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Jet with blown engine returns DiCaprio, 192 others to JFK

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the dozens of passengers aboard a Delta flight that lost its engine minutes after takeoff. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
By Ivan Pereira

He may have been perished in a doomed shipwreck on screen, but Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio and 192 other passengers faced no harm when an engine failed shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport and the jet had to make an emergency landing Sunday night.

Federal investigators said were working to determine what caused a malfunction Delta Flight 30.

The Moscow-bound flight took off at 4:39 p.m. and a short time later, the pilot made a call to the tower saying one of the two engines on the Boeing 767 stopped working and he needed to make an emergency landing, a Delta spokeswoman said.

The plane circled the skies for more than an hour to dump its fuel and landed at 6 p.m. without incident to the 193 passengers and 11 crew members, the PA said. All of the passengers were put on another plane to Russia that departed JFK at 11 p.m., Delta said.

Initial concerns about a possible fire in the air prompted first responders and airport officials to arrive on the scene in case of an emergency, but there was no damage to the airport or surrounding buildings when the jet landed and flights operated as scheduled, according to the Port Authority.

One of the passengers was actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who signed autographs for the pilots who brought the plane down safely, according to US Magazine.

The cause of the engine failure was still under investigation as of press time Tuesday, according to officials at the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority. Despite some reports that the engine was destroyed by a bird, the FAA said it could not determine if that was the case.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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