Plane loses nose during flight and suffers damage to windows during surprising hailstorm


Flying through a thunderstorm can be a scary experience for even the most experienced travelers. There are some risks involved, and passengers aboard an Austrian Airlines flight on June 9 learned that firsthand.

The flight was en route from Palma de to Vienna Mallorca in Spain when the airline said the plane was severely damaged by hail as it flew through a ‘thunder cell’, per CNN. It resulted in much more than just turbulence, as the plane was pelted with hail, breaking windows and blowing away parts of the plane.

Miraculously, the plane landed safely Vienna less than half an hour later, but it was only when the 173 passengers stepped off the plane that they realized how bad it was. Most of the aircraft’s nose was completely missing, while the top of the cockpit was bent and the cockpit windows were cracked.

It was a frightening and entirely unintentional incident as the storm “was not visible on weather radar,” the airline said CNN. “According to current information, the two cockpit windows at the front of the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft (the ‘radome’) and some panels were damaged by the hail,” they said.

A passenger on the flight described the scene on board the plane ABC news. “I think we were about 20 minutes from landing when we hit a cloud of hail and thunder and the turbulence started,” Emmeley Oakley said. “We could definitely feel the hail coming down on the plane and it was pretty loud and of course super rocky for a minute.”

Some people started shouting, prompting the flight attendants to take action and calm everyone down. “It was a pretty uneventful flight for 90 percent of the trip,” Oakley said. “It wasn’t until we went outside that we noticed the nose was missing! pilots has really done an excellent job of keeping things as smooth and safe as possible.”

It was certainly an unforgettable experience that could have been much worse.

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