Angels’ charter flight makes emergency landing at LAX

The Angels’ charter flight from Kansas City to Orange County was forced to make an emergency landing late Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport after the pilot reported possible hydraulic problems.

According to several reports, the crew was unsure it would be able to bring the plane to a safe stop, so the Delta charter, carrying 51 players and staff, was diverted to LAX, which has longer runways. The Boeing 737 landed without incident just before 9 p.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

No injuries were reported.

“It was really much ado about nothing,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “The flight attendants and crew did an excellent job of keeping us informed and it turned out to be a very smooth landing. We’re all happy and safe and grateful for the job the crew did.”


The team was bused from the airport to Angel Stadium.

“Glad to be on the ground safe,” Angels pitcher Rich Thompson posted on Twitter after the plane touched down. “Pilot did a hell of a job bringing the bird down!”

Added team spokesman Ryan Cavinder, who was on the flight: “Everyone is fine. The pilot and crew came through. It was a smooth landing.”

Cavinder said the mood in the plane was “serious, quiet” as the flight approached the runway. “Guys were following orders, but they weren’t too worried. The crew did a good job of keeping everyone calm,” he said. “Once we were down, there was applause, and everything was back to normal. This is a veteran group of travelers. I know this stuff doesn’t happen all the time, but we’re used to the procedures.”

The Angels left Kansas City shortly after 6:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday.

“It was as normal a landing as you could have experienced,” said team broadcaster Terry Smith, who said the pilot alerted the team that there was a problem about 45 minutes before they were to land. “They said it was just a precaution they’re taking ?

“The only thing they did ask us to do was to remove any carry-on things that were under our seats and to place them up top. That was the only thing out of the ordinary. No crash procedure. The main concern was, because of hydraulic problem, fear that when braking, something could overheat.

“There were fire engines everywhere when we landed, but there was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of the landing. It was as normal as it could be.”

Said Angels catcher Bobby Wilson: “It really wasn’t an emergency. Everyone was calm. We really didn’t think anything about it.”

Baxter reported from Kansas City, Mo., and DiGiovanna reported from Los Angeles.