(EL PASO, Texas) — A hail storm shattered an American Airlines plane’s windshield and caused damage to its nose on Sunday, forcing the plane to divert to El Paso, Texas.
The plane landed safely despite the damage, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). No one was injured.
The flight had taken off from San Antonio, Texas, at 6:57 p.m. local time before being forced to divert to El Paso about two hours into the flight to Phoenix.
“On June 3, American Airlines flight 1897, from San Antonio to Phoenix, diverted to El Paso due to damage sustained by weather in flight. We commend the great work of our pilots, along with our flight attendants, who safely landed the Airbus A319 at 8:03 p.m. MDT,” American Airlines said in a statement. “The aircraft is currently being evaluated by our maintenance team. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this caused.”
Audio from air traffic control showed the pilots radioed they had “virtually no forward visibility,” but could see out of a side window. FlightAware tracking showed the plane was over New Mexico when it turned around.
A passenger on flight 1897, named Ezra, tweeted, “Things were flying. Passengers throwing up. Scariest flight of my life.” He tweeted a photo of an ambulance and fire truck on the tarmac from inside the plane after landing.
There were 130 passengers and five crew members on the flight.
Strong storms moved through Colorado, New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle on Sunday night. An enhanced alert had been issued for damaging wind gusts and isolated large hail in central New Mexico.
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