Austrian Airlines Plane Severely Damaged by Hailstorm, Lands Safely

Austrian Airlines Plane Severely Damaged by Hailstorm, Lands Safely

An Austrian Airlines plane traveling from Spain to Austria sustained significant damage after encountering a thunderstorm on Sunday. The airline confirmed that flight OS434, an Airbus A320 traveling from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna, was damaged by hail during its approach to Vienna.

According to Austrian Airlines, the thunderstorm cell was not visible on the weather radar, leading the pilots to issue a mayday emergency call. The plane’s nose, two front cockpit windows, and some paneling were damaged by the hail.

Despite this, all 173 passengers and six crew members landed safely and were unharmed.

Photos shared on social media show the extent of the damage, with the nose of the aircraft significantly peeled off and the front cockpit windows shattered. A tweet by user Exithamster highlighted the damage and expressed relief that everyone on board was safe.

One passenger, Emmeley Oakley, told ABC News that the plane encountered a "cloud of hail and thunderstorm" about 20 minutes before landing. Oakley described the experience as loud and turbulent but praised the pilots for maintaining as much smoothness and safety as possible.

Austrian Airlines stated that their technical team is assessing the damage to the aircraft and emphasized that passenger and crew safety is their top priority.

This incident follows several flights experiencing severe turbulence in recent weeks. On May 20, a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore encountered turbulence over Myanmar, causing the plane to drop 178 feet in four seconds, resulting in one passenger's death from a suspected heart attack and multiple injuries.

Similarly, a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin on May 26 experienced turbulence over Turkey, injuring six passengers and six crew members.

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