BEIRUT: The nose of a Kuwait Airways airplane was damaged during its landing at Beirut’s airport Sunday, though the cause of the damage was unclear.
Kuwait Airways flight KU501 was struck at an altitude of 8,000 feet while landing at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport. The state-run National News Agency reported that the plane was hit by either hail or lightning.
But according to a source at the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, the airplane’s captain said the damage occurred when he flew into an ice cloud.
The source however argued that the airplane’s windows would have been affected if that were the case, because they’re the most fragile part of the plane and the nose is the strongest. Since neither the windows nor the rest of the aircraft were damaged, the source speculated that the damage was caused either by lightning or a “big bird.”
The source added that the captain will be questioned again, emphasizing that nothing was certain as investigations were still ongoing. The directorate-general will release a statement once all information relating to the case is available.
A statement from Kuwait Airways said the airplane landed “safely and normally” in Beirut after hitting a chunk of ice.
The Airbus A320 aircraft is expected to return to Kuwait around 7 p.m. Sunday, the statement said.