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US Airways Jet Hit By Lightning And Forced To Land

Tue Oct 05, 1999 9:22 am

GAINESVILLE, Florida (AP) --

A US Airways Express plane carrying 25 people was struck by lightning and forced to make an emergency landing Sunday night, but none of the passengers or crew were injured.

The twin-engine turboprop was route from Tampa to Pensacola when it was hit by lightning shortly after takeoff.

Two generators were knocked out, forcing the plane to continue on battery power, Gainesville Fire Rescue spokesman Stuart Schwartz said.

"The plane didn't dive or anything, but it kind of seemed like anything could happen," said passenger Barbara Cox. "They just started telling us what we would have to do and to prepare for the worst."

The plane, which carried 22 passengers and three crew members, landed safely at Gainesville Regional Airport. Passengers were loaded into taxicab vans or rental cars for the trip to Pensacola, said David Trovillion, US Airways Express supervisor at Gainesville Regional Airport.

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RE: US Airways Jet Hit By Lightning And Forced To Land

Tue Oct 05, 1999 2:40 pm

Wow! That's really interesting. I was on a US Airways DC9 about a year and a half ago when it was struck by lightning outside of Dulles Airport (our scheduled destination). We continued on though. The ride got considerably rougher, and I noticed the emergency lights for the exits came on although the cabin lights never went out. The landing was to date the smoothest landing I've ever experience, in spite of it all! My father was waiting to pick me up there, and he told me that the plane was towed to the gate, and none of the lights were on in the cockpit, so it looked to him like they were pulling in a spare. He was quite surprised to see me walk off of it. A lot of people were relieved, and at least a handful of people kissed the ground when they got inside. I guessed that the cockpit may have lost power, and the plane was flown the old fashioned stick-and-rudder way. But I could be wrong.
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RE: US Airways Jet Hit By Lightning And Forced To Land

Wed Oct 06, 1999 12:21 pm

I guess US Airways jets have had problems with lighting strikes   But anyway here in Birmingham in Feb of 1998, a US Airways Fokker 28 was hit by lighting in flight and caused the front gear not to properly open. When the plane came to land it scrapped all the way down the runway rubbing a hole in the front of the plane, throwing dirt all over the pilot and copilot. Thankfully no one was hurt. I happened to see the plane that night it was an interesting sight to see the plane (from a distance) the way it was.