Scary moment for the Utah Jazz ... the team's plane was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff Tuesday after a bird strike.
Donovan Mitchell and the rest of his squadmates were off to Memphis for their Wednesday game against the Grizzlies ... when just minutes into their flight, the plane suffered engine troubles.
Delta officials confirmed the issue was due to contact with birds ... saying in a statement, "As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds. The left engine was shut down, the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport."
"Aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back."