FORT WORTH, TX (August 13, 2008) – American Airlines has determined that oil residue heated by the engine caused Flight 31, bound from Los Angeles to Honolulu, to return to Los Angeles International Airport on August 5. The odor of the oil and a smoky haze was taken into the cabin through the air conditioning system.
We understand that the event was unsettling for our passengers and have reached out to our passengers individually, stated American Airlines.
In all instances such as this, American Airlines conducts a thorough review of the events in order to learn from them. The review of the events of Flight 31 has determined that the flight crew acted appropriately in all instances onboard.
The captain appropriately decided to return and have the issue resolved on the ground. The flight landed safely after being airborne for a total of 57 minutes. The safe operation of this flight was never in jeopardy. Our pilots followed standard operating procedure by returning to Los Angeles.
American Airlines procedure allows for an evacuation when there is smoke in the cabin of an aircraft. Those procedures also allow for flight attendants to initiate an evacuation. The flight attendants acted appropriately to evacuate Flight 31, and in fact, the evacuation was accomplished quickly, exactly according to procedure, and with only very minor injuries, which are common in slide evacuations.
“We are proud of the way our entire flight crew handled Flight 31,” said Lauri Curtis, American’s vice president, Onboard Service. “We support their action, commend their professionalism and know that the training they participate in yearly plays a major role in handling scenarios like this.”
This review simply allows American Airlines to improve its processes for our customers in the future, American concluded.