July 24, 2024

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Plane destroyed in hail: pilot must have recognized thunderbolt


Austrian AirlinesHail flight: According to meteorologists, the pilot acted negligently

On Sunday, a Vienna-bound Airbus flew through a large thunderstorm cell and was badly damaged by hail. Meteorologist Jörg Casselmann has made serious allegations against the pilot.

Leticia Vecchio
  • On Sunday, an Austrian Airlines flight was caught in a heavy thunderstorm.

  • The aircraft’s nose and cockpit windows were completely damaged.

  • Meteorologist Jörg Casselmann makes serious accusations against the pilot: thunderstorms were noticed long ago.

German meteorologist Jörg Casselmann is convinced: The pilot behind the wheel of the plane that crashed from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna on Sunday acted very negligently. A thunderstorm cell would not have formed as a “surprise” as it completely tore off the plane’s nose and blew out the cockpit windows. This is what Casselman told the news magazine “Spiegel”. He further accused the pilot of deliberately covering up his negligence and lying.

This has happened before

On Sunday, an Austrian Airlines flight from Mallorca to Vienna was hit by hail. The flight took off from Palma de Mallorca shortly after 3:30pm. As one passenger reported to “Kron”, there was “a little turbulence” during the flight. However, these eventually turned out to be much bigger than expected: the plane flew through a large thunderstorm cell, the hail of which caused considerable damage to the plane. The cockpit crew even made an emergency call of “mayday” and the pilots were landed blindfolded. Fortunately no one was hurt.

That’s what meteorologists say

Casselman and his chief scientist Janek Zimmer are convinced that the thunderbolt must have been known long ago. It was already active in Styria an hour earlier, and was moving steadily eastward. The cell was expected to have “supercell characteristics with high lightning rates and large hail”. According to the Austrian Meteorological Service, the highest radar echo strength was detected. More than three centimeters of hail is expected.

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The pilots must have realized they were taking a dangerous route and had to fly around it to the west – a Ryanair flight from Mallorca to Vienna a short time later did exactly this and avoided the supercell.

Data from Austria’s state air traffic control agency, AstroControl, confirm that thunderstorms are nowhere to be found: “For the duration of the requested flight (…) appropriate weather forecasts and event-related weather warnings were issued to en-route traffic “that indicated the risk of thunderstorms with hail in the region. indicated,” the company told Spiegel.

That’s what the airline says

On Sunday evening, Austrian Airlines confirmed the incident to “Krone”, but said that according to reports from the cockpit crew, the thunderbolt was not visible on the weather radar. The airline now says it has launched an investigation into the incident involving flight OS434. However, I do not wish to comment on the details at this time.

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