CHICAGO (CBS) — A United Airlines flight to Florida was forced to return to O’Hare International Airport shortly after takeoff, after apparently flying into several birds.
United Flight 1676 departed O’Hare for Fort Myers shortly before 8 a.m. A CBS reporter who was on the flight said, 10 to 15 minutes after the flight took off, the pilot informed passengers they were turning around, because the plane struck birds at the end of the runway.
“It was certainly terrifying for a couple of seconds,” WINK News reporter Andrew Scheinthal said. “When the pilot comes over the speaker, and says there’s a problem with the plane, because we crashed into birds, and we need to land as soon as we can, that’s something no passenger wants to hear.”
Scheinthal said it reminded him of Captain Chesley Sullenberger landing a U.S. Airways plane on the Hudson River after his jet struck a flock of geese. Luckily, there was no such drama on this flight. A spokeswoman for the city’s Aviation Department said Flight 1676 returned safely to O’hare.
The plane was cleaned and once again took off for Florida around 10:20 a.m.