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Plane cracked windshield mid-flight: Tennis ball-size hail believed culprit

The windshield of a plane cracked while making a landing in a hail storm in Philadelphia.
The windshield of a plane cracked while making a landing in a hail storm in Philadelphia.
Wikimedia Commons

A US Airways flight landed in Philadelphia with a cracked windshield and it’s believed that the tennis ball-size hail in the area at the time is the culprit. Flight 768 was making its descent into Philadelphia when the crack on the cockpit’s windshield appeared, according to MSN News on May 24.

The Airbus 320 flight originated in Orlando, Florida and the windshield was fine until the plane flew through the hailstorm during its descent. The flight landed safely at its planned destination of Philadelphia International Airport and no injuries were reported.

It is believed the hail caused the crack, but an on-going investigation will offer the official findings upon completion. The pilot did declare an emergency, which he did to assure “expeditious routing” into the airport.

The hail storm that went through the area at the time the plane was coming in for a landing was also causing havoc on the ground. Authorities were inundated with calls of damage to windows in both vehicles and homes, according to local NBC News.

The damage was widespread, but there were no reports of serious injuries. The damage to the plane’s windshield was to one layer of glass only. The other layer of glass that makes up the window was intact. The airbus is grounded until the investigation is completed and repairs are made.

The tennis-size hail was seen over a wide-spread area of Philadelphia with other areas seeing dime-size hail to golf ball-size hail. NBC reports that windows in homes were smashed out by these powerful hail stones and damage to siding on buildings is also reported.

Some of the pictures coming in from the area show cars that have a massive number of dents from where the hail hit. Some cars almost look like they were caught in a barrage of giant B-B bullets with the circular indents riddling the roof, trunk and hood.

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