NBA stars Oklahoma City Thunder were shocked as they disembarked a private charter place to find its nose had been damaged mid-flight. The charter flight for the NBA side from Minneapolis to Chicago apparently encountered a bird early when it was landing, causing damage that prompted some players to post photos on social media showing the caved-in nose of the plane.
Adams and fellow Thunder players Carmelo Anthony and Josh Huestis all posted photos of the plane shortly after it landed about 12:45am EST. Adams' Twitter post said: "We had a rough flight to say the least."
"You never take anything for granted, just be thankful and blessed they we were able to land the plane and everything was OK," Thunder star Russell Westbrook said.
"Seeing stuff like that just shows you how you need to cherish life and understand the important things in life and embrace every moment."
Anthony wrote on Instagram: "What possibly could we have hit in the SKY at this time of night? Everyone is Safe, Though."
Delta Airlines has since confirmed the incident and said no passengers and staff were hurt. A spokesman said: “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.”
Planes can suffer damage to the nose and still be entirely airworthy.
A couple of years ago, an Icelandair 757 suffered a hole in its nose after being struck by lightning. It happily flew on for another 3,000 miles. Some experts, though, were critical of the pilot's decision, as they said there could have been more serious structural damage to the plane that would have engendered danger.
In the case of the Oklahoma City Thunder's flight, though, there is still some mystery, as more than one player insisted that the damage had occurred not during landing, but at 30,000 feet.