Suspicion of negligent endangerment of the public: Public prosecutor's office investigates AUA hail incident

Airbus A320 (Photo: Angelika Evergreen).
Airbus A320 (Photo: Angelika Evergreen).

Suspicion of negligent endangerment of the public: Public prosecutor's office investigates AUA hail incident

Airbus A320 (Photo: Angelika Evergreen).
Advertising

The dramatic flight of Austrian Airlines (AUA) on June 9, 2024, in which an Airbus A320 was severely damaged by a hailstorm, is now having serious consequences. Two affected passengers have filed a complaint with the public prosecutor's office demanding a criminal investigation on suspicion of negligent endangerment. This incident raises numerous questions about flight safety and the decisions made by the pilots.

On June 9, 2024, the AUA flight from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna was caught in a violent thunderstorm cell. Despite warnings from Austro Control of "risk of thunderstorms with hail", the pilots flew into the storm, which caused severe damage to the aircraft. The incident occurred over Austrian territory and has now attracted the attention of the public prosecutor's offices in Korneuburg and Graz.

Report and investigation

According to the Kurier, two passengers, represented by their lawyer, submitted a statement of facts to the Korneuburg public prosecutor's office. The suspicion is directed against unknown perpetrators, specifically against the pilots of the flight. The complaint was forwarded to the Graz public prosecutor's office due to geographical jurisdiction. The focus of the investigation is the question of whether the pilots could have flown around the storm cell and whether they underestimated the danger.

The pilots stated that the storm cell was not visible on their weather radar. This is in contrast to the claims of the Austro Control flight meteorologist, who had warned of the dangerous weather conditions. The lawyer for the passengers concerned stresses the need for a criminal investigation in addition to the investigations already underway by the Federal Safety Investigation Board (SUB). A comprehensive investigation of the incident is the priority, while no compensation is being demanded.

Technical and legal implications

The Airbus A320 was able to land safely in Vienna, although the aircraft sustained significant damage. This raises questions about the technical equipment and safety protocols of AUA. The report points out that flying into a thunderstorm cell was "strictly to be avoided" and that it would have been possible to fly around the storm. The key question remains whether the pilots underestimated the situation and whether their actions were grossly negligent.

Reactions and further steps

AUA has not yet issued a detailed statement as they are not officially aware of the facts of the case. Media inquiries were only answered in general terms. The investigations by the public prosecutor's office and the SUB will now have to clarify whether this was a human error or an unforeseeable technical problem.

This incident has far-reaching implications for the entire aviation industry. It underlines the importance of accurate weather monitoring systems and the need for clear communication channels between meteorologists and pilots. It also shows the importance of strict regulations and training in dealing with extreme weather conditions.

The investigations into the AUA flight during a hailstorm could lead to important findings about flight safety and the responsibility of pilots. The coming months will show whether there will be criminal consequences for the cockpit crew and what measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

This website uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn more about how your comment data is processed.

Editor of this article:

[ssba buttons]

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

Your
Aviation.Direct team
paywalls
nobody likes!

About the editor

[ssba buttons]

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

Your
Aviation.Direct team
paywalls
nobody likes!

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

This website uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn more about how your comment data is processed.

Advertising