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'People grabbed their seats': United flight from Vancouver climbs to miss glider

A United Airlines flight travelling from Vancouver to Chicago Monday afternoon had a near-collision with a glider over Rockford, Ill., U.S. Federal Aviation Agency says.

'All of a sudden, the right wing just completely dropped on the plane, and we did a really sharp turn'

The United Airlines Boeing 737 climbed 122 metres to avoid a collision. (Mike Hillman/CBC News)

A United Airlines flight travelling from Vancouver to Chicago Monday afternoon had a near-collision with a glider over Rockford, Ill., U.S. Federal Aviation Agency said.

The pilot of United Flight 246 reported seeing a glider while flying near Rockford, the FAA said in an emailed statement. The airliner was approaching Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a passenger said.

The Boeing 737 quickly climbed 122 metres to avoid a collision.

Callum Snape, a passenger on the flight, said the sudden manoeuvre was felt by all on board.

Terrifying near-collision aboard United Airlines flight from Vancouver to Chicago 0:26

"All of a sudden, the right wing just completely dropped on the plane, and we did a really sharp turn right," he said. "No one screamed, but it was enough that many people grabbed their seats and their armrests.

"I couldn't see what was happening, but I knew that it was out of the ordinary."

The FAA said it will investigate.