the front of a plane with a hole in it

Delta Boeing 767 Heavily Damaged by Hail Storm

On 24th July 2023, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 suffered substantial damage to its radome, engine, and wing after flying through a hail storm. The aircraft was forced to divert to Rome.

The Boeing 767-300 with registration N189DN was performing flight DL185 from Milan Malpensa to New York JFK. However, while climbing out of Malpensa’s runway 35R, flight DL185 encountered a heavy hail storm. The crew quickly realized the seriousness of the situation and declared an emergency, reporting severe turbulence and hail.

In response to the emergency, the crew stopped the climb at FL230 and decided to divert the aircraft to Rome Fiumicino, Italy, as reported by the Aviation Herald. Flight DL185 landed in Rome about 65 minutes after departure from Milan, without any further incidents.

Footage shared on the internet shows the punctured radome alongside other damages sustained by the aircraft.

a close up of a plane
Punctured Radome. Image via Vola Milano Malpensa

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries among the passengers and crew, but the aircraft itself sustained substantial damage due to the severe weather conditions it encountered.

Among the damages were punctures on the right-hand wing, punctures on both engine spinners, damage to both engines’ fan blades, a punctured radome, and dents along the leading edges of the wings.

the side of an airplane
Image via Vola Milano Malpensa

An airline spokesperson confirmed the incident and reported that the aircraft encountered severe weather and performed an emergency landing in Rome.

“The Milan Malpensa to JFK flight was diverted to Rome after it encountered adverse weather after take off. The landing in Rome happened safely without incident and the passengers disembarked normally. The aircraft was damaged because of the weather and is now being examined by maintenance staff.”

Delta spokesperson

A listener on frequency reported the crew’s communication, stating the severity of the hail, which prompted the diversion to Rome Fiumicino.

The incident took place amid a violent thunderstorm passing through the north of Italy, causing flash flooding and hailstones the size of tennis balls in the region. It is believed that the aircraft encountered the storm shortly after takeoff, and within nine minutes, hailstones struck the radome, leading to further damage.

Feature Image: Vola Milano Malpensa (Twitter)