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STRUCK BY LIGHTNING Virgin Atlantic plane struck by lightning just minutes after taking off from Gatwick Airport

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747 flight VS65 was travelling to Montego Bay when it was hit shortly after take off this morning.
The plane was forced to turn back and re-landed at Gatwick safely.
Gatwick confirmed the plane had been struck by lightning after take off at 11.45am.
Nick Kenton, who is believed to have been on the flight, tweeted a video of smoke billowing from the wing on Twitter.
He said: “My Travels!? Ten mins into a long haul flight & struck by lightening. Currently dumping fuel to try head back to Gatwick #flying #planes #no”.
A Virgin spokesman said: “Our flight VS65 today from London Gatwick to Montego Bay has returned to Gatwick as a precaution due to a suspected lightning strike, and has now landed.
“We are in the process of arranging an alternative aircraft to allow our customers to continue their journey later today, and we would like to thank them for their understanding.”
Courtesy of

Lightning hits two flights in New Zealand air space

A Jetstar flight from Auckland to Wellington was hit soon after taking off, while a Qantas flight from Sydney to Wellington was struck near the capital.
QF164’s return flight to Sydney has been cancelled.
The damage to the Jetstar flight was discovered when it landed. Its return flight has also been cancelled, and engineers are assessing its condition.
New Zealand has been hit by rain, snow and huge wind gusts since yesterday afternoon.
Hundreds of people were without electricity after the wintry blast knocked out power lines and closed roads around the country.
The wild weather should clear in the south but the North Island could still be hit by hail and snow.
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Severe hailstorm and lightning forces plane to make an emergency landing in Denver, USA

A Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City arrived safely in Utah early Saturday morning after a storm forced the plane to be diverted to Denver Friday night.
“I fly constantly and this was the scariest 10 minutes of my life,” said passenger Robin Jones after arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport early Saturday morning. “I thought, ‘OK. Have I told everybody that I love that I love them?’ And as soon as I realized I had done that, I was like, ‘I’m alright. Everything’s going to be OK.’”
Delta flight 1889 made an emergency landing after getting caught in lightning, rain and hail. Photos sent in by viewers showed the aircraft’s windshield was shattered and the nose of the plane was heavily damaged.
One passenger described the damage of the plane.
“We went around the corner from the window, we could see the shattered windshield,” said passenger Rob Wessman. “We could see kind of a hole over the engine where lightning had struck. We could see the nose of the plane was missing. It was really intense.”
The plane landed safely in Denver just before 9 p.m. and arrived in Salt Lake City at about 12:45 a.m.
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Dramatic pictures show lighting bolt striking wing of passenger jet as it flies through thunderstorm

Lighting Bolt Strikes A Planes Wing
Lighting Bolt Strikes A Planes Wing
These shocking photos capture the moment lightning strikes the wing of an passenger jet as it flies through a thunderstorm.
It was captured by a passenger on board the Boeing 777 flight from Singapore to Seoul.
In the short clip, passenger Myagmarsuren Ricci films the view from the window as he flies through a raging storm.
Suddenly, a huge bolt of lightning hits the wing of the plane, sending massive sparks into the air.
However the bad weather does not appear to damage the plane as it passes through the storm cloud.
The flight even arrived in South Korea seven minutes ahead of schedule.
British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) spokesperson Captain Steven Draper told MailOnline Travel: “Lightning strikes do not affect the flying of an aeroplane, although when flying near or through thunderstorms, pilots might employ specific procedures.
Lighting Bolt Strikes A Planes Wing
Near miss: The lightning bolt sent sparks flying from the wing
“Pilots use the weather radar to avoid the worst areas of a storm.”
He added most of the time lightning strikes did not cause any damage to the aeroplane and needed no action apart from a reassuring message over the tannoy.
Lighting Bolt Strikes A Planes Wing
Undamaged: The plane suffered no harm and even landed ahead of schedule
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Aberdeen plane forced to land after being struck by lightning


A PLANE carrying more than 30 people had to return to Aberdeen after it was struck by lightning.
Emergency crews were called to Aberdeen International Airport at 7.20pm last night.
The Loganair plane with 32 people on board was approaching Shetland’s Sumburgh Airport when it was hit by lightning.  
A Loganair spokesman said: “The captain took the decision to return to Aberdeen Airport and a Mayday call was made as a precaution.
“As is standard procedure when any Mayday call is initiated, the aircraft was met by the airport’s emergency crews as it landed safely.
“The aircraft was carrying three crew and 29 passengers, who were accommodated overnight and continued their journey this morning.”
An airport spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that the plane landed safely and all the passengers are fine.”

Lightning strike forces Finnair plane to return to Stockholm

Finnair flight AY2650 from Stockholm to Helsinki was hit by lightning on Saturday evening. It was forced to turn back to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport where it underwent inspection

Finnairin lentokone.

Stockholm’s Arlanda airport said that the event did not lead to any great drama and that the aircraft returned to its departure point merely as a precaution.  The flight left the airport at 8:30pm Swedish time — 9:30pm Finnish time — with 96 passengers onboard.

One passenger, Heidi Palo, said that there was a loud bang when the lightning struck the plane and the lights flickered. Despite this, the atmosphere remained calm.

Palo said that the aircraft had been checked and that it re-embarked at 11:20pm local time.

On Thursday two other Finnair aircraft were hit by lightning.

Lightning strikes an Alaska Airlines plane flying from Seattle to Hawaii


Alaska Airlines flight hit by lightning
Alaska Airlines Flight 815 from Seattle to Lihue, Hawaii, was hit by lightning Thursday evening and had to return to Sea-Tac Airport, officials said.  

The lightning hit around 6:45 p.m., just 20 minutes into the flight. 

Alaska Airlines said no one felt anything, but the pilots knew they were hit because of a flash.  They returned to Sea-Tac to have the plane inspected.  The passengers were then put on another plane to Hawaii.

“It probably scares the bejeebers out of everybody in the first place,” said aviation expert Scott Hamilton. “The pilot is going to scan the instruments to see if the engines reacted to it, if the engines were affected by it,  if anything was affected by it.”

Alaska Airlines did not respond to KIRO 7s questions about whether the inspection showed that the plane was damaged in any way.

Hamilton and those who fly will tell you that lightning strikes on planes aren’t uncommon.  You can find numerous videos on

But an Air Force C-17 pilot told KIRO 7 that it’s always unnerving.  The Air Force policy is to land the plane as soon as possible if a lightning strike is suspected.

Commercial airlines have different policies.

“When a lightning strike happens, it just sort of passes through the plane and nothing is the result,” said Hamilton.  “When a plane turns around it’s usually because some instrument reacts poorly too it.”

Lightning was blamed for bringing down a small plane in India and killing four people in January.  But technology on U.S. commercial planes is constantly improving.

The new 787 Dreamliner is built with a special conductive mesh to help the composite body handle lightning strikes.

The goal is to have the same result as Alaska Airlines flight 815 — a safe landing with no problems.