Quin Snyder Recalls Jazz ‘Traumatic And Eerie’ Failed Flight

Mar 31, 2021, 5:30 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)...
Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Just one day after the plane carrying the Utah Jazz was forced to make an emergency landing at the Salt Lake International Airport after a bird strike grounded the flight, the team is in Memphis preparing to face the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

According to radar data, the team’s flight took off at 1:15 pm Tuesday, underwent a bird strike causing serious damage to the nose and left engine of the plane, and returned to the ground at 1:31 pm.

Before facing the Grizzlies, Jazz coach Quin Snyder recalled the frightening incident.

“There’s a time, in this case, probably a 10 or 15-minute window where the pilots are assessing the situation,” Snyder said. “And no one really knows what’s going on.”

The Jazz flight reached 8,500 feet before starting its descent and returning to the Utah airport.

“They’re going through their different protocols and checklists,” Snyder said of the flight’s pilots. “While that’s happening, you’re in limbo. That’s a traumatic and eerie feeling.”

After landing safely, the Jazz were able to deboard the plane, but had to wait nearly seven hours before another chartered flight could be scheduled to carry the team to Memphis. After arriving the late, the team didn’t hold a shootaround Wednesday morning before facing the Grizzlies.

“It’s something that we talked about this morning, I don’t know that an experience like that is just suddenly passed on in a way,” Snyder said. “Everybody’s impacted in different ways — all very significant. It wasn’t something that we were going to solve by just talking through everything.”

Though the Jazz made the trip and are scheduled to face the Grizzlies Wednesday night, not all players returned for the team’s second flight.

Guard Donovan Mitchell who was on the first plane was not with the Jazz on the second flight later Tuesday evening. The Jazz listed the All-Star as out with personal reasons, though the guard has openly discussed his dislike of flying earlier in his career.

When asked about Mitchell’s decision not to make the trip and his future availability with the team, Snyder opted to keep that information private.

“I never comment on personal situations with any of our players. I hope you can respect that.”

The Jazz will return to Utah after facing the Grizzlies tonight, and won’t have another game away from home until Monday, April fifth when they travel to face the Dallas Mavericks.

“I think the most important thing, obviously, everything turned out, we were safe,” Snyder said of the Jazz failed flight. “The pilots — you get an appreciation for their expertise and their training and everything that they do to keep all of us safe.”

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