It took longer than expected, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Pittsburgh.
The team’s flight home after its 23-18 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday took an unexpected turn when the charter aircraft they were flying on suffered an engine failure and was forced to make an emergency landing.
The Steelers took off from Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport at 1:49 a.m. Eastern after beating the Raiders. But at 5:29 a.m., the team made an unscheduled stop in Kansas City after a mechanical issue cropped up with the plane.
The players and staff were fine, though exhausted and likely bored. After spending all night and most of the morning on the plane, they boarded a different jet and left Kansas City at 11:29 a.m. on Monday morning, landing in Pittsburgh just after 1 p.m. — nearly 14 hours after their game ended.
The Steelers fly on a charter jet operated by Delta. The plane that had mechanical difficulties was an Airbus A330-900, according to Flight Aware. The replacement jet that got the team home was a Boeing 767-400.
The Steelers had already planned a “Victory Monday” or day off for the players following the win and late flight home. They will now try to reconfigure their rest schedule before getting back together on Wednesday for their first practice session of Week 4.
The club is back on the road for that one, flying to Houston for Sunday’s 1 p.m. showdown with the Texas at Reliant Stadium. They’ll hope for smoother traveling the next time.