06/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Plane With Roland Burris, Desiree Rogers Makes Emergency Landing

Senator Roland Burris and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers were on a United Airlines flight from Washington to Chicago Friday that had to make an emergency landing in Pittsburgh.

From the AP:

A spokesman says a plane carrying U.S. Sen. Roland Burris made an unscheduled landing in Pittsburgh after pilots reported mechanical problems.

Burris spokesman Jim O'Connor said Burris reported hearing a bang when they took off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Then, there were loud noises in the cabin before the plane got "shaky and turbulent."

O'Connor said pilots told passengers there was a hydraulic failure and that they would have to land in Pittsburgh.

The senator was unhurt but he said passengers were shaken up, according to O'Connor.

Burris was headed to Chicago after attending a bill signing ceremony at the White House.

O'Connor said White House social secretary Desiree Rogers was also a passenger on the plane.

A call to United Airlines was not immediately returned.

Burris and other passengers were expected to arrive in Chicago later in the day.

Burris apparently helped out in the aftermath, escorting an elderly woman off the plane to the emergency vehicles waiting on the tarmac, a passenger told NBC Chicago.

That same passenger said Rogers didn't even realize it was a real emergency until she saw the firetrucks on the ground.