Austrian Airlines Airbus A320 (OE-LBM, built 2001) sustained extensive damage to its nose, windshields and other forward-facing surfaces due to intense hailstrike | World Aviation News


Flight OS434, from Palma to Vienna (Austria) on Sunday afternoon could have ended in tragedy had it not been for the miraculous and effective actions of the pilots. The Austrian Airlines aircraft was caught in a severe thunderstorm near the Austrian city of Hartberg, accompanied by hail, which endangered the crew and passengers.

On landing in the Austrian capital, the heavy hail damage to the aircraft’s nose, fuselage was evident, as was the damage to the windows, especially those at the front of the cabin, which were visibly affected by the hail in an incident which occurred at an altitude of some 6,000 metres.

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The airline said in a statement: “On flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna, an Airbus A320 aircraft was damaged by hail. The aircraft encountered a thunderstorm cell on approach to Vienna, which the cockpit crew said was not visible on the weather radar. According to current information, the two front cockpit windows of the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft (radome) and some panels were damaged by the hail.”

Due to the damage, a Mayday was made, the statement continued: “the aircraft was able to land safely at Vienna-Schwechat Airport. All passengers on the flight were uninjured. The Austrian Airlines technical team has already been entrusted with the specific damage assessment of the aircraft in question. The safety of our passengers and our crews is Austrian Airlines’ top priority.”