AUA flew through hailstorm: investigation initiated

AUA flew through hailstorm: investigation initiated
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“As is usual in such incidents, an investigation has been launched into why yesterday’s flight OS434 flew through a hail zone,” AUA said in response to a query. “The incident lasted only a few seconds,” it said.

  • also read: Flight from Mallorca to Vienna: AUA plane damaged by hail during landing

The nose of the aircraft, the two front cockpit windows and panels were affected. It is not yet possible to estimate the extent of the damage and how long the aircraft will be out of action, said AUA spokeswoman Anita Kiefer. Checking the aircraft systems and observing the current and forecast weather conditions along the entire route are the main tasks of the cockpit crews during the flight, which are carried out “with great care”, it was emphasized.

Caught in a thunderstorm cell

According to AUA, the Airbus A320 on its way from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna had run into a thunderstorm cell, which the cockpit crew said was not visible on the weather radar. The emergency call “Mayday” was initially sent. Nevertheless, the plane landed safely at Vienna Airport at 5:55 p.m. and no passengers were injured.

In principle, the systems on board an aircraft such as the weather radar work very reliably, but in unpredictable weather situations there is little time to avoid a thundercloud, for example, said aviation expert Kurt Hofmann in the Ö1 “Mittagsjournal”. “We are seeing more and more extreme weather events, the storms in air traffic are becoming more severe,” said Hofmann. There is also an increase in severe turbulence, such as the recent incident with Singapore Airlines in which one passenger died and over 30 people were injured. The expert recommended that passengers always wear seat belts during the flight. But the hail damage also shows the enormous stress that machines can withstand.

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