HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Passengers on a Hawaiian Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in Los Angeles finally arrived in Honolulu on Monday night. The trouble with Flight 3 started with a fuel spill on the tarmac in Los Angeles. Passengers got off the aircraft and boarded again a couple of hours later.
"We taxied and then all of a sudden the pilot shut the engines down. The pilot said we have a fuel leak on the left wing. So they hooked the tow vehicle up to us and backed us up away from the fuel, and they said the mechanics said it's just residual fuel from the original fuel leak so we fired back up," said passenger Ron Nester of California.
After reaching cruising altitude, the pilot announced the plane had to turn around due to a fuel problem.
"They were a little peeved by it and some people we kind of panicking a little bit like, ''Oh my gosh, we don't have enough fuel. We're not going to make it," said Makakilo resident Melissa Kalbfleisch.
"The pilot did a good job. He assured us that we had plenty of gas," said Nester.
Hawaiian Airlines issued this statement, "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."
The plane started circling to burn fuel before returning to the airport. Television stations in Los Angeles broadcast the emergency landing.
"After we landed again, there was convoys of fire engines and police cars on the runway so we're like, 'What's going on?'" said Kalbfleisch.
Hawaiian Airlines officials said the indicator light in the cockpit suggested an open fuel jettison valve. Once the plane landed, however, a maintenance crew confirmed it was closed.
"There was lots of people that didn't get on the same plane. They said, 'We're not going to try it a third time,'" said Nester.
This is Hawaiian's third scare this month. On May 1, an odor in the cabin forced passengers to exit using emergency slides in Kahului. On May 12, officials said a left engine surge led to another emergency landing on Maui.
"I fly Hawaiian all the time. I trust them. They're very good," said Kailua resident Will Beaton.
"I'm flying back on Hawaiian in a week, so I'm hopeful that they're not going to disappoint," said Kalbfleisch.