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Passenger Jet Hit By Lightning After Takeoff From LAX

Submitted
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) A JetBlue flight headed to New York was forced to reverse course and make an emergency landing after being struck by lightning just after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport Thursday morning amid a thunderstorm which pummeled the Southland. JetBlue Flight No. 324 bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport was forced to turn around and return to LAX after its crew reported the aircraft had been hit by lightning, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed. An… (losangeles.cbslocal.com) More...

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alexa320
alex hidveghy 4
Happens more often than people know.
It happened to me once out of JFK to LAS in the climb out, but we elected to continue to destination as all systems and instruments were working fine and no injuries. Reported to both ATC sector controller and MX control in LAS.
On arrival, found a large hole in the radome which had to be replaced.
A strike certainly gets your attention, that’s for sure.
dee9bee
dee9bee 1
I agree. It depends on the situation, if everything appears normal. Been there, done that. Do you want return to the general location where the strike occurred? Probably not.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 3
Yes, you are correct. Depends on the circumstances and it’s one of the reasons pilots get paid the big bucks to make operational decisions that affect many people - including the crew!
Captain and I made a joint decision to continue rather than divert or go back to JFK. Probably because the plane was still flyable and our mx was in LAS. It was more than 15 years ago now in a B757.
dee9bee
dee9bee 4
Yes, when I was a fairly new Captain, climbing out of Syracuse to ORD the general weather didn't look great. The departure controller said he had a new radar system and he wanted to try it out. (1990s, you know) He suggested a northwest heading but my gut wanted to go straight west. Lightning strikes...I should have trusted my gut. That's where experience comes from, I suppose. You only gain that with time, you younger guys. don't worry, I'm retired now.
tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 2
There were 3 that were hit that day:

JBU324 as mentioned, SWA1816 was struck on departure as already mentioned, and CPZ6048 was struck on a 15 mile final to 6L.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
Which only goes to confirm my opening statement, LOL!
tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 1
True, but I hate to say it, but they should have seen that one coming. I mean, weather patterns in the US flow from west to east along the jetstream, right?

Well, if a pilot reports a lightning strike on roughly a 15-20 mile final west of the field, the METAR reports LTG DSNT W-NW and CB in that same area, and you're landing to the east, you should easily be able to tell that cell is going to pass over or around the vicinity of the airport.

It may have been worth taking the delay and not departing until the cell cleared out enough to fly over it than risk the strikes they had.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
The entire Los Angeles basin was experiencing a large number of lightning strikes and very heavy rain for several hours. While lightning strikes on aircraft are not uncommon, this type of weather and its intensity are rare for this area. My office is located about a mile north of LAX’s usual final approach from the east, and the low clouds and heavy rain made it impossible to see aircraft.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
No doubt.
But in my case, there was nothing on radar and it happened some 30 miles out during the climb out. Not on the ground nor during takeoff.
An approaching storm while on the ground is an entirely different situation. I’ve seen that, too. And ATC stops departures.
tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 1
Actually, it was the opposite. It happened 15-20 miles out on final - on ARRIVAL, at least for the CPZ incident. That and that it happened either shortly before the JBU and SWA strikes or in between those two strikes should have set off a couple of alarm bells..
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
A Southwest flight was also hit at LAX today:

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/01/31/southwest-flight-diverted-to-oakland-after-lightning-strike
jbsimms
James Simms 1
Shocking....

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