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Severe Hailstorm Damages Austrian Airlines Flight, Lands Safely in Vienna

Austrian Airlines Flight OS434 Lands Safely in Vienna After Hailstorm Tears Away Nose Cone and Damages Windows

By Mackenzie Crow

6/10, 04:06 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Austrian Airlines flight OS434 safely landed in Vienna after a severe hailstorm tore away the nose cone and cracked front windows.
  • The incident underscores the resilience of modern aircraft, designed to withstand extreme weather conditions like hail and turbulence.
  • No immediate comment from Austrian officials; Deutsche Lufthansa AG deferred queries to Austrian Airlines for further details.

Severe Hailstorm Incident

An Austrian Airlines flight, OS434, safely landed in Vienna after encountering a severe hailstorm that caused significant damage to the aircraft. The flight, operated by a 23-year-old Airbus SE A320, departed from Palma de Mallorca at 3:55 p.m. on Sunday. According to AirLive, a website that tracks aviation emergencies, the storm resulted in the nose cone of the plane being largely torn away and the front windows riddled with cracks.

Photos posted online revealed the extent of the damage, showing the nose radome—an aerodynamic shell covering the front of the airplane—mostly stripped away. The substructure of the jet was exposed, and the remaining skin was pocked with dents from the hailstones. Despite the severe damage, the two windows directly in front of the pilots remained intact but were heavily damaged.

Aircraft Durability

Aircraft are designed to endure severe weather conditions, including hail, lightning strikes, and turbulence. The recent incident with Austrian Airlines highlights the resilience of modern aircraft in such challenging situations. However, the impact of severe weather has become a more closely monitored issue following recent episodes where passengers on long-distance flights experienced significant turbulence.

In one notable incident involving a Singapore Airlines aircraft, turbulence resulted in the death of one person and serious injuries to several others. These occurrences have prompted airlines to turn to advanced data programs to better predict and manage such weather-related challenges.

Lack of Immediate Comment

Austrian officials were not immediately available to comment on the incident. Representatives from Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the parent company of Austrian Airlines, referred all queries to Austrian, indicating that further details might be provided by the airline at a later time.