Lightning strikes twice
A passenger aboard a plane struck by lightning as it came in to land at New Plymouth Airport says the experience has not put her off flying.
Tegan Frost was on the flight, from Auckland, on Wednesday night when hit was hit by the bolt from the blue as it approached the airport.
"All of a sudden the whole cabin was filled with bright white light," Frost told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.
The 25-year-old said the light was accompanied by a loud crack of thunder which made many of the passengers gasp.
"It all happened so quickly and it was so loud."
Frost said she didn't like flying much anyway and was thankful the lightning struck on the return trip.
"I'm not the best flier anyway, I don't enjoy a lot of turbulence."
The Silk Spa beauty therapist said she was grateful to the "kindest of strangers" who was sitting next to her.
"He gave me his arm to hold on to and reassured me that planes are designed to cope with these events."
Frost also praised the pilot and crew of the calm professional way they handled the situation.
"I didn't feel threatened. The pilot got on the radio and asked us to make sure our seatbelts were tightened as we would be flying through some turbulence."
Frost said the experience had not put her off flying.
"It probably just really reinforced to me that planes are designed to cope with these events."
Another plane was hit by lightning on Thursday morning two minutes before it was due to land at Auckland.
Passengers aboard the Air New Zealand flight said a big ball of light hit the left side of the plane, behind the cockpit about 7.50am, and was accompanied by a really loud bang.
The flight landed without incident.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Mike Richards told the Daily News aircraft were designed to expel the electricity.
"Aircraft have a conductive surface on top of a carbon frame so the lightning can dissipate," Richards said.
Airport manager Kevin Hill said engineers inspected the plane on Thursday and it was cleared to fly again yesterday.
Taranaki Daily News