Air Canada Rouge A321 Collides With Weather Balloon

An Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321 was in a scare on Sunday. The aircraft is reported to have hit a weather balloon while flying at FL360.

Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321
An Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321 reportedly struck an object at FL360. Photo: Air Canada

The scare came as the aircraft was flying from Barbados to Canada. Thankfully the aircraft landed without incident. Apart from one loop prior to landing, the aircraft flew fairly directly from its origin to its destination. Indeed, the aircraft only landed 13 minutes behind schedule with everything taken into account.

While hitting a weather balloon may sound scary, it seems as though the effects were minimal as the aircraft didn’t declare an emergency or deviate from its flight path.

The flight

The flight that struck the weather balloon was RV 1715 according to the Aviation Herald. Following a scheduled departure of 14:30 local, the aircraft took to the skies 14 minutes late at 14:44. 200 passengers were aboard the flight, accompanied by six members of flight crew.

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The incident itself occurred near Scranton, Pennsylvania, a town that’s well known from a popular American TV series. According to records from FlightRadar24.com, this means that the incident occurred approximately four and a half hours into the flight.

Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321 Weather Balloon
The aircraft’s flight path. Source: FlightRadar24.com

The crew reported that, while flying at FL360, they thought they collided with a weather balloon. However, they do not specify where this would’ve struck the aircraft. The aircraft was reportedly checked over by the Canadian TSB who gave the aircraft the green light when no damage was found.

The aircraft that was involved in the incident was an Airbus A321. It has only ever belonged to Air Canada Rouge who took delivery of it in December 2015. Taking its first flight in November 2015, the aircraft is 3.6 years old according to AirFleets.net. It is the 6,873rd aircraft of the family to be made having the corresponding manufacturers serial number.

About Air Canada Rouge

Air Canada Rouge is Air Canada‘s low-cost subsidiary. The airline was launched in late 2012, commencing service in July of the next year. As of May 1st, the airline operates a fleet of a staggering 60 aircraft, having started out with just four.

Currently, the fleet comprises of 22 Airbus A319s, three Airbus A320s, ten Airbus A321s and 25 Boeing 767s. In addition to North America, Air Canada Rouge flies to destinations in Europe, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321
The aircraft in question landed safely at its destination 13 minutes behind schedule. Photo: Air Canada

In contrast to Air Canada, the Air Canada Rouge aircraft pack slightly more passengers into each aircraft. Additionally, Air Canada Rouge offers inflight entertainment via a streaming app on passenger’s devices.

A representative of Air Canada has been contacted for comment.

Were you onboard the aircraft? Have you ever struck an object flying so high? Let us know in the comments!

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