United Airlines Flight 27, carrying Ashley Olsen and 111 other passengers who weren’t child stars on TV’s “Full House” on Sunday night, was scheduled to fly from New York to Los Angeles, but a cockpit fire forced the pilots to make a blind emergency landing at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. Publicist Phil Lobel was also on the flight and told Entertainment Tonight that an electrical fire cracked the plane’s windshield. “The pilots … landed us without being [able] to see anything through the cracked windshield,” Lobel told Access Hollywood. Other celebrities aboard included “Hangover” star Justin Bartha (Olsen’s boyfriend), “Californication”‘s Pamela Adlon and “Jersey Boys”‘ Jarrod Spector.
The National Transportation Safety Board told the AP the cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but the board says it will look at “a recurring problem” in previous cockpit fires. Concerns about 757 cockpit heating systems go back at least 20 years. More from the AP:
The NTSB has recommended that airlines be required to replace the windshield heat terminal blocks on all Boeing 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s. But a proposed rule giving airlines a choice of replacing or regularly inspecting them is still not final.
More Access Hollywood dirt on Ashley Olsen:
Ashley and Justin were spotted in the terminal with the rest of the plane’s passengers. The actress was seen sitting with a dog in her lap. She appeared somewhat shaken by the events, but seemed to be relieved. When Access’s source boarded a make-up flight on Monday from Dulles to Los Angeles, Ashley and Justin were spotted in the first class section of the plane. The actress was wearing a large hat and sunglasses.
Lobel called the experience “harrowing.” An unnamed Access Hollywood source who was on the plane also paints a frightening picture:
“I was in the back of the plane and it started to smell like smoke or maybe a burning rubber smell and we didn’t know what it was,” the source told Access. “And then the pilot came on and said, ‘This is not a standard procedure…we’ll be making a landing at Dulles, and the situation is under control.’ Everybody in the back of the plane was a little bit freaked out.”
The source said a flight attendant was seen getting a fire extinguisher and bringing it towards the front of the plane. … As the plane prepared to land, the source said fire trucks could be seen “all over the runway.”