in a heavy crosswind – are enough to put off the most seasoned traveller.
Aviation travel can be a little bit alarming at the best of times, particularly for those of us who don’t posses the physics knowledge to understand quite how a flying tin can full of people, luggage and disappointing plane dinners can stay airborn for hours on end.
But you can bet, dry white bread rolls were the last thing on the minds of the poor passengers on this Emirates flight coming into Düsseldorf airport in a hard crosswind.
You can watch the full dramatic landing play out in the clip below:
The Airbus A380 was captured on film by a keen aviation videographer, as it careened through the sky over the German airport and came to a shaky stop, eventually delivering the passengers and its cargo safely.
Thankfully, both the planes were reunited with Earth - relatively - harmoniously with no harm done.