|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 30000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zzz.artcc|
artcc : zzz.artcc
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B727-200|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : vacating altitude|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : multi engine|
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 9000
flight time type : 3000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
flight crew : landed in emergency condition
flight crew : declared emergency
While in climb to FL330; the aircraft entered heavy rain and severe turbulence. The WX radar was painting only green and yellow echoes at distances from 30 NM to 180 NM at angles from 0-10 degrees nose up. On inquiry; center indicated that the worst of the WX was already behind the aircraft. Immediately after; the turbulence became severe and the rain turned to intense hail. The impact noise of the hail made communication within the cockpit very difficult. The first officer's forward window pane sustained visible damage from hail impact. The flight engineer informed the crew that the aircraft was losing cabin pressure. The first officer radioed to center; 'may day; may day; may day; XXX is declaring an emergency. A window is cracking and we are losing cabin pressure.' ATC cleared us for immediate descent and return to abc VOR. The captain turned the aircraft to the left and initiated descent. Shortly thereafter; the hail ceased and the turbulence subsided. The return to ZZZ was without further incident. The captain determined that through the flight characteristics that the aircraft's structural integrity was intact and that the nose radar dome was probably still attached. Upon safe landing; it was determined that the leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizer suffered multiple hail damage divots; the landing lights were smashed up; the engine cowl leading edges were damaged; the first officer's forward window was spider-webbed; and there was a 3 ft diameter hole in the nose of the aircraft. The flight into the thunderstorm was unavoidable since no radar returns ever appeared on the aircraft's onboard WX radar.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A B727-200 ENCOUNTERED SEVERE WX AND TURB. AN EMER WAS DECLARED AND ACFT RETURNED TO LAND WITH A CRACKED WINDOW AND OTHER DAMAGE.
Narrative: WHILE IN CLB TO FL330; THE ACFT ENTERED HVY RAIN AND SEVERE TURB. THE WX RADAR WAS PAINTING ONLY GREEN AND YELLOW ECHOES AT DISTANCES FROM 30 NM TO 180 NM AT ANGLES FROM 0-10 DEGS NOSE UP. ON INQUIRY; CTR INDICATED THAT THE WORST OF THE WX WAS ALREADY BEHIND THE ACFT. IMMEDIATELY AFTER; THE TURB BECAME SEVERE AND THE RAIN TURNED TO INTENSE HAIL. THE IMPACT NOISE OF THE HAIL MADE COM WITHIN THE COCKPIT VERY DIFFICULT. THE FO'S FORWARD WINDOW PANE SUSTAINED VISIBLE DAMAGE FROM HAIL IMPACT. THE FE INFORMED THE CREW THAT THE ACFT WAS LOSING CABIN PRESSURE. THE FO RADIOED TO CENTER; 'MAY DAY; MAY DAY; MAY DAY; XXX IS DECLARING AN EMER. A WINDOW IS CRACKING AND WE ARE LOSING CABIN PRESSURE.' ATC CLRED US FOR IMMEDIATE DSCNT AND RETURN TO ABC VOR. THE CAPT TURNED THE ACFT TO THE L AND INITIATED DSCNT. SHORTLY THEREAFTER; THE HAIL CEASED AND THE TURB SUBSIDED. THE RETURN TO ZZZ WAS WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT. THE CAPT DETERMINED THAT THROUGH THE FLT CHARACTERISTICS THAT THE ACFT'S STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY WAS INTACT AND THAT THE NOSE RADAR DOME WAS PROBABLY STILL ATTACHED. UPON SAFE LNDG; IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE LEADING EDGES OF THE WINGS AND HORIZ STABILIZER SUFFERED MULTIPLE HAIL DAMAGE DIVOTS; THE LNDG LIGHTS WERE SMASHED UP; THE ENG COWL LEADING EDGES WERE DAMAGED; THE FO'S FORWARD WINDOW WAS SPIDER-WEBBED; AND THERE WAS A 3 FT DIAMETER HOLE IN THE NOSE OF THE ACFT. THE FLT INTO THE TSTM WAS UNAVOIDABLE SINCE NO RADAR RETURNS EVER APPEARED ON THE ACFT'S ONBOARD WX RADAR.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.