Plane struck by lightning

Passengers aboard Tuesday evening’s flight from Calgary to Kelowna possibly didn’t even know it, but their plane was struck by lightning.

The WestJet flight was making its descent, likely over Vernon, when a bolt of lightning from Tuesday evening’s storm collided with the plane.

“The passengers may not have even been aware it was hit by lightning,” said Jenelle Hynes, Kelowna International Airport (YLW) media relations manager.

The pilot would have felt or heard the bang, and called it in, but no one was injured, or even disturbed by the incident.

“The aircraft landed safely.”

Some damage was identified and the plane was taken in for a full mechanical inspection and its scheduled outbound flight to Edmonton was cancelled.

Since the flight path generally has aircraft making a descent over Vernon, it’s likely that’s where the lightning strike took place.

“That’s usually the approach,” said Hynes.

While it’s not an unheard of incident, planes do get struck by lightning from time to time.

“It’s not common,” said Hynes.

But aircraft are designed to go up against anything Mother Nature might throw their way, including lightning.

“These aircrafts are built to withstand all weather conditions.”


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