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Airbus A320 heavily damaged by mid-air hail storm prior to landing in Austria

The crew declared a mayday as the plane suffered extensive damage before landing.
Damage to Austrian Airlines flight
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 10, 2024

An Airbus A320 was heavily damaged by a mid-air hail storm on a Sunday flight from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna, Austrian Airlines confirmed.

The airline said the crew of Flight OS434 declared a mayday distress call as hail pummeled the airplane. Photos posted on social media showed that the cockpit windows were shattered and parts of the nose were missing. The airline said that no one was injured.

"The aircraft encountered a thunderstorm cell during approach to Vienna, which according to the cockpit crew, was not visible on the weather radar. As of now, the hail has damaged the two front cockpit windows, the aircraft nose (radome), and some coverings," the airline said in a statement. "The aircraft was able to land safely at Vienna-Schwechat Airport. All passengers on the flight were unharmed. The Austrian Airlines technical team is already tasked with assessing the specific damage to the aircraft. The safety of our passengers and crews is the top priority for Austrian Airlines."

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4:22 PM, May 22, 2024

According to FlightAware, the flight landed at 5:59 p.m. local time after a two-hour, 19-minute flight.

There have been a handful of incidents involving mid-air hail storms. In 2018, a hail storm caused significant damage to a Boliviana de Aviación airline flight near Buenos Aires. No one was injured in that incident.

Also in 2018, an American Airlines flight bound for Phoenix diverted to El Paso after hail caused damage to the plane.