A Hawaiian Airlines flight to Oakland on San Francisco Bay returned to Maui in Hawaii for an emergency landing on Friday morning, with all passengers evacuated via emergency slides.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoted an airline spokeswoman saying two people were taken to the local hospital with minor injuries.
Hawaiian flight 24, operated by a B767-300, left Maui at 11.18am but turned back soon afterwards due to an odour of fumes in the cabin, the airline said.
Flight crew declared an emergency and landed just before noon.
The plane carried 224 passengers and 10 crew.
The paper quoted passengers praising the pilot and describing an “an electrical burning smell” that kept “getting stronger and stronger”.
“That’s when people started getting more and more nervous and the pilot said to evacuate,” one passenger told the paper.
A new flight, on an A330-200, was arranged in the evening.
Simon Hradecky’s Aviation Herald provided extra detail, including confusion about the amount of fuel aboard, as follows:
A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration N583HA performing flight HA-24 from Kahului,HI to Oakland,CA (USA) with 224 passengers and 10 crew, was in the initial climb out of Kahului’s runway 02, when the crew stopped the climb at 8000 feet advising they needed to return to the airfield due to smoke in the cockpit, they just needed to read a couple of checklists before returning, they would not burn off fuel.
The crew reported they had 60 point 3 fuel remaining, tower queried in pounds, crew replied affirmative, tower astonished “You have only 60 pounds of fuel left?”, then the crew clarified “sixty thousand three hundred pounds, about 5 hours of fuel, sixty point three”. Tower subsequently advised emergency services “after landing the field is yours” and held all departures and approaches.
The crew subsequently advised they would need to stop on the runway and evacuate. The aircraft landed safely on runway 02, stopped on the runway, emergency services reported seeing no smoke, fire or heat from the outside and requested the aircraft to vacate the runway, the crew advised they would vacate the runway.
The aircraft vacated the runway, taxied towards the apron but stopped upon entering the apron and was evacuated via slides. Two passengers received minor injuries in the evacuation. The aerodrome was closed for the duration of the evacuation until passengers had been taken to the terminal.
The airline reported fumes had been noticed in the cabin. The aircraft returned to Kahului and was evacuated. Two passengers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The source of the odour is being investigated.
Written by Peter Needham