Hero pilot saves flight from crashing into North Sea after plane is struck by lightning

A Loganair Saab 2000 flying for Flybe G-LGNR leaves Aberdeen for East Midlands Airport.  SCO 9376.

A pilot was hailed a hero after saving a flight from crashing into the North Sea with just seconds to spare after the plane was struck by lightning.

The Loganair flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh Airport, Shetland, fell to just 1,100ft before the pilot wrestled back control and applied full power.

It was moments from crashing into the icy water on December 14, when bad weather brought thunderstorms with rain, snow, hail and 70mph winds, the Daily Record reports.

The 30 passengers and three crew on the Saab 2000 aircraft sat in terror as it sent itself into a nosedive.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch report said that after the plane was struck by lightning, the co-pilot declared a mayday as the pilot tried to gain height but every move was overridden by the autopilot.

As it reached 4,000ft, the aircraft pitched nose down and fell out of the sky at 9,500ft a minute, the Press and Journal reports.

With just seconds before the plane crashed into the freezing water, the captain managed to lift the plane back into a climb and redirected it back to Aberdeen where it landed safely.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, passenger Shona Manson said it was only after the plane landed and the shaken captain came out of the cockpit that she realised how serious the incident could have been.

"It was really, really bumpy. If it was someone who's a bad flyer, it'd be their worst nightmare.

"We were on descent and I said to my partner, we're going back up again, and just as we started to go up again there was an almighty bang and a flash that went over the left wing."

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Hero pilot saves flight from crashing into North Sea after plane is struck by lightning
In one of the strangest lightning stories we've ever heard, an entire football team in Congo was killed when lightning struck a pitch during a match. Weirdly their opponents were unharmed, sparking accusations of witchcraft. Newspaper L'Avenir explained: "Lightning killed at a stroke 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years during a football match. The athletes from Basanga [the home team] curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed." The Congolese newspaper added that 30 other people received burns at the weekend fixture.
A 20-year-old Colombian man was struck by lightning four times in six months and as a "cure" a local indigenous doctor recommended Alexander Mandón be buried alive in dirt to absorb the electrical charges in his body. Mandón wasn't buried correctly by the residents of Sampués who had to bury him again, this time upright. Mandón was struck three times while serving in the Colombian military, which lead to him being discharged as he was too much of a risk. It was when he was struck a fourth time in his home town outside a cantina that he was left trembling and struggling to walk.
Friday the 13th proved extremely unlucky for one boy in Suffolk, UK, after he was struck by lightning at an air show. But just when you thought the story couldn't get spookier, the teenager, who happened to be 13 years old, was struck at exactly 13:13. The lad was among 150,000 people at the air show and was taken to hospital before being treated for a minor burn. Rex Clarke, St John Ambulance team leader said: "It's all a bit strange that he was 13, and it happened at 13:13 on Friday 13."
An unfortunate biker from Zagreb, Croatia was knocked unconscious when his penis was struck by lightning as he stopped for a roadside toilet break. Ante Djindjic, 29, said: "I don’t remember what happened. One minute I was taking a leak and the next thing I knew I was in hospital. Doctors said the lightning went through my body and because I was wearing rubber boots it earthed itself through my penis." Lucky for Djindjic, medics said there was no long-term damage and his penis "will function normally eventually."
Be careful what you wish for. A boy from Utah was with his family in the car during a storm when he wished their car would be struck by lightning and almost immediately after making the request, the family's 4x4 was struck by a bolt of lightning hitting the cars antenna. The electrical gauges immediately shut off, three tyres burst and the family were stranded in the rain until a passer-by stopped and called for help. Luckily no-one was injured.
A couple from Germany who decided to get frisky in the bushes had their roadside sex session end in a flash when a large lightning bolt struck just inches away. Jens Gottlieb, 36, and Lisa Gruhn, 28, pulled into a parking space on the busy motorway in North-Rhine Westphalia and after kissing and cuddling decided to head into the nearby bushes. When the lightning struck, the terrified couple ran out of the bush naked. They lost their way back to their car and were spotted by another motorist who called the police before they were helped into dry clothes. Cringe!
A 53-year-old Spanish man was walking down a street in Madrid when he was struck by lightning in the scrotum. Ouch! The man lost consciousness and the bolt travelled down his leg, striking the ground. Paramedics were called and the man was treated for burns to the scrotum and feet. When he was taken to hospital for tests, doctors found that luckily his heart and brain were not affected by the strike.
A woman in Derbyshire, UK escaped with just pins and needles when she was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, thanks to her husband's wellington boots. Deborah Kendall was putting her toddler in the car and put her husband's wellies on while opening an umbrella to step outside into the storm when she saw a sudden white sheet of light. There was a bang at her feet and she was left in shock. Doctors told Deborah that the rubber boots insulated her and stopped the lightning from earthing. She's forever thankful for the £8.50 wellies that she was going to throw out.
An unlucky shopper in a Louisiana supermarket was paying for her weekly shop at the checkout when a flash of lightning hit her. Lakeisha Brooks, 33, heard a loud crash and said:  "It dimmed my eyes to where they were burning." Brooks pushed her two-year-old daughter away when the force struck again and blew her shoe off her foot. She suffered burn marks on her left leg and right foot and said the blast felt like hot oil running down her thigh. Lakeisha was taken to hospital and the supermarket was left with a blackened tile where she was standing when the lighting struck.
It's one thing being struck by lightning, but a woman in Croatia had the bolt pass right through her body and exit from her bottom. Natasha Timarovic was brushing her teeth in her bathroom and had her mouth to the tap when the lightning struck, sending the current through her body. As she was wearing rubber-soled shoes, the lightning bolt was unable to earth through her feet and took the next easiest route - through her rectum. She said: "It was incredibly painful, I felt it pass through my torso and then I don’t remember much at all." A medic said: "Instead of earthing through her feet, it appears the electricity shot out of her backside… if she had not been wearing the shoes she would probably have been killed."

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Hero pilot saves flight from crashing into North Sea after plane is struck by lightning

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In June 2013, a man on a United Airlines flight from Hong Kong to New York told flight attendants he had "poisoned everyone on board". There was no indication that anyone had actually been poisoned but imagine having to spend the rest of a long-haul flight wondering if someone had tampered with your airline meal. FBI agents waited to meet the flight as it landed and the passenger was restrained by fellow travellers after making the claim.

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Thought a naughty child kicking your chair was bad? In August 2013, 30 adults created the flight from hell when they ran riot on a Ryanair flight from Prestwick to Ibiza, swearing, threatening and even sexually harassing crew in front of other holidaymakers, including families with young children. The men were warned by police about their behaviour before boarding but this didn't stop their drunken rampage, which saw them shouting and jumping on the seats too.


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