Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

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FD2
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Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#1 Post by FD2 » Tue Jun 11, 2024 4:42 am

Hail storm rips off plane’s nosecone and batters cockpit windows mid-flight

The Austrian Airlines Airbus also had its cockpit windows rendered opaque when they were battered with hailstones

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/ ... hailstorm/

An Austrian Airlines passenger jet suffered heavy damage flying through a hail storm, pictures have revealed.

The aircraft, an Airbus A320-200, had its nosecone smashed away and its cockpit windows left almost opaque when it was battered by hailstones, pictures show.

The pilots made a mayday call – an emergency broadcast to air traffic controllers – as a result of the damage, Austrian Airlines said.

Flight number OS434 was between the Spanish island of Palma de Mallorca and Vienna on Sunday June 9 when it encountered a “thunderstorm cell”, the spokesman said.

Technicians are now inspecting the Airbus, which landed safely despite the damage.

The pictures, taken at Vienna Airport, show that the radome, a composite fibre cover that protects the weather radar dish on the nose of the plane, was almost completely torn away.

The hail also badly damaged the pilots’ windows – but did not penetrate their three overlapping layers of specially strengthened plastics.

Airliner windscreens are tested to ensure they don’t break when hit by hail or other hard objects while travelling at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour.

A spokesman for Austrian Airlines said the severe weather was not visible on the aircraft’s weather radar. :-?

Emmeley Oakley, a passenger, told ABC News: “I think we were about 20 minutes from landing when we got into a cloud of hail and thunderstorm, and the turbulence started.”

She told the broadcaster that turbulence caused by the hailstorm lasted for around two minutes, with “phones and cups” flying around the cabin.

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#2 Post by Ex-Ascot » Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:16 am

Capt's window seems completely opaque. One thinks that they were not keeping an eye on the weather radar. The leading edges must have been also damaged.
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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#3 Post by Boac » Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:40 am

I would reckon Austrian would be pretty au fait with weather avoidance. Hail can be extremely difficult to see on radar sometimes and I have encountered it quite 'unexpectedly' while meandering through a build-up area with no obvious sign on the screen. Luckily not like that though!

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#4 Post by Ex-Ascot » Tue Jun 11, 2024 1:12 pm

Never had hail damage but have been struck by lightening twice.
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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#5 Post by Boac » Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:45 pm

.....and that is even more difficult to see on radar =))

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#6 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:03 pm

Lightning shows up well on NDB displays, with the pointer jumping to the direction of the bolt

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#7 Post by Boac » Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:32 pm

Careful, now, or you'll get JH asking for info............. :))

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#8 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:40 pm

Not much more to add, except that when the jumps widen to at least 45 degrees either side of the nose, it's time for a swift 180 and run back to the nearest safe airport!

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#9 Post by FD2 » Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:55 pm

When the NDB needle on the HSI used to start swinging and then rotating it was time to make a hasty 180 and leave the rig area. The rig's ident was lost to a loud hissing and the hairs rose on the back of the neck with the expectation of a flash and bang. Eventually the CAA really tightened up the rules about flying in the vicinity of forecast TS. St Elmo's Fire around the rotor blades was interesting at night too.

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#10 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:06 pm

Both of my lightning strikes whilst airborne were at night, and preceded by St Elmo's Fire on the canopy.
I remember a very old instructor of mine, who flew Liberators over Berlin in WW2, saying you got it around the gun barrels too.

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Re: Austrian Airlines A320 Hail Damage

#11 Post by CharlieOneSix » Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:18 pm

FD2 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:55 pm
....... St Elmo's Fire around the rotor blades was interesting at night too.
I remember one night flying out to the rigs when we had the most spectacular St Elmo's Fire on the rotor blades - the best I'd ever seen. There was consternation from the pax who had never seen it before and thought something was badly amiss!
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