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Crippled Jet to Try Emergency L.A. Landing

September 22, 2005

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ A JetBlue airliner with faulty landing gear was headed for an emergency landing Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport after its front wheels were turned sideways and unable to retract into the plane following takeoff from a nearby airport.

The plane carrying 139 passengers left Bob Hope Airport in Burbank at 3:17 p.m. for New York’s JFK airport, said JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin.

JetBlue flight 292 first circled the Long Beach Airport, about 30 miles south of Burbank, and then was cleared to land at Los Angeles International Airport, said LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles. In between, the Airbus A320 dumped fuel over the Pacific, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker.

Earlier at Long Beach Airport, six ambulances lined a runway, along with a handful of police cars and two fire engines. Planes continued to take off and land while the emergency vehicles remained parked at the runway’s edge with their lights flashing.

TV images showed the nose wheel turned perpendicular. Its back landing gear was also down but appeared to be in the correct position.

``After leaving Burbank, pilots reported a landing gear indication light on, meaning there may be a problem or issue with the landing gear,″ Baldwin said.

The crew then decided to return to an airport to attempt to land, he said. The pilots were ``able to determine the problem with assistance from air traffic control.″

Walker said dumping fuel would help the plane land.

``They can’t be that heavy,″ Walker said.

No other details were immediately available.

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