O’Hare news: United Flight 1930 hits bird shortly after taking off from airport; witnesses report engine fire

CHICAGO (WLS) — A plane struck a bird as it took off from O’Hare International Airport on Friday morning, aviation officials said.

United Flight #1930 was heading to Miami when it struck the bird shortly after departure, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said. The flight then returned to the airport and landed without incident around 11:15 a.m.

“I looked out the window and saw the plane,” said witness Alison Doshen, “and you could see the jet engine was on fire and the sound coming from it was extremely loud.”

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Doshen was at work in Elmhurst when she said she heard creaks and creaks and saw flames shooting out of the left engine.

“Immediate panic and shock,” she said. “I couldn’t access my phone to record anything because I couldn’t stop staring at it, trying to figure out where it was going or where it came from. It was pretty scary to watch.”

Chris McCullough lives just south of Bensenville Airport and also witnessed the engine fire.

“We heard this huge rumble. It just shook the house,” McCullough said. “It was already projecting golden flames, alternating second by second. One second there would be a flame going out, then there would be a second of it not going off, then it would come back on.”

United issued a statement this afternoon saying:

“United Flight 1930 returned to Chicago after suffering a bird strike shortly after takeoff. The aircraft landed safely and passengers disembarked at the gate. We assigned a new aircraft to operate this flight, which is scheduled to depart shortly.”

The witnesses were simply grateful that the crew and passengers were safe.

“It was a shock to see, I had never seen anything like this before, but I’m glad everyone on board is safe,” Goshen said.

“Not only did they help those passengers, they helped the people on the ground when they got that plane back to safety,” McCullough said.

The FAA said it was investigating the incident. No injuries were reported.

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