September 2, 2008 / 8:15 PM / in 9 years

American Air flight makes emergency landing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An American Airlines passenger jet forced back to Los Angeles International Airport by a blown tire landed safely about two hours later on Tuesday after flying over the Pacific Ocean to burn off excess fuel.

American Airlines Flight 1586, a Boeing 737 bound for Toronto with 135 people aboard, blew a left rear tire on its main landing gear, apparently on takeoff from LAX, at about 11 a.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT), a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

Live local television coverage showed the plane touching down on an LAX runway and coming to a safe stop shortly before 1 p.m. local time.

FAA spokesman said it was not immediately clear when the plane’s crew first learned that the tire had blown, but the damage was confirmed during a low pass over the airport’s control tower shortly after takeoff.

American Airlines said the aircraft was carrying 130 passengers and five crew members. LAX is the world’s fifth busiest passenger airport, and the third most heavily traveled in the United States. It handled nearly 62 million travelers in 2007.

Reporting by Steve Gorman and Kyle Peterson, editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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