Society 13:35 06/03/2024 World

Video shows lightning striking plane shortly after takeoff

A passenger plane was struck by lightning shortly after taking off from the Vancouver airport this week – and the eye-catching moment was captured on video, CTV News reported.

Student pilot Ethan West told CTV News he was near Vancouver International Airport watching planes when the lightning struck Monday evening.

West said the aircraft involved was a Boeing 777-300ER – which he happened to be recording on his cellphone.

"It's one of my favourite aircraft," said the 19-year-old, who is in BCIT's pilot program. "It makes this really loud roaring noise, so I was trying to get that from the takeoff thrust."

Instead, he ended up capturing the dramatic moment a lightning bolt shoots down onto the plane.

West said he checked an online flight tracker after the incident, and confirmed that the Boeing continued to its destination – London's Heathrow airport.

"I watched it, it kept climbing," he added. "I guess they came to the conclusion that it was safe and airworthy."

According to an article from McGill University's Office for Science and Safety, the average plane is struck by lightning "about once a year."

"It’s a terrifying experience to be sure, but the passengers inside are actually completely safe, due to some smart design elements in airplanes," it reads.

"Most planes are made of aluminum and the ones that are not usually still contain metal frames. This metal framing acts as a conductor so that when electricity enters it at any point it spreads across all metal parts."

Lightning can still cause damage – but has not caused a commercial airplane to crash in "many decades," according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.



Source Panorama.am
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