Plane Forced Into Emergency Landing After Battling Hailstorm At 32,000 Feet
Do you ever have visions of the plane exploding when you're settling into your seat before a flight? Could be a one-hour quickie or a long-haul adventure, but those few minutes between the plane taking off and reaching altitude can always seem a little wobbly and make you think about going down in a ball of flames. If you're like us, anyway.
If you are, maybe stop reading now, because although this story has a happy ending, it's not going to help you feel any better about the next flight you take.
A mid-air hailstorm attacked a Chinese domestic airliner with such force that it broke its weather radar and left a massive dent in its nose cone. It also cracked the outer layers of its left and right windscreens. Eep!
Thankfully, the pilot of Tianjin Airlines flight 7865 was able to make a successful emergency landing. The plane was travelling to the city of Haikou, the capital of Hainan, the country's southernmost island province.
On the way at 32,000 feet, however, the plane encountered the violent hailstorm, which - as you can clearly see from the photos - did its very best to destroy the plane.
Pilots were able to battle the hailstorm until they were given clearance to land in Wuhan, in the nearby Hubei. All crew and passengers were reported as safe.
Statistically, the chances of a plane crash are incredibly low - just one in every 1.2 million flights. The odds of dying are even lower, with a one in 11 million chance. By comparison, your chances of dying in a car accident are one in 5,000.
Still, it's the fact that you're in this strange metal bird that seems to be defying the laws of physics and gravity that makes plane travel seem all the more perilous than sharing the roads with a whole bunch of other people who don't even have your safety as their first priority.
The pilots of planes will be going down with you if they crash, so they have every incentive to keep you safe. Not that they always have a choice. It's not like they want to plummet 32,000 feet to the ground and explode in a giant fireball. Hopefully, anyway.
Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire