Thai AirAsia flight diverts to Chiang Mai Airport to escape hail storm

Thai AirAsia flight FD9122 from Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok to Nan province in northern Thailand diverted to Chiang Mai Airport yesterday after getting caught in a hail storm.

After taking off from Bangkok at 5.25pm, the aircraft began experiencing turbulence upon almost reaching Nan Nakhon Airport, where it was scheduled to land at 6.45pm.

A passenger told Matichon that everyone on board was shocked and some people were crying. The plane was shaking, the passenger said.

The pilot circled the plane around to escape the storm before informing passengers that the aircraft couldn’t land in Nan due to the weather conditions. Instead, the pilot would divert to Chiang Mai Airport instead to wait for the storm to pass.

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After waiting out the storm in Chiang Mai, the flight took off again, landing at Nan Nakhon Airport at 9.30pm.

Passengers applauded and thanked the pilot for deciding to redirect to keep them safe when the flight finally landed at its destination.

Consequently, flight FD9123 from Nan to Bangkok departed later than scheduled.

The passenger told Matichon that there were 200 passengers on board the redirected flight, which is possibly an exaggeration since the route is serviced by an Airbus A320-200 and Boeing 737-800s, neither of which can facilitate that many passengers. The flight also didn’t look full from the photos.

The storm caused damage to property in Ban Na Kuen in Kluea Nuea subdistrict, completely blowing the zinc rooves off some houses, reports Matichon.

No one was reported to be injured by the storm.

Three weeks ago, a Thai Smile flight had a rough landing in Phuket after suffering from engine problems.

Last month, a Russian tourist plane bound for Moscow faced a terrifying moment when its engine caught fire before takeoff at Phuket International Airport.

The 309 passengers and 12 crew on board the 26 year old Boeing 767-306ER, operated by Azur Air, were forced to evacuate the aircraft.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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