A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER suffered extensive damage when it overflew a hailstorm in Italy, forcing it to divert to another airport.
The 767-300ER, registered as N189DN, operated flight DL185 from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), Italy, to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), the United States (US), when it was forced to divert to Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) after suffering significant damage caused by hail.
According to flightradar24.com data, the Boeing 767-300ER climbed to a maximum of 23,000 feet (7,010.4 meters), leveling to 20,000 ft (6,096 meters) shortly after. The Delta Air Lines twin-aisle jet landed at FCO at 1:55 pm local time (UTC +2).
Photos shared on Twitter reveal significant damage and punctures to the aircraft’s radome, as well as to the right wing and engine spinner on one of the engines.
AvHerald also reported that the aircraft suffered severe turbulence, with the hail also reportedly cracking the 767‘s windshield, damaging the fan blades and spinners on both engines, and causing dents on the leading edges of the pair of wings.
The Boeing 767-300ER has remained on the ground at FCO since the incident. Data from flightradar24.com showed that flight DL185 from FCO to JFK was canceled on July 24, 2023.
“Delta flight 185 from Milan to New York-JFK diverted to Rome after experiencing an apparent weather-related maintenance issue shortly after departure,” a Delta Air Lines spokesperson said in an email to AeroTime. “The flight landed safely in Rome where passengers deplaned normally and where maintenance personnel is conducting a thorough evaluation of the aircraft,” they added.
Onboard were three pilots, eight flight attendants, and 215 passengers, according to the airline’s spokesperson. “Customers are being reaccommodated on to alternate flights to reach their final destinations,” the spokesperson concluded.
UPDATE July 25, 2023, 3:45 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from Delta Air Lines.