A Delta Airlines flight with 50 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing after the nose of the aircraft was struck by large hail.

The damage caused was so severe it was initially thought the plane had hit a flock of birds. Delta flight 1076 to New York was operated using an A319 aircraft and was approaching Airport to land during a period of intense storm activity.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the pilots opted to land at JFK reporting “a problem with navigation equipment”. Delta Airlines said maintenance teams are evaluating the condition of the aircraft.