Hail damage

Madbrit Guest

This is an old Boeing 727 after landing from a flight over Alberta, Canada on Friday 10 Aug 2006.

On a night flight, around 11PM, Canadian 727 aircraft 705BX was cruising at 35,000 feet when it encountered hail the size of tennis balls. The pictures below show some of the damage. All landing lights were destroyed, as was the radar. The crew was forced to make a nearly "blind" night emergency landing. Upon safe return to the ground the first officer and flight engineer quit. It is expected that the aircraft is a total loss as its structural integrity has been compromised. The ol' Boeing Tri-Motor/Three-Holer made it through though.

17 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
Solotwo Chief Captain

Holy hell batman!

Dunno if I would quit my job over it though...though I'm sure they didn't think they'd make it home that night I'm sure.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I didn't know there was hail at 35,000 feet 😳


Madbrit Guest

I have my doubts on the validity of the content of the report too but it seems that the size of the hail does increase with altitude.

Take a look here:

It's a Power Point presentation from NOAA. You will need PPViewer if you don't have Power Point. Might be a long download if you have dial up.

Pro Member Captain
brownbox Captain

hmmm. interesting. Sounds plausible... 🙄

Pro Member Chief Captain
Insight Chief Captain

Yeh, i didn't know you could get hail that far up

couple of things make me wonder though

1. How is it only the right side of the windscreen has got damage when the entire nose cone is battered and the engine from the left wing is shown as battered?
2. How did the tennis ball ice balls not manage to smash the interiors of the engine to bits it they managed to remove an entire section of nose?

Pro Member Chief Captain
hinch Chief Captain

well...if some of you doubt the story, what else did it then? 😛

Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

You can surely expect hail at that altitude. The type of cloud that produces hail is called Cumulonimbus cloud. This is a low level cloud which is formed between the ground up to 6500 feet, but this cloud can go up to the tropopause or more than 20000 feet, where the high level clouds are located. Another thing, hail at that altitude is even bigger than a tennis ball. So that aircraft flying at 35000 feet encountered hail with a HUGE size, bigger than a tennis ball. Hail reaches the ground as a tennis ball size or smaller because the temperature of the air increases when altitude decreases, thus melting the hail.

Pilots are not supposed to fly under or at a Cumulonimbus cloud because this could be deadly. You can fly without danger above the cloud or next to it, but never under the cloud or inside the cloud.


Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain


Cumulonimbus clouds are evil things. Theres a tail that an American in a Piper Warrior flew into a CB (stupid in the first place), ended up getting thrown up in the internal convection of it above 15,000ft at 6000fpm, passing out and getting thrown out the top in a chunk of ice at 20,000ft. These evil things, as Agus said, can reach fairly high, its not unknown for them to reach 40,000ft. It does seem strange though, that the left windscreen avoided damage Umm...

Pro Member First Officer
PIC1stOfficer First Officer

Those are some awesome pic's. Thank's for posting them. Surprised

Pro Member First Officer
CaptDennison First Officer

The pilots probably quit, because they were going to be fired anyway. They probably were sleeping or drunk. If indeed they hit large hail, someone wasnt watching the WX radar. That kind of hail would have shown up.
Amazing pics, and yes, hard to belive the engines didnt fail.

Neat find and post

Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

Impressive ans scary pics 😳 ❗

Can we add hail in FSX wish list Idea 😂

Pro Member First Officer
TimH First Officer

Yes it is weird that there is no damage to the left window

It is possible of course that when it got down on the ground, they got all the glass out of the window (as you do when windows are broken or cracked, as they have to replace the whole window) and the picture was taken before they got to the second window

Have a look at the first picture, the left window (right window as you look at it from outside) doesnt look like it has any glass in it at all

Have a look at the last picture
Notice the left window, it doesnt appear to have any glass, no reflections, no shine

But another interesting thing that proves this is, in the last picture, is there any part of the right (damaged) window that looks the left window? (looks like it has no glass?)

The answer is yes, look at the very edge of it at the centerpost, there seems to be a section of it with no glass

How do I know there is no glass? Look at the bottom of this 'opening'. Cant you see a visible threshold of where the damamed glass meets the area with no glass

Hope that my opinion helps to solve this mystery


Pro Member Trainee
UG_PL Trainee

One word... HOLY COW!!!!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Insight Chief Captain


Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Insight wrote:


😂 Someone's got to say it...

Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

Here's some more pictures for you to look at.

This time it happened with Easyjet.


If you take that last photo and use a picture program like Picasa2 and brighten the picture up you can see that their IS glas in all the windows and that the left and far right windows do show reflections in them of the cockpit.

Try it, you will see.

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