Massive Hailstorm Smashes The Nose And Windscreen On Airbus Jet

Imaging getting off your flight to a scene like this. - Screenshot: ABC News via YouTube
Imaging getting off your flight to a scene like this. - Screenshot: ABC News via YouTube

It’s a scary time to be flying these days; if it’s not deadly turbulence made worse by climate change and parts falling off Boeing planes left, right and center, then it’s massive hailstorms ripping planes to pieces. That’s exactly what happened in Europe this weekend, when the nose of an Airbus jet was ripped apart by an icy storm.

The flight in question was an Austrian Airlines Airbus A320 that departed from sunny Spain on Sunday bound for Vienna, Austria. On its route across Europe, the plane encountered an enormous storm system, reports NBC News. The system wasn’t initially visible on radar, so caught the plane’s crew off guard as it descended into Viena. As NBC News reports:


Flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Vienna on Sunday encountered a thunderstorm cell during its approach to its destination.

The cockpit crew said the cell wasn’t visible on the weather radar, and a mayday distress call was made, Austrian Airlines said.

The hail damaged the two front cockpit windows, the aircraft nose and some coverings.

The crew issued a mayday call, as the run-in with the storm left the front of the aircraft in tatters. Photos shared across social media show the nose cone ripped to shreds, revealing the radar equipment that hides behind it. There are also cracks littered across the windscreen on the Airbus and chips across the front of the aircraft. It must have been a scary site for anyone deplaning in Vienna.

Despite the shocking look of the aircraft after its flight, the plane did land safely in Vienna, albeit about 20 minutes later than expected. The airline added in a statement that all passengers and crewmembers made it off the plane safely and without injury.

Planes have a history with severe weather and this isn’t even the first time one has been ripped apart by a serious hailstorm. Over the past year, aircraft around the world have also been caught out by super strong winds and have even been struck by lightning.

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