I’m wondering if I should buy a lottery ticket.
I read a fact online that every plane in service will be struck by lightning once per year. I’ve flown a fair amount in my time, but my most recent trip was the first time I’ve been on a plane that was struck by lightning in the air. We were ascending out of Vancouver at about 24,000ft when it hit. I was reading a book and didn’t see the flash, but I certainly heard and felt the impact even though the plane did not physically move. It felt like something had happened to the bottom of the plane and my first thought was that the landing gear had malfunctioned or we’d lost some poor guy’s luggage.
My second assessment was that the plane still had power and the engines were still on, so I cautiously went back to my book. About a minute and a half later, the pilot came on and informed us that the aircraft had been hit by lightning but that all systems had been checked and the flight would proceed as planned across the country. As he put it, the Boeing 737 was designed to take just such a hit. And, he added, since the strike hit his side of the cockpit, he figured he got the worst of it.
It was all too much for one passenger, who was quite overcome and had to be given oxygen and TLC for the remainder of the flight. I’ve got to hand it to the Westjet crew, they did a very good job of caring for that person and the rest of us still got our normal beverage service.
If I’m ever going to be within 10 feet of a lightning strike again, I hope I’m in an aircraft.
I just hope I haven’t used up all my luck….a lottery win would be nice!