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  4. Lightning strikes London-bound Air Canada flight after it took off from Vancouver | WATCH

Lightning strikes London-bound Air Canada flight after it took off from Vancouver | WATCH

The US National Weather Service says a commercial plane is hit by lightning an average of one or two times a year. However, airplanes are generally built to withstand huge bolts of electricity.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Vancouver Published on: March 06, 2024 13:02 IST
Air Canada, lightning strikes plane
Image Source : X The moment when lightning struck an Air Canada Boeing airplane.

Vancouver: A stunning video has gone viral on social media showing an Air Canada flight being struck by lightning moments after it took off from Vancouver in Canada. The plane was leaving Vancouver International Airport on Sunday night, just before 7:30 pm (local time), when it was struck during a rare winter thunderstorm.

The video was captured on the ground by a student pilot showing the plane on its way when a large blue flash was seen when lightning struck the flight, CBC News reported. Air Canada confirmed to Global News that the Boeing 777 aircraft, bound for London, England, flew to its destination and landed safely.

Upon arrival at London's Heathrow Airport, Air Canada confirmed that the plane was struck by lightning, although generally all airplanes are built to withstand these huge bolts of electricity. “All aircraft are taken offline to be examined fully by aircraft engineers following any such events,” Air Canada said. It is unclear if the passengers or crew knew the plane had been struck.

Watch the video of the plane:

The plane underwent an inspection and it has since resumed service. According to the US National Weather Service, passenger planes are hit by lightning an average of one to two times a year, although they are rarely caught on camera. The presence of the aircraft in a storm helps initiate the lightning strike.

"Actually, aircraft often initiate the strike because their presence enhances the ambient electric fields typical for thunderstorms and facilitates electrical breakdown through air," the service says. Air Canada also conveyed that its planes are built to withstand lightning strikes. 

Ethan West, who recorded the video, said he was glad to be in the right place at the right time. "From what I know, there was no lightning predicted in the weather forecast, so it was kind of out of the blue. I wasn't even thinking about it at the time. I was just thinking about getting a cool video of the Triple Seven departing," he said.

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