Austrian Airlines plane badly damaged by hailstorm during flight

An Austrian Airlines plane was badly damaged by hail when the airborne jet hit a “thunderstorm cell” Sunday, Austrian Airlines said.

A storm cell is an air mass that contains up and down drafts, which can cause turbulence when a plane encounters one.

The plane with 173 passengers and six crew onboard from Palma de Mallorca in Spain to Vienna, Austria landed safely at Vienna.

A mayday emergency call was made during the flight, says Austrian.

Social media shows the plane’s nose was seriously damaged, the top of the cockpit bent and the glass in the windows of the cockpit cracked.

A head-on view shows the full extent of the damage. - exithamster/X
A head-on view shows the full extent of the damage. - exithamster/X

“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 paneling were damaged by the hail.”

It is now being checked for specific damage assessment.

It follows an incident last month upon Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 when a passenger died and more than 70 were injured after the plane hit severe turbulence. Later the same week, 12 people were injured on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin.

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