Austrian flight lands safely after hailstones rip away nose cone
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Austrian flight lands safely after hailstones rip away nose cone

This Airbus A320 of Austrian Airlines was severely damaged by hail stones while on approach to Vienna Airport in Austria on Sunday. (Photo: @exithamster via @aviationbrk X accounts)
This Airbus A320 of Austrian Airlines was severely damaged by hail stones while on approach to Vienna Airport in Austria on Sunday. (Photo: @exithamster via @aviationbrk X accounts)

An Austrian Airlines flight landed safely in Vienna after a severe hailstorm tore away much of the plane’s nose cone and left the front windows riddled with cracks.

Flight OS434, a 23-year-old Airbus SE A320, encountered the storm after leaving Palma de Mallorca at 3:55pm on Sunday, AirLive, which tracks aviation emergencies, reported on its website. 

Photos posted online showed the nose radome, the aerodynamic shell covering the front of the airplane, mostly stripped away, leaving the jet’s substructure exposed, and the remainder of the skin pocked with dents where the hailstones had struck. 

The two windows directly in front of the pilots were heavily damaged but intact.

Aircraft are built to withstand severe weather situations, including hail, lighting strike and turbulence. The impact from tricky weather has become a more closely watched occurrence following two episodes in recent weeks in which passengers on long-distance flights were thrown around the cabin after the aircraft flew through pockets of turbulence.

In the first of those episodes, aboard a Singapore Airlines aircraft, one person died and many were seriously injured.

Austrian officials weren’t immediately available to comment. Representatives of parent Deutsche Lufthansa AG referred queries to Austrian. 

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