A JetBlue flight made a safe emergency landing at Long Beach Airport after its pilot reported mechanical problems and ditched its fuel off Catalina Island, the airline and other sources said Friday night.
JetBlue Airways spokeswoman Tamara Benton confirmed that the captain of Flight 235 from Salt Lake City--with 152 passengers on board-- was approaching Long Beach Municipal Airport when a tech problem diverted the A320.
JetBlue issued a statement that said the plane departed Salt Lake City, Utah, at 5:46p.m. and was due to land at Long Beach Airport when the captain discovered a potential problem and "declared" an emergency landing was necessary.
The Long Beach Fire Department told the Press Telegram that the approaching flight was due to land at 6:20 p.m. when a warning light alerted the pilot of a possible hydraulic problem. Steve Yamamoto of the Long Beach Fire Department told the paper that the pilot flew out to Catalina Island and dumped its potentially explosive fuel as a precautionary measure before returning to land at Long Beach about 7 p.m.
That 45-minute delay was possibly caused by what the FAA reported as a possible stuck wheel that did not descend to cushion the landing, which resulted in no incident for the relieved passengers.
JetBlue's statement stated that the plane is undergoing inspection by maintenance for the cause of the problem.