Hail Damage Yesterday

Three planes in flight were severely damaged by hail yesterday.


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22 Responses to Hail Damage Yesterday

  1. Donna K. Becker says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate, but how frequently does this type of thing occur?

  2. Donna K. Becker says:

    I’m sure this is true, but how often does it damage aircraft to such an extent?

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      Damage to that extent is fairly rare, mostly from baseball-sized hailstones that require updraughts in clouds around 160MPH+ to hold them up there long enough to form that big.

      “A hailstone forms when liquid below freezing collects around a solid object such as dust particle or another hailstone. A hailstone falls to the earth when it becomes too heavy for an updraft to keep it up. Really large hailstones form when a hailstone bounces up and down between updrafts.

      Due to the fact that hailstone do not come in one size all hailstones do not fall at the same speed. Typically the bigger the hailstone the faster it will fall. The other big factor is wind. Depending on the direction of the wind, it can slow or speed up the velocity. A third smaller factor is the shape of the hailstone because different shapes create different amounts of air resistance.”


      The nose cone isn’t particularly strong because it houses the radar equipment which doesn’t like a lot of metal in the way of the signal.

      If those pics were taken on the same day, then there must have been a storm in the way that wasn’t properly identified as containing such hail. That can be difficult to diagnose as hail still returns a signal that looks like rain.

  3. Marsh says:

    Although cockpit screen damage is an event that occurs to almost every Aircraft in its life cycle, this has to be amongst the worst I’ve seen. Nose cone damage to that extent is rare; I bet the leading edges are peppered badly. The engines and flight dynamics must also have been compromised ; great respect for the pilots…

  4. AndyG55 says:

    Pilots usually do everything they can to avoid storms that might do this sort of thing.

    Maybe they got some incorrect information about the weather.

    There’s PLENTY of wrong information floating about the weather/climate subject , y’know !!

    • Marsh says:

      That’s true AndyG55… hail to do that much damage, would likely have come from a supercell ; the issue of “warning” or lack thereof, would be central to the investigation.

    • _Jim says:

      Maybe they got some incorrect information about the weather.

      But, RADAR.

      On board even. (It’s what resides behind that fiberglass radome that got damaged up in front by the hail once they were INTO the storm.) Or via advice from FSS from observations using NEXRAD or TDWR even.

      I wonder if an investigation will look at whether the flight crew made proper use of FSS (FAA flight service station via aircraft radio) or their own *on-board* weather radar to avoid the storms that they eventually ran into …

  5. Bob Weber says:

    http://www.hail-reports.com/ is great resource. There has been a lot of hail in the last few weeks!

  6. rah says:

    All of those aircraft have weather radar in them. Must have been some way it did not show up or was such a sudden occurrence that they could not anticipate it and thus avoid it. I’ll ask my retired pilot friend who flew C-141s for the AFR and airlines for his primary job. Being a very nice and generous fellow he says my current on call truck driving job is kinda like his last job was. He was on call to go anywhere in the world to recover grounded or damaged aircraft for an airline or to come in on short notice and cover any route when for some reason the assigned command pilot could not go.

    Funny thing about professional pilots. Retired or not there is something in their eyes and demeanor that often makes them identifiable to the observant even if you don’t know them and they are in civilian cloths. My friend Donny has those characteristics. You couldn’t meet a nicer guy. I met Donny through a friend that was a flight engineer that retired from the AF after 27 years service including two tours in Vietnam told me Donny was the best he ever flew with.

  7. Eric Simpson says:

    Clearly global warming climate change is to blame.

  8. bit chilly says:

    some information here n the professional pilots rumour network http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/565836-dal1889-diverts-hail-damage.html

  9. The one flight had a clear path to fly through but two storms merged faster than expected.

  10. Crashx says:

    That’s the kind of picture that sits on the engine fan design team’s wall to remind them of why they design for such extreme conditions. Kudos to the designers, no fan blade failure evident–no engine failure evident. Dents that buckle the nose cone and a shattered windscreen are problems, but engine failure would be much more serious.

  11. rah says:

    I asked my friend Donny “How do airliners not avoid heavy hail?” His Answer:

    “Usually, by coming too close to the edge of a large, hail producing cell. In most cases, the pilot is blamed for error in judgment. The hail shaft is usually on the downwind side, and may not be inside the cloud. If standard avoidance clearance is used, there is no danger of finding hail. Minimum of 10-20 miles depending on size of storm.”

  12. Ernest Bush says:

    I’m surprised I missed seeing videos on Fox of frightened passengers telling horror stories. Were these cargo aircraft?

    • Ernest Bush says:

      Never mind. Looked at the photos again. No mention of this at the Fox News site, however. They are focused on the Colorado mine spill, as perhaps they should be.

  13. slimething says:

    Obviously a coverup for a drone attack……

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