MIAMI – United Airlines (UA) Flight 349, operated on an Airbus A320 (N462UA), was forced to return to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) yesterday after the aircraft suffered a cracked windscreen.

UA349 departed ORD at 2:18pm CDT, destined for Dulles International Airport (IAD). Shortly after takeoff, the flight encountered severe weather. Hail damaged the aircraft’s windscreen, forcing the Crew to make a U-turn over Lake Michigan and return to ORD.

The flight landed safely at 2:46pm CDT. As a precaution, ambulances and firetrucks awaited the aircraft on the ground. No injuries were reported, and the aircraft was not evacuated.

One passenger expressed her gratitude for the Crew’s ability to make the safe return to Chicago. “I realized we got lucky,” she said. “It happened right over Lake Michigan so everybody was fortunate. We’re here walking on the ground instead of being in the water.”

A Continued Trip on another Airbus A320

After a short delay, the passengers of UA349 were boarded onto another Airbus A320 with the same Pilots. That flight arrived at IAD with no further problems.

United later acknowledged it was aware of the incident. “Yes, we can confirm United flight 349 from Chicago to Washington Dulles returned to Chicago O’Hare International Airport due to severe weather,” it said in a statement released to FOX News.

United Airlines Airbus A320. Photo: Venkat Mangudi via Wikimedia Commons