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Hawaiian plane that made emergency landing back in service

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  • Passengers and crew disembarked Hawaiian flight 24 late Friday morning after an odor of fumes prompted the flight crew to return to Maui airport for an emergency landing. (Courtesy Jim Krochka)

A Hawaiian Airlines plane that made an emergency landing on Maui after a problem with its cabin air is back in service after faulty equipment was replaced, an airline spokeswoman said.

Equipment which controls air pressure and recycles cabin air malfunctioned shortly after Hawaiian Air Flight 24 took off for Oakland from Maui Friday, said Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman Ann Botticelli.

The Boeing 767-300, carrying 224 passengers, aborted its flight shortly after its 11:18 a.m. takeoff Friday and returned to Kahului Airport, where it made an emergency landing at about 11:50 a.m..

Botticelli said an odor in the cabin “was caused by a seizure in the air cycle machine, which bring in ambient air, pressurizes it, heats it then cools it via expansion and send it back into the cabin as refrigerated air. “

She said “this was not a safety of flight issue… However, anytime we have an indication of a possible malfunction we stop the takeoff process and make sure we check it out.”

A passenger described the odor as an electrical burning smell.

The equipment was replaced Monday night, Botticelli added.

No serious injuries were reported, but two people were treated for the minor injuries suffered when they had to leave the aircraft using its emergency chutes.

The  Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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