Hailstorm causes major damage to nose, cockpit windows of Austrian Airlines plane

"We could definitely feel the hail coming down on the plane," a passenger said.

ByAyesha Ali and Kerem Inal ABCNews logo
Monday, June 10, 2024
Hailstorm causes major damage to Austrian Airlines plane
Hailstorm causes major damage to Austrian Airlines plane

An Austrian Airlines flight suffered significant damage from hail, which took off part of the airplane's nose on Sunday, the airline said.

Flight OS434 was flying from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Vienna, Austria, when it hit a "thunderstorm cell," Austrian Airlines said in a statement to ABC News. The hail caused damage to the cockpit windows, some coverings and the nose, which photos showed appeared to have broken off.

"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 via text message.

Oakley said that inside the cabin, they could hear the hail as it hit their aircraft.

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

As the plane -- an Airbus A320 -- was going through the severe weather patch, which the airline said was not visible on the radar to the cockpit crew, a Mayday call was made due to the damage.

Oakley estimated the plane took about two minutes or less to fly through the hailstorm, which caused "phones and cups" to fly around the plane.

Some people screamed, Oakley said, and the flight attendants stepped in to help.

SEE ALSO: What to do when turbulence strikes on your next flight

"The cabin crew did a really good job calming those people down though," Oakley wrote.

Despite the rocky final leg, the plane landed safely at Vienna-Schwechat Airport, with no passengers harmed, Austrian Airlines said.

"It was a pretty uneventful flight for 90% of the trip," Oakley said.

Austrian Airlines' technical team is currently inspecting 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.