Safe Landing As Jetliner Makes Emergency Landing At LAX

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Hawaiian Airlines flight that left Los Angeles International Airport bound for Honolulu developed a mechanical problem shortly after takeoff today and returned to the airport under the watchful eye of city fire crews.

Hawaiian Airlines flight 3 left LAX about 1 p.m. with about 300 passengers aboard, but 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.

Los Angeles Fire Department crews had assembled on the tarmac as a precautionary measure. Ann Botticelli with Hawaiian Airlines said the pilots made a decision to return when an indicator light came on. She said that no decision was immediately made about whether the plane would make the flight later today.

The aborted flight had taken off about two hours late because of spilled fuel that was determined to be the result of human error rather than mechanical in nature, Botticelli said.

She said the preliminary investigation indicated the spilled fuel and the indictor light problem were unrelated.

"We're trying to determine why the indicator light went on," she said,

"Even though we did not find evidence of a leak."