A Hawaiian Airlines flight safely made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport Monday when the plane experienced a mechanical problem shortly after taking off from there.
Hawaiian Airlines Flight 3 departed 12:09 p.m. (Pacific time) for Honolulu, but an indicator light prompted the captain to declare an emergency and return, according to an airline spokeswoman.
The Airbus 330-200, carrying 300 people, circled around the Southern California region to burn fuel before landing at 2:22 p.m.
The flight had already been delayed for about two hours when ground crews apparently caused an accidental fuel spill from the same plane at the airport gate, Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman Alison Coyle said.
Crews on the ground are assessing what happened, and “right now, we can’t speculate” whether the earlier fuel spill and emergency landing are somehow related, Coyle added at midday Monday.
Los Angeles television stations showed live feeds of the landing at LAX.
Spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado of Los Angeles International Airport said the flight actually took off from LAX shortly before 1 p.m. (Pacific time). Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says the plane declared the problem around 1:30 p.m. and turned around.
Scott said a full complement of firefighters waited for the plane at the runway.
The flight then eventually left again for Honolulu about 4:30 p.m.
It arrived about 7:10 p.m.
Scott Meehan of Waikiki calmly walked through the baggage claim area after the flight landed at Honolulu Airport. “I’m fine,” said Meehan.
He said the pilot and flight attendants took good care of passengers. “They were transparent. Kept us informed,” said Meehan, art director of the television show “Hawaii Five-0.”
After they returned to Los Angeles, about half of the passengers onboard apparently opted to take another flight, he said. Hawaiian Airlines offered passengers the option of taking another flight to Honolulu.
As they waited for their baggage, Jen Capizzo of Orange County, Calif., who was traveling with her husband Franco and 5-year-old son Evan said, “We’re glad we’re here safely.”
It was the third emergency landing incident involving Hawaiian Airlines flights this month.
On May 12, a Hawaiian Airlines flight headed from Honolulu to Kailua-Kona made an emergency landing on Maui when one of its two engines malfunctioned. An engine of the Boeing 717 was smoking when it landed at Kahului Airport. There were no injuries.
On May 1, a Hawaiian Airline Boeing 767-300 jet carrying 224 passengers and 10 crew on a flight to Oakland returned to Maui and made an emergency landing after an odor of fumes was detected in the cabin. Two people suffered minor injuries when passengers evacuated on emergency slides. The problem was blamed on equipment that controls air pressure and recycles air.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.