Plane is hit by lightning as it takes off from UK airport

This is the terrifying moment a passenger plane is hit by lightning as it takes off from Manchester Airport .

Dramatic footage shows a mammoth thunderbolt clap and then lightning appears to hit the engine as the plane takes off.

There is a huge bang as the plane continues its climb away from the airport on its way to Houston in the US.

The Singapore Airways Airbus A350-900 appeared to be hit as it left Manchester Airport at just before 11am on Sunday morning.

Passenger Adrian Beckett, 50, from Orrell, Wigan was travelling to Houston on business and filmed the moment.

He said there was no drama in the cabin when it happened, and the flight continued to its destination unaffected.

He said: "Ironically my eldest son, who is in his 3rd year at Southampton University studying Aerospace Engineering, had just been telling me the day before that they had been studying the A350 wing in a lecture including how it handles lightning."

He said the strike appeared to strike the engine of the state-of-the-art Airbus A350.

"The strike seemed to hit the fan blade then radiate over the cowling," he told the Manchester Evening News .

The British Airlines Pilots Association said lightning strikes cause no harm to aircraft. In a blog post , they explain aircraft instruments are shielded against strikes, and it has been a long time since an incident involving lightning.

They said: " When an aircraft is struck by lightning, the energy within the lightning is kept on the outside of the fuselage either by the metal that the aircraft is made of or, in the case of modern composite materials, by a metal mesh that is built into the skin.

"This allows the lightning to track around the aircraft to a point where it can be discharged into the atmosphere ."

Aircraft are designed to absorb lightning strikes with no harm to the flight. The Airbus A350, one of a new generation of aircraft, is made of composite materials, rather than entirely of metal.


Leave a Reply