Los Angeles (CA) – It was supposed to be a textbook landing to show off the new Airbus A380 flown by Emirates Air, but an American Airlines jet stole the spotlight. At 8:40 AM, an American Airlines Boeing 757 took off from Los Angeles to Hawaii, but returned after someone on the plane smelled smoke. After landing, inflatable chutes were deployed and startled passengers scrambled to the exits … all while the Airbus landed in the background.
The American Airlines pilot declared an emergency approximately one hour after taking off from LAX. While some passengers claimed they smelled smoke, no actual smoke was seen (at least not by initial reports). After landing from the west on runway 7-left, the emergency chutes deployed and people began sliding down. Fire trucks and Los Angeles Airport Police also arrived.
The 188 passengers and 7 crew members slid down to safety and there were 6 minor injuries. You can see from the KTLA helicopter video that people began running in different directions from the plane, something you just don’t do on one of the busiest airports in the world. Coincidentally, the fire engines were already stationed on the tarmac for the landing of the Emirates Air Airbus A380. The airline was showing off the plane to VIP guests and the fire trucks were supposed to douse the plane with water – something that is done on special occasions like when a pilot retires.
Passengers on the Airbus undoubtedly saw all the commotion because their plane landed while the American Airlines jet was being evacuated. In fact, you’ll see in the KTLA video that the Airbus landed from the east and people looking out the right-side window would be able to easily see the other jet.
Emirates Air will be starting non-stop Airbus A380 flighs from Los Angeles to Dubai this October. Those flights will feature roomier economy class seats, first class suites and even showers.