Sunday 27 November 2022

Extreme storm in Saudi Arabia damages two aircraft

A Saudia Airbus A330 and a Libyan Airlines Airbus A320 were damaged by the extreme weather conditions.

Heavy rainfall and violent hailstorms over Jeddah on the 24th of November resulted in disruption at the city’s airport and damage to at least two aircraft as they came into land.

An Airbus A330-300 belonging to Saudia was operating flight SV452 from Khartoum (KRT/HSSK) to King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN)) when it encountered the inclement weather. The aircraft entered a hold at high altitude prior to landing to wait for conditions to improve.

The onboard crew attempted an initial approach, but subsequently climbed back to an altitude of 19,000ft and continued to hold. On its second approach, the flight encountered severe turbulence and damage to its nose cone and cockpit windshield.

The flight landed safely at 11:14, approximately 45 minutes after entering the first hold, however, the Airbus A330-300 had suffered significant damage as a result of the hail.

A Libyan Airlines Airbus A320 is also believed to have been damaged. The aircraft was operating flight LN1256 from Benghazi (BEN/HLLB) to Jeddah (JED/OEJN) when it encountered the same adverse weather conditions as the Saudia flight. The aircraft was climbing out of Jeddah's runway 16C at 08:54 (local) when the crew stopped the climb due to a hail strike damaging both windshields. The aircraft positioned for an immediate return to Jeddah but aborted the approach at about 2000 feet and climbed again to 8000 feet and subsequently entered a hold at 5000 feet to wait for better weather. The aircraft landed safely back on runway 16C about one hour after departure.

At the time of writing, both the Saudia and the Libyan Airlines aircraft remain on the ground in Jeddah.

Aircraft Information No 1
Airline: Saudia 
Code: SV/SVA
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Registration: HZ-AQ25
Serial Number: 1790
Engines: 2 x RR Trent 772B-60
First Flew: 10/04/2017
Age: 5Yrs. 6 Mts

Aircraft Information No 2
Airline: Libyan Airlines
Code: LN/LAA
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214
Registration: 5A-LAK
Serial Number: 4526
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
First Flew: 03/12/2010
Age: 12 Yrs.

According to Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology, Jeddah recorded 179mm of rain in just four hours. The resulting flash floods tragically killed two people and left several buildings and roads badly damaged. The total amount of rainfall was the highest ever recorded, and exceeded that of the 25th of November 2009, when over 120 people died in flash floods in the city.

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