After hail cracked the windshield of a United Airlines plane six minutes into its flight Monday afternoon, the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Flight 349 from Chicago to Washington Dulles Airport landed at O'Hare Airport after being forced back as strong storms hit the Chicago area, the airline confirmed.
"The flight landed safely and customers will continue to their final destination on a new aircraft," the airline said in a statement.
One of the passengers, Alex Lang, posted an image to Twitter that appeared to show the plane, an Airbus A320, with a cracked windshield following the ordeal.
In a phone interview with NBC 5, Lang said the turbulence was probably the worst he's ever felt.
"It's a combination of a going up and down feeling and loud hail hitting, like sheet metal," he said. "Just loud like concrete. It was pretty frightening."
Lang said he and other passengers were put on another flight to their destination.
PPG Aerospace, a leader in the aircraft window industry, and pilots who talked to NBC 5 confirmed that cockpit windows are several layers thick and made of material that helps maintain cabin pressure at high altitudes.
Multiple passengers at O'Hare Monday night said they aren't deterred by what happened.
"I don’t even think about that," one traveler said. "I just think about going up and coming back down."