Hailstones smash China Southern Airlines Airbus A380 windscreen at 37000ft, mayday call issued

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International had its windscreen smashed by a hailstorm at 37,000 feet. It was en-route to Beijing Capital International Airport on 26th May.



As per the protocol, the plane’s captain, He Xianghang, issued a mayday call to air traffic control and rapidly descended down to 16,700 feet.




He managed to land the plane safely around 90 minutes later in Beijing. Despite the cracked screen no one was injured.




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




Some passengers likened the turbulence after the severe weather to being on a ‘roller coaster’.  China Southern Airlines confirmed nobody was injured during the hailstorm scare on flight CZ3101.




Although encounters with hail while flying are rare, it is possible for it to strike at high altitude. Beijing International had to cancel 111 out of 436 scheduled flights yesterday due to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.





The inclement weather also affected trains. 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. It is the world’s seventh-largest airline in terms of the number of passengers carried and Asia’s largest airline by fleet size.




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