LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound from Los Angeles to Honolulu was forced to make an emergency landing back at LAX Monday after an indication light came on. It safely landed without any injuries around 11:30 a.m. HST.
Officials say there were 290 passengers and 10 crew onboard the A-330 aircraft when it turned around just after reaching cruising altitude.
"En route to Honolulu, an indicator light illuminated in the cockpit of Flight HA3 from LAX. As a precaution, the captain elected to return to LAX and declared an emergency for priority landing," said Allison Crowley, a Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson.
It was a bumpy start to the trip for Jessica Ariola of Mililani, who was on-board with her husband and daughter -- returning home from their California vacation.
"We were delayed about a half hour earlier because of a fuel spill on the runway from our plane. Then they got that fixed, we took off and the pilot then made an announcement about an hour later saying we have to turn around because we're still spilling fuel," Ariola described.
"In order to land, we had to burn fuel so we spent a half hour to 45 minutes in the air just circling I guess until we were light enough to land," Ariola said, explaining that no one was even aware an emergency had been radioed in to air traffic control.
Hawaiian Airlines officials confirm a fuel spill from the same plane caused about a two-hour delay, but records indicated it was not a mechanical issue. "The crew did not dump fuel, and there is no indication of a fuel leak," said Crowley.
Hawaiian officials say the indicator light in the cockpit suggested an open fuel jettison valve, but once the plane landed safely a maintenance crew inspected the issue and confirmed it was closed.
"Everybody sighed and moaned, but everyone has been patient. So far no outbursts or nothing," described Ariola. "I didn't even know it was an emergency landing until we landed and I opened my Twitter feed and I see all these local stations doing live reports of this emergency landing. So we actually didn't know, which is probably for the better anyway."
Hawaiian Airlines officials say the plane was released back into service and departed LAX around 4:30 p.m. PT and is scheduled to land at the Honolulu International Airport around 7 p.m. HST Monday.
This is the third emergency landing for Hawaiian Airlines this month. On May 1, passengers on HA 24 were forced to exit the plane using emergency slides after an odor was detected in the cabin. The flight returned to its departure city of Kahului on Maui for the landing. Two people received minor injuries.
On May 12, HA 118 also made an emergency landing on Maui, this time due to a left engine surge.