A JetBlue flight had to make an emergency landing in New Jersey when it encountered lightning after taking off from Boston’s Logan International Airport Friday evening.
JetBlue flight 452, leaving from Boston at 8:54pm EDT on its way to West Palm Beach, Florida, made its emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport late Friday, June 7.
Sebastian White, a spokesman for the airline commented that the aircraft “encountered lightning while airborne”.
“In an abundance of caution the captain chose to divert to the New York area.”
The Airbus A320, carrying 148 passengers, was flying through Andrea, a post-tropical storm, which ended up heaving more than five inches of rain on some parts of New York’s Long Island.
Once source reports passengers on board experienced severe turbulence, but were unsure of the cause. Mikaela Fernandez told the Palm Beach Post, “The captain then came on calmly but sternly and let us know the aircraft had been struck and that we had lost some power to instruments and we needed to make an emergency landing.”
“You could feel and see the panic, but you could not hear it,” she added.
Fernandez praised the crew for keeping everyone calm.
“The crew kept us so calm, I didn’t hear one scream. There were a few whimpers in the seconds before we touched down, but that was all,” she explained. “Everybody must have been praying.”
It was not known immediately what damaged had been sustained to the plane, if any, as it was not certain that the aircraft had indeed been hit. No injuries were reported.
Passengers from flight 452 boarded another plane, departing shortly after midnight, and arrived safely at their destination in Florida.
Just one day earlier, on June 6, another JetBlue flight was diverted when a bird strike occurred shortly after take-off. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, “over $600 million dollars annually is lost due to wildlife strikes with civil aircraft in the United States alone”.
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