Edgar Back on Board His Regular Routine

Article excerpt

Byline: Madeleine Doubek Daily Herald Political Editor

Gov. Jim Edgar already is well back into his regular routine of hopping flights.

And the aircraft that jolted Edgar and his aides when it was hit by a lightning bolt above central Illinois also already was airborne again when a pilot flew it back to Springfield Thursday afternoon for further repairs after investigators preliminarily concluded no structural damage was done to the twin-engine turboprop.

Edgar, five aides and two crew members made an emergency landing in Peoria Wednesday morning after their plane was struck by lightning, sparking a small fire in the cabin. No one was injured.

A fiberglass cone piece was blown off the tail section of the plane as lightning exited the aircraft. But that piece, which contained a light and helps to streamline the plane, is not needed for it to function properly, said Dick Adorjan, a spokesman for the state's transportation department.

He said state mechanics, private mechanics and investigators from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board looked over the airplane.

National Transportation Safety Board examiners typically are called in only in the case of a crash, but an investigator traveled to Peoria to inspect the aircraft because it is so uncommon for a lightning strike to cause damage to a plane, Adorjan said. …