HAILSTONES shatter Airbus A380’s windscreen at 37,000 feet forcing the pilot to issue a mayday call 

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Dramatic images show how HAILSTONES shattered an Airbus A380’s windscreen at 37,000 feet forcing the pilot to issue a mayday call

  • The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International was en-route to Beijing International
  • The plane’s captain, He Xianghang issued a mayday call to air traffic control when the incident occurred 
  • He managed to land the plane safely 90 minutes later despite the cracked screen and no one was injured 

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Dramatic images have shown the severely shattered windscreen of an Airbus A380 that was struck by a mid-air hailstorm.

The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International was en-route to Beijing Capital International Airport yesterday morning at 37,000 feet when the glass shattered.

The plane’s captain, He Xianghang issued a mayday call to air traffic control and luckily he managed to landed the plane safely around 90 minutes later in Beijing.

Dramatic images have shown the severely shattered windscreen of an Airbus A380 that was struck by a mid-air hailstorm. The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International was en-route to Beijing Capital International Airport

Dramatic images have shown the severely shattered windscreen of an Airbus A380 that was struck by a mid-air hailstorm. The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International was en-route to Beijing Capital International Airport

The plane's captain, He Xianghang issued a mayday call to air traffic control and luckily he managed to landed the plane safely around 90 minutes later in Beijing

The plane’s captain, He Xianghang issued a mayday call to air traffic control and luckily he managed to landed the plane safely around 90 minutes later in Beijing 

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Shocking images taken from inside the cockpit after the plane landed show both the front windscreen and side windows splintered due to the impact of the hail.

However, in radio transmissions released online, Captain He can be heard telling the Beijing control tower he ‘can still see’ before he successfully brought the plane down.

Another picture of the exterior of the super jumbo jet shows also paint missing from the nose of the aircraft.

China Southern Airlines confirmed nobody was injured during the hailstorm scare on flight CZ3101.

However, some passengers have likened turbulence on the flight after the severe weather to being on a ‘roller coaster’.

Shocking images taken from inside the cockpit after the plane landed show both the front windscreen and side windows splintered due to the impact of the hail

Another picture of the exterior of the super jumbo jet shows also paint missing from the nose of the aircraft

Shocking images taken from inside the cockpit after the plane landed show both the front windscreen and side windows splintered due to the impact of the hail (left). Another picture of the exterior of the super jumbo jet shows also paint missing from the nose of the aircraft (right)

Beijing International had to cancel 111 out of 436 scheduled flights yesterday due to the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

The inclement weather also affected trains with services between Beijing and Tianjin put on speed restrictions.

China Southern Airlines is one of three major airlines in China alongside China Eastern Airlines and Air China.

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It is the world’s seventh-largest airline in terms of the number of passengers carried and Asia’s largest airline by fleet size. 

MailOnline Travel has contacted the airline in regards to the incident. 

In July 2016, a China Southern Airlines was involved in a similar incident. AV Herald described the windshield as having become ‘basically opaque’ due to a hailstorm. This meant the pilots had to navigate using their instruments rather than by sight.



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