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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

February 18th, 2014
05:57 PM ET

5 people hurt during severe turbulence aboard United flight

(CNN) – One second you're on the plane, sipping a soda and leafing through a well-worn SkyMall catalogue. The next second, you're terrified and being tossed around like a sock in the clothes dryer for what feels like an eternity.

That is how passengers are describing their experience on a United Airlines flight headed from Denver to Billings, Montana.

The plane was about 30 miles outside a town called Crazy Woman, Wyoming, when things got beyond crazy on board.

Passenger: Turbulence on United flights causes woman to crack ceiling with head

Five people had to be taken to the hospital after the plane hit what's being described as "mountain wave turbulence." Only one remains in the hospital.

Mountain wave turbluence can happen even when skies are clear, like they were during this flight. It's basically when wind blows across the top of a mountain, creating atmospheric waves. Aviation experts say it can cause planes to rise or fall about 1000 feet.

Retired American Airlines captain Mark Weiss, currently the civil aviation team lead for The Spectrum Group, joins CNN's "The Lead" to discuss.

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