Questions after Delta flight caught in damaging storm

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Large hailstones slammed into the windshield of a Delta flight heading from Boston to Salt Lake City. Lightning also struck the plane before it made an emergency landing in Denver Friday night.

It is the third time this summer an airliner has been damaged in a hailstorm, and now there are questions about why the pilots couldn’t see the storms coming, but passengers could on their wireless devices, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave.

There were tense moments in the cockpit as Delta Flight 1889 crossed the Nebraska-Colorado border and flew right into a weather cell.

Passengers said lightning bolts lit up their windows and one hit the engine. They also said hail the size of baseballs pelted the aircraft.

“Our windshield is pretty severely damaged,” the pilot told air traffic control.

While strong winds rolled the airplane 40 degrees, the pilots were virtually flying blind.

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Sully Sullenberger
Sully Sullenberger
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety for his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is an aviation safety expert and accident investigator, serves as a CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert, and is the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., a company dedicated to management, safety, performance, and reliability consulting.

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