American Eagle Flight 4096 had taken off bound for Tulsa, Okla., when the pilot reported a landing gear indicator light was illuminated in the cockpit and returned to the airport.
The plane touched down on the runway and slid into the grass before returning to the paved surface, a Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman said. None of the 28 passengers or three crew members aboard was hurt.
"I could see the sod being sucked up from the ground, the engines were reversed so hard," a passenger told WGN-TV, Chicago. "And we stopped just short of the barrier."
The same plane had been taken out of service Wednesday because of a mechanical issue and was returned to service after being inspected, the airline said. Also Wednesday, a tail of different American Eagle commuter plane -- an Embraer 140 -- was clipped by a Chinese Boeing 747 jumbo cargo jet on a taxiway as it approached the terminal. No one was injured in that mishap.