Claim: Photographs show an aircraft damaged and forced to land by “tennis ball-sized” hail.
Status: Real photographs; inaccurate description.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Origins: As usual, these pictures of a hail-damaged aircraft from
The essential (corrective) details are as follows:
- The aircraft pictured did not belong to
BAX World,nor was it used
for flight number 705BX. The plane was a Boeing
727-200operated by Capital Cargo International Airlines which was en routefrom Calgary to Minneapolis on the evening of 10 August2006 when the described incident occurred.
plane was climbing from 30,000 to 35,000 feet (not “cruising at 35,000 feet”) over Alberta when it encountered severe weather, including thunderstorms and large hail. The size of the hail that hit the aircraft cannot be definitively determined, as none of it was captured or penetrated the craft’s windshield.
- Although the crew declared an in-flight emergency and returned to Calgary International Airport, their landing was not nearly as dramatic as described in the accompanying text. The hail put out about half of the plane’s landing lights (not “all” of them), the radar was undamaged (not “destroyed”), and the crew made a routine landing (not a “‘blind’ emergency landing”).
- The damage suffered by the
727-200was largely cosmetic (the craft was not written off as a “total loss”), and the plane was back in service the following month. Neither the first officer nor the flight engineer quit his job as a result of the experience.
Last updated: 21 December 2006