FAA investigating Delta jet's fuel dump over several schools

The U.S. agency said that even after declaring an engine emergency, the pilots said they did not need to dump the fuel.
1:37 | 01/16/20

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Transcript for FAA investigating Delta jet's fuel dump over several schools
now to that new reporting tonight on the delta flight dumping fuel as it prepared for an emergency landing in los Angeles. Dumping that fuel and in its put, several schools. Students and staff members see they could see, smell the fuel. More than 50 were treated at multiple scenes. Tonight, this question -- did the pilots tell controllers they weren't going to dump the fuel and then they dumped it anyway? ABC's David Kerley covers aviation. Reporter: The FAA tonight is investigating this delta 777 dumping fuel. Lower than recommended and pspraying several schools near L.A.X., leaving dozens complaining of symptoms. Declaring an emergency after takeoff with an engine issue, the pilots said they did not need to dump fuel. Do you need to hold and burn fuel? We're going to come back to we're not critical. Reporter: As the jet circled back, the pilots were asked a second time. Okay, so you don't need to hold or dump fuel or anything like that? Negative, we'll be requesting runway 2-5 right. Reporter: But the jet started dumping fuel as low as 2,300 feet, far below the recommended 5,000 feet. At some point, the crew changed their minds, even after telling atc they didn't need to dump fuel. They changed their mind for the safety of the passengers and the airplane. They have that prerogative. Reporter: Delta says in a statement the release of fuel was required "To reach a safe landing weight." We have to give these pilots the benefit of the doubt. They did what they had to do and that is getting those passengers safely home. Reporter: Delta tells us tonight they are looking into the procedures that were followed in the cockpit during that emergency landing. David? David Kerley on this for us

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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