Passengers on an American Eagle regional jet had a bumpy welcome to Chicago when their aircraft skidded off the runway Wednesday morning.
None of the 38 passengers and four crew members were injured, authorities said. The flight landed safely at O'Hare at 8:55 a.m. from New Orleans but veered off Runway 9-Right, 27-Left and into the grass while taxiing to the terminal.
"There was heavy rain in Chicago this morning, and the plane's left main (landing gear) and nose gear were stuck in the softened ground," Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said in an email. Nose gear refers to the strut and tires the airplane's nose rests on, which fold up during takeoff.
Passengers were assisted off the plane and bussed to the terminal. Runway 9-Right, 27-Left, which is in the north part of the airport, was closed until 11 a.m.
Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
American Eagle Flight 4332 was operated by Indianapolis-based Republic Airlines. The aircraft is an Embraer 175.
Aviation experts said the combination of heavy rain, wet runway pavement and possible cross winds could have been contributing factors. Officials said they were still gathering information about wind conditions at the time of the mishap.