Plane in emergency landing after lightning strike

A plane packed with passengers was struck by lightning as it took off from Birmingham Airport and was forced to make an emergency landing.

Birmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

Thomson flight BY516 to Izmir in Turkey was diverted to Gatwick Airport after the pilot flagged it up as an emergency to air traffic control.

Following Saturday’s drama, which happened at around 3pm, a Thomson spokesman said: “The plane landed safely and all passengers disembarked. No one was injured.”

Passengers were given alternative flights in order to continue their journey to Turkey.

Danny Frail, who was on the plane with his partner Lauren Horler, from Rotherham, said it was a very scary experience.

He tweeted: “Plane has been struck by lightning and had to do an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport.”

He later said he felt “lucky to be alive” before adding: “I’m just glad me and Lauren got down safely.”

Another passenger said: “I was on this flight and oh my god. I was so nervous.”

Were you on board the flight? Get in touch below or via Twitter @Expressandstar

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Comments for: "Plane in emergency landing after lightning strike"

these things happen, dont let it put you off

Finchfield Rambler

I was under the impression that Planes had lightning protection and cannot be damaged by lightning.

Bob Cratchett

And the titanic was unsinkable...

Planes are built and tested to survive lightning strikes (as this one did) but damage can still occur.

Gabbys Elbow

I was on a plane once, that was hit by lightning....................apparently, they attract the electrical currents when flying through the clouds, but they are designed to "conduct" the lightening when its hits the plane. As the plane is not connected to the earth, normally the strike passes through the plane, with no damage?

Anyway, when the plane I was on hit, it was a good job that I didn't have white underpants on.....very scary!

scary man

I was on this flight and oh my god. I was so nervous. I rather not share it due to other people flighing and it might make them scared.

Nadine Sandle

I was on this flight and sitting on the wing where the lighting struck. Big loud bang and sparks , quite scary however was never flagged to us an emergency landing.

More as a precautionary measure so they could assess damage.


scary!!!! u shud not be writin on here lol , u shud b enjoying ur hols and gettin drunk :) x

Donna Ledsam-Smith

I was also on flight, was a loud bang and light but that was it and landed at Gatwick......... not an emergency landing!!!!!


Today's planes are not seriously compromised by a lightening strike. The term emergency landing is over used in this case as what is need is an abidance of caution to land the plane for inspection and service for any damage that may have been caused by the strike which is rare. By declaring an emergency the Captain is asking for a priority approach and to have the fire trucks on the runway just in-case their is damage he or she is not aware of. By all the different countries rules and regulations the Captain must inform the passengers of the emergency request and the flight attendants must prepare for the emergency landing.

I once worked for an airline and met an aircraft that had been struck by lightening. The lightening struck the nose of the plane putting a hole in the Radom traveled across the top of the aircraft and exited the tail with some minor damage at the tail. When I walked on to the flight deck, it was late evening, both pilots had grey ash were there five o'clock shadows should have been. The heat from the lightening had turned them to ash. That was the extent of the damage and any injury. Following the rules and regulations they had declared an emergency though the landing was text book.

The plane was taken out of service and the Radom changed, the damage to the tail was repaired and all electrical systems were checked. The plane returned to service the following morning. The pilots washed their faces, filled out the required report and went to the hotel. The next day they just happened to make up the flight crew for the same plane.