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Pilots had 'trouble controlling' plane that returned to LAX on way to Minneapolis

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A Delta flight bound for Minneapolis made an emergency landing in Los Angeles Tuesday morning because it was struggling to fly straight.

The Associated Press reports that pilots flying the Boeing 757 reported a problem with the yaw that was affecting the plane's left-to-right movement shortly after take-off from LAX at 8.39 a.m. Tuesday.

Cockpit recordings reveal that pilots said they were "having a little trouble controlling the airplane," but the problem wasn't so bad that the aircraft couldn't circle and burn off fuel before landing.

The Guardian reports that the Delta flight was carrying 146 passengers and six staff on board, and landed about an hour after taking off from Los Angeles International Airport.

Passenger Nathan Smith told KTLA 5 the plane began rocking back and forth shortly after it took off.

“It was almost like we were on the water, on a boat,” Smith told KTLA. “The higher we got, it kind of got worse.”

Many on board were "unnerved" by the situation, and a few were in tears, Smith said.

Delta reports no one on board the plane was injured.

The flight was scheduled to arrive at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport at 1:47 p.m.

"The crew of Delta flight 2116 from Los Angeles to Minneapolis/St. Paul followed procedures to return to Los Angeles International after a potential systems issue was observed," Delta said in a statement, according to KTLA.

"The aircraft landed safely without incident and taxied to the gate under its own power. Delta is currently working to reaccommodate customers while technicians examine the aircraft. Safety is always Delta’s top priority and apologizes to customers for the inconvenience."

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Fire Department was on the scene as the plane touched down.

The plane landed at around 9.35 a.m. local time – 11.35 a.m. Central Standard Time – and was escorted to the gate by fire trucks.

AP says any issue that affects flight control will prompt an emergency call from the pilots, and the flight would commonly be cut short.

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