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Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 Flies Into Severe Hail Storm On Takeoff From Milan, Prompting Diversion After Aircraft is Damaged

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 Flies Into Severe Hail Storm On Takeoff From Milan, Prompting Diversion After Aircraft is Damaged

a close up of a plane

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 flew into a hail storm shortly after takeoff from Milan on Monday afternoon, prompting the pilots of the 26-year-old aircraft to divert to Rome after the airplane sustained ‘substantial’ damage, including punctures to the right-hand wing and radome.

Thankfully none of the 215 passengers and 11 crew members onboard were injured after the plane was rocked by turbulence as Delta flight DL185 to New York JFK climbed out of Milan Malpensa International Airport.

the front of an airplane with a hole in the nose
Damage sustained to Delta flight DL185

Along with punctures to the right-hand wing and radome, the aircraft also reportedly suffered a cracked windshield, punctures to both engine spinners and damage to the fan blades on both engines, as it was battered by hail, according to the Aviation Herald.

The pilots were able to get the plane safely on the ground in Rome just over an hour after takeoff, where the aircraft was promptly taken out of service and the flight to New York cancelled.

the side of an airplane
Damage sustained to Delta flight DL185

A spokesperson for Delta says it is looking after affected customers who are being accommodated on alternative flights from Rome.

“Delta flight 185 from Milan to New York-JFK diverted to Rome after experiencing an apparent weather-related maintenance issue shortly after departure,” the Atlanta-based airline told us in an emailed statement.

“The flight landed safely in Rome, where passengers deplaned normally and where maintenance personnel is conducting a thorough evaluation of the aircraft. Delta apologizes for the delay to our customers’ journey,” the statement continued.

“The safety of our customers and crew is Delta’s top priority.”

The aircraft involved in Monday’s incident is the plane that had an evacuation slide ‘explode’ inside the cabin last month after it was forced to divert to Salt Lake City due to an unrelated technical issue with the plane’s temperature instruments.

After the technical problem was rectified, flight attendants went to arm the doors for departure when one of the inflatable evacuation slides at the back of the aircraft accidentally activated and inflated inside the aircraft.

The aircraft was taken out of service several days following that mishap. It’s likely to take slightly longer to fix all the damage in Monday’s hail storm.

Northern Italy has been badly affected by wild weather over the last fix, and while much of Europe has been gripped by soaring summer temperatures, Milan made the news after its streets were awash with flowing ice following another severe hail storm.

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