How do hailstorms affect airlines?

I know it sounds like a dumb question, but hear me out ;)

So, Houston is currently experiencing severe thunderstorms throughout the area, and KIAH is under a severe thunderstorm warning, which states that there is a possibility of hail. The airport is a large hub for United, and many aircraft in their fleet are currently on the ground there. My question is, what do airlines do about hail damage to a large portion of their fleet? If anyone knows, feel free to answer. Thanks!


Maintenance is going be having a fun day if hail happens


Has it ever happened before? If so, were longer than normal delays as a result?

Oh probably happens all the time. I’d imagine if you have fleets damaged that need be fixed you may have some issue, I know if a ton of our aircraft are down for MX we’ll have delays.

1 Like

And how would they deal with the costs of the maintenance?

By doing what they do, pour money into the aircraft. You pour money into it to make money.

We had ground our fleet due to an incident. We lost a lot of money when our fixed wing aircraft was grounded and we spent a lot of money making sure that the issues were fixed.

1 Like

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for answering!

I have zero knowledge of the maintenance issues caused, but considering there are hail storms frequently, im guessing it isnt a major issue?

DFW has it all the time, has a ground stop until weather is gone… during hail, I imagine that larger hail could do some bad damage and cause a lot of issues, but guess its rare as i dont hear of major problems around it in dfw area


We don’t really get much hail, so I can’t say for certain what would happen, I just know that if there is a small damage on the plane body if have to be repaired before the aircraft can fly

It happened on a Norwegian flight earlier this winter (happy I wasn’t on that aircraft)

Damage is found either by pilot walk around, reported at time of occurance/incident or discovered during routine inspections. Once discovered the damage is assessed, manufacturer manuals are checked to see if the damage is within allowable limits… if it’s not then you can submit all the damage information to the manufacturer for stress analysis to see if they will allow the damage to be left as is on their aircraft or supply you with a proper repair if none are available as a “generic” manufacturer manual type repairs for that location on the aircraft… or you replace damaged skins on the aircraft which doesn’t require anything from the manufacturer. Part replacement.
The manufacturer will charge you for the repair information they supply, whether the damage is allowed to be left as is or a repair is issued. Doing cost comparison may result in the changing of the part more cost effective. We had an aircraft with significant hail damage sit on the ground for almost 2 months while round the clock crews carried out repairs/part replacement from hail damage.

I remember a hailstorm happend in Denver last year and a plane has a minor depressurization mid-flight. I’d imagine they can cause quite some damage

Really? I hardly ever see hail here.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.