A Boeing 777-31H heading to New York was forced to make an emergency landing after it flew into a hailstorm which shattered the pilot’s windscreen and caused extensive damage to the fuselage of the plane.
The United Arab Emirates flight had taken off from Malpensa airport in the Italian city of Milan heading to New York’s JFK airport when it flew into the storm with hail the size of tennis balls yesterday (14th of July).
As well as the shattered windscreen, which fortunately did not break, the plane suffered extensive damage, and the pilot requested an emergency landing after turning around and heading back to Milan.
Lombardi Airports Association, located in the Malpensa Airport told Newsflash that the plane ” immediately after take-off from Malpensa entered a hail storm”.
They added: “After about 97 minutes from take-off (the plane) returned to Malpensa.”
The crew had been forced to remain in the air despite the damage which happened only a few minutes after they set off because they need to burn off the fuel. As it was a transatlantic flight, the plane had set off with a full tank and for safety reasons, there are limits to the amount of fuel planes are allowed to carry when landing.
The airport officials said that the strong winds continued to cause problems for the flight which struggled to land before eventually touching down safely after two attempts.
Lombardi Airports Association confirmed that the eventual landing was successful and there were no injuries reported from passengers or the flight crew.
After landing, it was discovered that as well as the window to the cockpit cabin that had been shattered, the nose of the plane had holes in it and there was also extensive damage in the form of dents to the fuselage and the wings caused by the hail.
The passengers on the flight had to be moved to a new flight the following day.
Emirates relaunched flights to New York in June, and as of the beginning of this month, its connections with the United States have become daily.
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Story By: Tijana Milikj, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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