Omaha-bound flight forced to return to Atlanta

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ATLANTA, Ga. (WOWT) -- An Omaha-bound flight from Atlanta ended up making an emergency return over the weekend due to a mechanical problem.

Delta Flight 821 returned to the Atlanta gate October 4th after returning during an Omaha-bound flight.

Delta Flight 821 left Atlanta for Omaha on Friday night about an hour late due to an earlier mechanical issue. A few minutes after taking off, the plane stopped gaining altitude and began circling the Atlanta area about five times.

A member of the 6 News team was on the flight and recorded several parts of the situation.

The pilot offered assurance to the passengers and explained, "We had a gear door that would not retract so there was no way we could continue to Omaha with that issue. This should be a normal landing into Atlanta, it may sound a little funny because that gear door may be scraping the pavement as we land. But it's designed to do that."

In a recording of the landing, some sound could be heard but nothing startling. Emergency vehicles surrounded the plane once it came to a safe stop on the runway. After a few minutes of inspecting, the plane was allowed to return to the Atlanta gate. The pilot later described the event as "quite unusual" but it does happen on occasion.

Passengers were transferred to another plane with another crew and landed in Omaha 3-4 hours after its scheduled arrival.

No further explanation was provided about any damage to the plane. The pilot and airline apologized, stressing that safety comes first.