A man watching a Delta airliner in line to take off at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, was shocked to see a lightning bolt strike the airliner — and he caught it all on video. The YouTube poster, going by the name of Jack Perkins, uploaded the video of the lighting bolt, captioning the video of the exciting strike “While filming the line of planes all stacked up during a ground hold in Atlanta on 8/18/15 I happened to capture this direct lightning strike on a 737.” According to CNN, there were 111 passengers and six crew members, but nobody was injured after the lighting strike.
The man who took the video appeared to be taxiing in another plane, and decided to take video with his mobile phone while he waited to take off. The video shows the Delta airliner waiting patiently in line to take off in the rain. Out of nowhere, a long bolt of lightning strikes the plane close to its tale in a flash of light. The bolt of lighting clearly hits the plane. The videographer doesn’t appear to react to the lightning strike — that’s because he didn’t realize the amazing footage he captured until he watched it again later.
A spokesman for Delta, Morgan Durrant, confirmed that the lightning did strike a Las Vegas-bound Delta airliner on Tuesday. The airliner, a Boeing 737-900R, was waiting to take off at the Atlanta airport when the unthinkable happened. Due to the lightning bolt strike, the airliner took off nearly two hours late, at 7:32 p.m., reports CNN, but landed only 20 minutes later than scheduled.
Morgan Durrant assured reporters via email that Delta was quick to respond to the lighting strike, and examined the plane thoroughly to make sure the bolt of electricity didn’t cause any damage.” As with any event involving aircraft, Delta is doing a thorough investigation of the circumstances around this flight as safety is always Delta’s top priority,” Durrant wrote.
KTLA reports that in addition to a complete investigation, Delta spokesman Durrant wrote that airliners are designed to redirect bolts of lightning to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.” Aircraft design allows lightning bolts to be safely redirected. Fuselage structure and industrial-grade insulation acts as (a) super-conductive lightning rod that rechannels lightning around and away from customers and crew and out into the ground via the landing gear.”
The lighting bolt strike isn’t the only event Delta has contended with this year. This month, another airliner caught fire in a Nashville airport. No passengers or crew were harmed in that incident either.
[Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images]