Pilots didn’t seek permission from controllers

The Delta pilots who bombarded elementary school playgrounds with jet fuel before making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport failed to notify air traffic control of the need to dump fuel and did not dump it an an optimal altitude, the FAA said Wednesday.

Pilots typically are directed by controllers to an appropriate area to dump fuel, a protocol that did not occur Tuesday, the FAA said in a statement. 

“The FAA is continuing to investigate the circumstances behind this incident,” the statement said.

Delta made national news Tuesday when pilots of Flight 89 bound for Shanghai dumped the fuel before making an emergency landing moments after takeoff. Delta said the twin-engine Boeing 777 had experienced engine problems.

Scores of people on the ground, including students at multiple elementary schools, were treated for eye and skin irritation, Los Angeles County fire officials said. Decontamination stations were set up, but no injuries required hospitalization, authorities said.

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