Alaskan News

Alaska Airways inspects flight after lightning strike close to Sitka

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An inspection is the standard airline procedure after a strike.

Alaska Airlines is inspecting a plane that was struck by lightning from Juneau to Sitka on Sunday evening, an airline spokesman said.

“Flight 70 from Juneau was struck by lightning while descending to Sitka. The Boeing 737-700 landed safely in Sitka, ”said spokesman Tim Thompson in an email. "Jet planes are designed to withstand a lightning strike. What the passenger saw / heard was most likely the lightning that was discharged from the plane through wicks with static discharge on the wing."

Lightning strikes are most common on aircraft in clouds, and damage can vary significantly from zero to significant, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Alaskan Airlines has standardized procedures for lightning strikes, Thompson said.

"When an aircraft is struck by lightning, the aircraft is taken out of service," Thompson said. "This plane has already been brought to Seattle for inspection."

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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