Mid-air emergency forces Continental plane to turn back - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mid-air emergency forces Continental plane to turn back

Patti Brewer Patti Brewer

By Leland Kim - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Honolulu International Airport and other airports across the country experience slowdowns.

Not as many folks flying from a year ago.

Things have generally been calm, but there was quite a commotion over at Continental Airlines this morning.

A flight headed to Guam didn't get there Wednesday.

A Continental Airlines 737-800 plane is safely on the ground Wednesday night, but its passengers got a surprise announcement shortly after take off this morning.

"About an hour into the flight, the pilot came on and said I have some bad news for you, folks. So that was a little surprising because I had never heard a pilot say that before," said airline passenger Patti Brewer.  "And he had explained that they were having some maintenance issues and that we were going to have to turn around and come back to Honolulu."

The plane had to circle around a few times before it was cleared to land.

"That concerned me a little bit because when they're dumping fuel you might be concerned about the landing but the landing was smooth and wonderful," said Brewer.  "The pilot did a good job and the crew was great."

But Brewer says there was confusion once they landed.

"They had an hour to prepare for people coming here. We were told to see the gate agent. There was no gate agent.  There were people who didn't speak English just milling around."

Continental officials say there was a "mechanical concern" with flight number 987, but would not elaborate.

Passengers say they were told there was a problem with the on board computer.

"I'm hoping they're going to do a better job in the future, at least plan, if they know a flight's coming back, they need to have people on the ground ready and organized for what to do," said Brewer.

The plane was about a quarter full, and those passengers who do not live on Oahu, were given overnight hotel accommodations, and rebooked on flights Thursday morning.

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