Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Lightning Strike

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Lightning Strike

Article excerpt

Byline: Ute Schulenberg ute.schulenberg@coffscoastadvocate.com.au

A DAY trip to Sydney to visit his grandson turned into a terrifying experience for Bellingen Council's general manager Mike Colreavy and fellow Virgin Blue passengers.

Looking out the window as flight DJ 1167 took off from Sydney on Saturday, Mr Colreavy saw a massive flash off the wing followed by a very loud bang.

"It was certainly not the sort of noise you expect to hear," Mr Colreavy told The Coffs Coast Advocate.

"The flash was very intense - the woman next to me saw it even with her eyes closed.

"We were still ascending at the time and the crew were still strapped in."

Mr Colreavy said the plane continued ascending but then began to descend.

The fears of alarmed passengers were allayed after about five minutes when the captain's calm voice announced that lightning had struck the left wing of the plane and the flight would be returning to Sydney for an engineering check.

"We didn't land for another 25 minutes - we all knew something was wrong and there were a few ashen faces but everyone was calm. …

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