Hail smashes plane windshield, forces pilot to divert

May 18, 2013
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El Paso, TX June 3, 2018 (KFOX14)

"A damaged windshield forced an American Airlines plane to land in El Paso Sunday evening. American Airelines Flight 1897 from San Antonio to Phoenix made an emergency landing at El Paso International Airport around 8 p.m. Sunday night. Radio communication obtained by KFOX14/CBS4 between the pilot and the tower shows hail damaged the windshield on Airbus A319. “The hail has beat up our forward windshields pretty badly for American Airlines 1897. At this time, we don’t have a whole lot of forward visibility,” said the pilot over the radio."

Full story with a pic of the badly damaged windshield and nosecone at:

http://kfoxtv.com/news/local/severe-weather-forces-american-airlines-flight-1897-to-divert-to-el-paso

I'm going to go out a limb and say this one must have been an instrument landing.
 
Really stupid now days to fly through a hailstorm that serious. Lucky the hail did not destroy the engines. Having said that, it's my understanding the hail that some airlines encounter can be thrown many miles away from the updraft.
 
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Thanks for posting, Brian - looks like he did not have much space to thread his way through. Also interesting to me since I chased that day and this looks to be the next storm down the line from the one I was on from Bernardo to Willard, NM.