Delta flight declares two mid-air emergencies after lightning strike and medical issue

Delta flight declares two mid-air emergencies after lightning strike and medical issue

A Delta flight from New York City to Atlanta declared a mid-flight emergency following a suspected lightning strike.

Flight 1192 landed safely in Atlanta on the morning of 9 April after declaring two mid-air emergencies for unrelated incidents, reports Fox News.

One of the emergencies was declared out of caution for a suspected lightning strike, while a passenger’s unrelated medical issue resulted in the second emergency.

The emergencies were declared in order to prepare ground crews in Atlanta for arrival, though all passengers and crew disembarked the plane without any injuries. The aircraft was then sent for a mandatory routine inspection.

There were unconfirmed reports circling on X/Twitter that a lightning strike mark was found above the windshield, reports Fox, with a Delta spokesperson telling the news outlet that officials believe lightning struck the aircraft.

The Independent has contacted Delta to ask for comment and confirmation.

Modern aircraft are built to withstand weather events such as storms and lightning strikes, and the US National Weather Service states that “commercial transport passenger planes are hit by lightning an average of one or two times a year”.

“They are designed and built to have conducting paths through the plane to take the lightning strike and conduct the currents.”

In addition, lightning has not caused a “commercial transport airplane crash in many decades”.

“When it is suspected that a plane was hit by lightning, there is a mandatory inspection for damage.”

Though modern aircraft can withstand such weather, lightning strikes regularly cause similar emergency landings and mid-air emergency declarations.

In June 2023, an Air New Zealand plane was forced to return back to its origin airport after being struck by lightning, while in August 2022, a Qantas flight headed to Port Hedland in Australia diverted off course to make an emergency landing at Karratha Airport, 250km away, after being struck.

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