Hail-battered jet returns to O'Hare

United Airlines emergency landing
United Flight emergency landing Photo credit Alex Lang

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A United Airlines flight bound for the nation's capital returned to O'Hare International Airport Monday afternoon after it encountered an intense hail storm that damaged the plane's windshield.

United Flight 349 flight took off for Washington Dulles Airport around 2 p.m., and crew warned passengers that turbulence was likely, traveler Alex Lang told WBBM Newsradio. Soon, the plane took a "battering" of hail that lasted several minutes, he said.

"It was loud," Lang said. "It was just big pieces of hail hitting sheet metal."

United says the flight landed safely back in Chicago, and customers were to continue to their final destination on a new aircraft.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Alex Lang