'Loud bang' as two planes struck by lightning at Auckland Airport

Ruth Doherty
'Loud bang' as two planes struck by lightning at Auckland Airport
'Loud bang' as two planes struck by lightning at Auckland Airport


Two planes were struck by lightning just before coming into land at Auckland Airport - and one was left with a hole in its tail, according to a passenger.

Nancy Higgins, from Christchurch, said her Air New Zealand flight, which was carrying 144 passengers, was about 10 minutes away from landing at around 8am yesterday when she heard a "loud bang".

She told the tvnz.co.nz that there was a ''a huge pop and the plane sort of wobbled a bit'', adding: "At first I thought the engine was on fire but then I looked out the window and saw a red flash and the stewardess who was sitting in front of me - we were coming down to land - said there had been a lightning strike."

An Air New Zealand spokesman told the site the plane had "encountered lightning on approach to Auckland" but the pilot landed the aircraft without incident.

Ms Higgins said a friend was on a Jetstar flight, which had departed around 10 minutes before the Air New Zealand flight, that was also struck by lightning.

One passenger from the Jetstar flight said the strike had left a hole in the aircraft's tail.

A Jetstar spokesman confirmed the plane had been struck by lightning and said it had suffered "minor damage".

"These incidents are not uncommon when flying in adverse weather and our aircraft are perfectly capable of dealing with these situations when they arise."

According to stuff.co.nz, Ms Higgins said passengers were calm and the pilot made no announcement over the loudspeaker to tell them the plane had been struck.

However, the pilot on the Jetstar flight told passengers once they had landed that the plane had been struck by lightning.

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