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New Orleans-To-SFO United Flight Ends Minutes After Takeoff

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KENNER, La. (AP) — A United Airlines flight from New Orleans to San Francisco returned to the New Orleans airport within minutes of taking off Monday after rocking back and forth.

All 100 passengers and five crew members on Flight 497 were safe, airline spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said.

Copilot Ronald Lee Young told an Associated Press reporter aboard the Airbus 319 that he landed on backup systems, with minimal steering and braking ability, after the plane lost all electronics.

“When things start to go wrong, there’s always a system … we can go back to,” he said.

He said the plane, heavy with fuel for the cross-country flight, ran off the runway and blew a tire.

As soon as the plane was on the ground, flight attendants shouted “Leave everything. Get out!” Passengers slid down the front and back slides.

A few passengers walked to an ambulance after a call for anyone with injuries. The injuries appeared to be minor, such as abrasions from the slide.

Online records from the Federal Aviation Administration show the plane was built in 1994.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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