|The aircraft sustained a windshield crack. Photo: Alex Lang|
A United Airbus A320 suffered windshield cracks after being hit by hail during the initial climb in Chicago on Monday.
The aircraft was operating United flight UA-349 from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Dulles International Airport in Washington. However, after suffering a hail strike, the aircraft returned back to Chicago.
The aircraft was in the initial climb after takeoff from O’Hare’s runway 22L when the aircraft suffered the strike. As a result, the aircraft suffered a left-hand windshield crack.
After suffering the captain’s windshield crack, the crew decided to stop the climb at around 15000 feet and return back to Chicago for an emergency landing.
The crew then declared an emergency (pan-pan) and requested to return back to Chicago. The aircraft made a safe landing some 30 minutes after departure.
Alex Lang, who was on board the aircraft took a photo of the cracked windshield and shared it on Twitter.
@united My UA349 flight literally just had to emergency land because we flew through a hailstorm for some reason and it cracked the entire windshield… #united #news #emergencyland pic.twitter.com/888ITktU7q
— Alex Lang (@ArexRang) October 12, 2020
The Airbus A320-200, with registration N462UA, was delivered to the airline back in July 2020 and is currently 20.3 years old. The aircraft was assembled in Toulouse, France.
According to the airline, the passengers were accommodated on another plane, the A320 with registration N463UA. The replacement aircraft reached Washington with a delay of 2 hours and forty-five minutes.