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Austrian Airlines plane suffers huge damage to nose and windshield by hailstorm during flight | Watch

Austrian Airlines Flight OS434 encountered hail while en route from Spain to Austria, resulting in major damage to the aircraft. Despite the unpredictable weather, the plane landed safely at Vienna-Schwechatz Airport, with no reports of injuries to passengers. The airline's technical team is currently assessing the extent of the damage.

By: Ruchi Upadhyay  Pardaphash Group
Austrian Airlines plane suffers huge damage to nose and windshield by hailstorm during flight | Watch

New Delhi: Austrian Airlines flight OS434 encountered a powerful and unexpected hailstorm on its way from Palma de Mallorca in Spain to Vienna in Austria on Sunday. The aircraft, an Airbus A320, suffered significant damage to its front wing, cockpit windows and some coverings due to hail. The airline told the Post that the flight crew reported that the “storm cell” was not visible on their weather radar.

A storm cell is an air mass that contains up and down drafts, which can cause turbulence when a plane encounters one, CNN reported. Pictures and videos show cockpit windows, exterior coverings, and especially, the nose cone were badly damaged during the hailstorm. The airline confirmed that flight 0S434 was travelling from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Vienna. The flight had 173 passengers and crew members on board.

What Austrian Airlines say
“Airbus A320 aircraft was damaged by hail on yesterday’s flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna. The aircraft was caught in a thunderstorm cell on approach to Vienna, which according to the cockpit crew was not visible on the weather radar,” Austrian Airlines said in a statement to CNN Monday.

“According to current information, the two front cockpit windows of the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft [the “radome”] and some panelling were damaged by the hail. It is now being checked for specific damage assessment.”

Passengers recounts horrific incident
The lucky passengers who escaped unhurt recalled the horrific incident and said the hailstorm occurred merely 20 minutes before the flight was about to land. “I think we were about 20 minutes from landing when we got into a cloud of hail and thunderstorm, and the turbulence started,” Emmeley Oakley, a passenger on the flight, told ABC News. Oakley said that inside the cabin, they could hear the hail as it hit their aircraft. “We could definitely feel the hail coming down on the plane and it was quite loud and super rocky for a minute,” added Oakley. A Mayday call was made due to the damage.

Singapore Airlines turbulence
It is worth mentioning earlier last month, a Boeing plane carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew diverted to Bangkok for an emergency landing after the plane was buffeted by turbulence that flung passengers and crew around the cabin, slamming some into the ceiling. Shaken passengers described scenes of chaos in the minutes after the incident, with the turbulence throwing people upwards and then into the aisle, many left with bleeding and head wounds.

Photographs of the cabin showed gashes in the overhead cabin panels, oxygen masks and panels hanging from the ceiling and luggage strewn around. A passenger said some people’s heads had slammed into lights above the seats and broken the panels. Singapore Airlines said it acknowledged the report and was cooperating fully with the investigation. The airline later said 42 people who were on board the flight were still in Bangkok, including 26 passengers receiving medical treatment in a hospital. Later, an investigation revealed a rapid change in gravitational force and a 54-metre altitude drop caused injuries.

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