"Hustle" Stars Survive JetBlue Scare

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On almost any New York-bound plane out of the Los Angeles area, chances are a celebrity will be on board.

The ill-fated JetBlue Flight 292 was no exception.

Hustle & Flow stars Taryn Manning and DJ Qualls were among the 145 passengers and crew on the plane en route from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport to New York's JFK Wednesday that was forced to make an emergency landing due to defective landing gear.

"Yesterday was a life changing day," Manning said in a statement released by her publicist Thursday. "The pilot is a true hero. I'm thankful to be alive."In an interview with Access Hollywood, Manning said she, Qualls and her publicist were heading to New York to promote Hustle & Flow. The actress-singer said the pilot notified the passengers early on that there was a problem and the plane would have to land at Los Angeles International Airport.

"You never think it’s going to happen to you," she said. "I wrote little notes to my boyfriend and to my mom and brother...I was not wanting to be writing what I was writing. Everybody was putting their IDs on them. It was scary."

Manning and Qualls were not the only Hollywood types on board. One Life to Live actor Tuc Watkins was heading to New York. He plans to recount his harrowing experience on The View Friday.

Early reports claimed that Nip/Tuck star Kelly Carlson (Kimber) was also a passenger on the hobbled jet, but FX tells E! she was not on the flight.

In a drama that played out live on television across the United States Wednesday afternoon, the Airbus A320 jet circled the skies of Southern California before touching down at LAX with a front wheel facing the wrong direction..

Manning, Qualls and the other passengers had access to MSNBC and Fox News via JetBlue's in-flight TVs, with many watching their plane and hearing various commentators predicting the outcome of the emergency landing. The sets went dark about 15 minutes before the plane descended.

"We couldn't believe the irony, that we were watching our own demise on TV--it was post-post-modern," passenger Alexandra Jacobs, a reporter for the New York Observer told CNN.

Because the plane needed to land nose up, the crew ushered passengers and their carry-ons to the rear of the plane. Passengers had to assume the crash position, head between knees, as the Airbus made its final approach. One flight attendant yelled, "Brace! Brace! Brace!"

The pilot, Scott Burke, made a textbook landing on a cleared-out runway, surrounded by emergency vehicles. Qualls was later spotted milling about with fellow passengers, who were shuttled to the main terminal and rerouted to New York.

For her part, Manning tells Access Hollywood she has newfound "compassion for anyone who has ever had to go through anything so terrifying."

 
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That is really scary for them. I hope that they made the trip back safe and sound.

 

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