BREAKING: Viral Video Captures Moment Lightning Strikes Plane Mid-flight


Mar 7, 2024

A video that went viral captured the moment when a plane travelling from Vancouver to London, with 400 passengers on board, was struck by lightning during its flight.

According to Dailymail report on Thursday, the Air Canada Boeing 777 encountered a lightning strike shortly after taking off from Vancouver Airport in Canada.

Despite the dramatic incident, there were no casualties, and the aircraft completed its journey safely, landing at London Heathrow as scheduled.

The video, taken by aviation enthusiast Ethan West, who aspires to become a pilot, documented the lightning bolt hitting the plane directly as it continued its course toward the ground without affecting the flight.
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Although the sight might have been alarming for onlookers, passengers onboard likely didn’t perceive any effects from the lightning strike.

Modern aircraft, such as the one in this instance, are equipped with materials like carbon composite coated with a thin layer of copper, designed to conduct electricity around the aircraft, thus ensuring the safety of those inside.

Passengers might witness a flash of lightning or hear the sound of thunder if lightning strikes their plane, but they would not be endangered or feel as if they were directly struck.
Upon arrival at London Heathrow, Air Canada confirmed that the aircraft underwent inspection to ensure the flight’s safety.
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According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes on planes occur once or twice a year on average.

Commercial passenger planes typically travel at speeds around 500 mph, while lightning bolts travel at nearly 700 million mph.

Most lightning strikes happen in near-freezing temperatures at high altitudes or during turbulent conditions, with the occurrence varying based on geographical location.

Between March and July, over half of lightning strikes on aircraft occur, often when planes pass through clouds during ascent or descent.

With temperatures reaching nearly 30,000°C, lightning is incredibly hot—three times hotter than the sun’s surface.

Although rare, there have been nine recorded plane crashes attributed to lightning, primarily involving commercial airliners and two military planes.
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Among these incidents, the most devastating was the 1971 LANSA Flight 508, which resulted in the loss of 91 out of 92 passengers and crew.

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