Plane is struck by lightning en route to London, but there’s not actually all that much to be worried about

  • A BA plane was struck by lightning about 40 miles from its destination
  • On average, this happens two or three times per year
  • The plane safely landed, with no damage or injuries to report

Published on Jul 09, 2024 at 3:47 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on Jul 09, 2024 at 9:20 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A passenger aboard Flight BA919 captured the exact moment the plane got struck by lightning.

The video looks scary and impressive.

But, as it turns out, even though the pilots decided to make an emergency landing, there’s actually not much to worry about.

READ MORE: American Airlines Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 pull off amazing parallel landing in synchronized perfection

A British Airways Airbus A320 got struck by lightning while approaching Heathrow Airport in London.

Fortunately, the plane was already flying very close to London when that happened, so the pilots were able to safely land the aircraft at London Gatwick, which is just 40 miles south of Heathrow.

This technically counts as an emergency landing, but the truth is, the situation was a lot safer than it sounds.

What happens when a commercial plane gets struck by lightning

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, commercial passenger planes are hit by lightning a few times every year.

But the thing is, planes are expected to fly through thunderstorms and the possibility of being hit by lightning is taken into account when the airplane is designed.

Generally speaking, large passenger planes can function normally after being struck.

We’re talking about the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320, the recently retired Boeing 747 or the 777 and 787 that replaced the 747.

Having said that, for obvious safety reasons, the industry operates with a zero-risk approach.

Translated, this means that pilots almost always make an emergency landing when possible, and it also means there’s a mandatory inspection for damage after the incident, even when the plane seems to be unaffected.

This is because even though structural damage is extremely unlikely, the electricity of a lightning might compromise some of the electrical components or some of the electronics.

The images used for this article were generated with AI

# Tags - Airplanes


user

Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.