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May 18, 9:42 PM EDT

Warning light forces Hawaii-bound jet's return to LA airport


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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Hawaii-bound jetliner returned safely to Los Angeles on Monday after a cockpit light suggested a fuel valve was open.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 3 was about half an hour over the Pacific Ocean, on its way from Los Angeles International Airport to Honolulu, when a warning light on the Airbus A330 illuminated.

On the ground, mechanics checked and found that the valve was closed, airline spokeswoman Alison Croyle said in a written statement.

The flight, with 290 passengers and 10 crewmembers on board, took off shortly before 1 p.m. The pilot declared an emergency around 1:30 p.m., Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.

Instead of returning immediately, the plane circled off the California coast to burn fuel before landing.

Because the pilot had declared an emergency, fire crews were near the runway. The plane landed smoothly around 2:18 p.m.

Just after 4:30 p.m., it took off a second time, headed for Honolulu again.

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