Plane hits bird shortly after taking off from O'Hare airport; witnesses report engine fire

ByMark Rivera and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Plane hits bird near O'Hare; witnesses report engine fire
A plane hit a bird shortly after takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport Friday morning. Witnesses reported the plane's engine was on fire.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A plane hit a bird as it was taking off from O'Hare International Airport Friday morning, aviation officials said.

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

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

WATCH | Video shows flames shooting from plane's engine over Elmhurst

Shortly after the plane took off from O'Hare, witness video shows flames coming from the engine and loud popping sounds.

Doshen was at work in Elmhurst when she said she heard the pops and cracks and saw flames shooting from the left engine.

"Immediate panic and shock," she said. "I couldn't get to my phone to record anything because I couldn't stop looking at it, trying to figure out where it was going or where it was coming from. It was pretty scary to see."

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

"We heard this tremendous rumble. It just shook the house," McCullough said. "It was already shooting out golden flames, alternating second by second. One second there would be a flame that would shoot out, then there would be a second where it wouldn't, then it would reignite."

United releasing a statement this afternoon saying quote:

"United Flight 1930 returned to Chicago after experiencing a bird strike shortly after take-off. The aircraft landed safely and passengers deplaned at the gate. We have assigned a new aircraft to operate this flight, estimated to depart shortly."

Witnesses were just grateful the crew and passengers are safe.

"It was a shock to see, I've never seen anything like that before but I'm glad everyone onboard is safe, Goshen said.

"Not only did they help those passengers, but they helped the people on the ground when they got that plane back safely," McCullough said.

The FAA said it is investigating the incident. No injuries have been reported.