Machine in hailstorm – AUA commander was probably not in the cockpit

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Machine in hailstorm – AUA commander was probably not in the cockpit

Last Sunday an AUA plane flew from Mallorca through a storm front. The plane was able to land blind in Vienna, but was damaged by hail. It is now known that the commander was probably not in the cockpit just before the accident.

Research by aviation journalist Patrick Huber shows that the pilot should have been in the toilet at that time. The next seat was probably a young first officer, who had only about 100 hours of experience with the A320 aircraft. Huber wrote in an article in the aviation magazine ‘Austrian Wings’ that she may not have been very adept at interpreting weather radar images.

Here you can see the message on Platform

The big question now is whether the crew realized the severity of the storm. The AUA confirmed the incident on Sunday evening and announced that the storm cell was not visible on weather radar. “According to current information, the two cockpit windows at the front of the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft (radome) and some panels were damaged by the hail. The plane was able to land safely at Vienna-Schwechat Airport. All passengers on the flight were unharmed.”

Here you can see photos of the accident at X.

Weather situations are not always clear
The AUA plane took off from Palma (Mallorca) on Sunday around 3:30 PM and there was slight turbulence during the flight. Upon landing, according to an Austrian passenger, the pilot announced that the windshield of the plane was broken.

Some weather situations are not even clearly recognizable on the radar in the cockpit, flight instructor Gerhard Gruber said recently at ORF. The Federal Safety Investigation Board, SUB for short, is now investigating whether that was the case in this case and whether a different flight route would have been chosen if the commander had been present in the cockpit.

Pilots relieved of duty
According to a report, the male and female pilots have now been fired. If necessary, they must follow additional training.

Source: Krone

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