A380 makes emergency landing after cockpit window was smashed by hail

The storm hit the China Southern Airbus as it approached Beijing.
The storm hit the China Southern Airbus as it approached Beijing. Photo credit: Twitter.com/CockpitChatter

Dramatic photos have been shared on social media showing the damage hailstones caused the cockpit window of a China Southern Airbus A380 as it flew to Beijing on Sunday night.

The nearly 550-tonne aircraft was no match for the hailstones inside a storm system into which the plane flew at a height of 37,000 feet.

The hail smashed through the cockpit window, forcing pilots to perform a rapid descent to 1600 feet before landing safely in China's capital.

A380 makes emergency landing after cockpit window was smashed by hail
Photo credit: Twitter.com/CockpitChatter

Twitter user @CockpitChatter, a pilot based in Asia, posted photos taken from both inside and outside the damaged aircraft.

As well as the smashed windscreen, the hail also damaged the nose of the massive Airbus.

The dark blue China Southern paint job was completely worn away by the extreme weather conditions.

A380 makes emergency landing after cockpit window was smashed by hail
Photo credit: twitter.com/CockpitChatter

None of the nearly 500 people onboard were injured.

Repairs were carried out over a 48-hour period by the airline's maintenance staff, and the aircraft departed for Guangzhou on Tuesday afternoon.

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