Surprise Storm Leads to 'Flight From Hail'

Austrian Airlines flight lands safely after hail smashes cockpit windows, tears off plane's nose
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2024 8:13 AM CDT

A plane bound for Vienna from Spain suffered serious damage over the weekend after a surprise hailstorm. Austrian Airlines Flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca issued a mayday call on Sunday afternoon after it flew into the severe weather system that pelted hail at the aircraft, shattering cockpit windows and ripping off part of the airplane's nose, reports the BBC. The airline says in a statement that pilots flew into a thunderstorm "not visible on the weather radar."

Scripps News reports that, according to FlightAware stats, the plane landed in Vienna shortly before 6pm local time, just 19 minutes behind schedule. "All passengers on the flight were unharmed," the airline said in its statement. The New York Post has pictures of the aftermath from the "flight from hail." Passenger Emmeley Oakley tells ABC News they were about 20 minutes from landing when the trouble (and turbulence) started.

"It was quite loud and ... super rocky for a minute," Oakley wrote in a text, noting that "phones and cups" were flying everywhere in the cabin as people screamed. But "the cabin crew did a really good job calming those people down," Oakley added. Another passenger told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper that "I only realized afterwards that it was parts of the nose cone that I saw flying past" the window, per the BBC. Austrian Airlines technicians at Vienna Schwechat Airport are now checking the damage to the Airbus A320 aircraft. (More Austrian Airlines stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.