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Hail? I'll take the train, thanks

If you're a nervous flier, don't Google DL 159. That's the flight number of a Delta 747 that hit a hailstorm over China. A hailstorm so bad that passengers said they were thrown up against the overhead lockers and watched every loose item fly around the cabin.

That doesn't sound too awful, right? Just very bad turbulence? Well, the hail was so bad that the nose of the aircraft was worn away. It landed looking like a giant ant-eater - still pointy, but with a huge hole at the end of its snout.

True, it's only the skin that covers the radar, and isn't a critical component, but flying for most of us takes a suspension of disbelief and doubt. And realising that hailstones can wear chunks of an aircraft away brings that disbelief and doubt roaring back pretty damn quick ...