Plane Makes Emergency Landing at LAX

A plane bound for Hawaii returned to LAX to make an emergency landing after an indicator light went off suggesting leaking fuel from an open valve.

Hawaiian Airlines flight 3 left LAX about 1 p.m. with 290 passengers and a crew of 10. The pilot reported a possible fuel leak shortly after takeoff. The pilot circled the ocean to burn off fuel and landed the Airbus A330-200 safely about 2:20 p.m.

Firefighters were on standby on the tarmac as a precaution.

Allison Croyle, a Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman, said the flight was declared an emergency due to an indication light shortly after take off "suggesting an open fuel jettison valve." 

Croyle said the plane declared an emergency in order to get priority for landing.

Maintenance crews confirmed the valve was closed and the aircraft was released back into service with a departing flight at 4:39 p.m.

The flight's takeoff had been delayed about two hours because of a fuel spill earlier at the gate. An hour into the delay, passengers were directed to deplane. Spillage could be seen on the ground below the Airbus A330, they said.

As the plane moved out the taxiway to take off, some passengers recalled the pilot speaking of additional spillage.  

"If there's anything wrong, I would prefer to err on the side of caution," said passenger Michelle Bishop, a mother of two who is in the process of moving from Orange County to the islands.

It was less than an hour into the flight when the cockpit crew came back on their intercom and advised passengers the flight would be returning to LAX.

"I was ready to be off the plane," said Kara Morison of Hilo.

Nyree Arabian contributed to this report.

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