Hail Shatters Cockpit Windows, Damages Nose Of Plane Flying Through Storm

By Bill Galluccio

June 10, 2024

Airplane on the background of a thundercloud with lightning
Photo: Anton Petrus / Moment / Getty Images

An Austrian Airlines airplane suffered significant damage after flying through a hailstorm on Sunday (June 9). Flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Vienna, was about 20 minutes from the airport when it encountered the tiny storm cell.

"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.

"We could definitely feel the hail coming down on the plane and it was quite loud and ofc super rocky for a minute," Oakley added.

As the hail pelted the plane, it shattered the cockpit windows and broke its nose cone, causing the pilot to issue a mayday call.

Despite the damage to the aircraft, the pilot managed to land the plane safely at Vienna International Airport.

Austrian Airlines said none of the 173 passengers or six crew members were injured.

When Oakley and other passengers got off the plane, they were shocked to see the extent of the damage.

"It wasn't until we exited that we saw the nose was missing! The pilots really did an excellent job keeping things as smooth and safe as they could," Oakley said.

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