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

Loganair passenger jet sent into nosedive at Shetland airport

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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