Lightning strikes a passenger plane carrying 140 people onboard as it comes in to land


Terrifying moment lightning strikes passenger plane right in front of the pilots as it prepares to land during a storm in Panama

  • The Boeing 737 MAX was coming in to land at Panama City during a heavy storm
  • A lightning bolt struck the plane’s nose while 30,000 ft in the air
  • The plane landed safely with no injuries to any of the 140 passengers 

This is the terrifying moment a plane carrying 140 passengers was struck by lightning as it prepared for landing.

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was flying at approximately 30,000 ft and was coming in to land at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City.

Dramatic footage captured from within the cockpit shows a powerful lightning bolt strike the nose of the plane as the pilots navigate a heavy storm. 

Flying the aircraft in almost complete darkness, the pilots were stunned by the sudden lightning strike only yards outside their window. 

Despite navigating tough circumstances and with 140 nervous passengers onboard, both pilots remained composed and were able to carry out their descent safely, with no passengers or crew harmed.

There was no damage to the Boeing 737 MAX’s fuselage.  

The person filming, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Lightning strikes happen quite often but it’s special to capture one on video. I was just recording the flight during the storm.’ 

This is the terrifying moment lightning struck the nose of the plane as it prepared to land during a heavy storm. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was beginning its descent to the Tocumen International Airportin  Panama City on March 15

This is the terrifying moment lightning struck the nose of the plane as it prepared to land during a heavy storm. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was beginning its descent to the Tocumen International Airportin  Panama City on March 15

Both pilots remained calm and continued flying despite the lightning bolt suddenly shooting out and striking the plane only metres away from them. All passengers and crew onboard landed safely

Both pilots remained calm and continued flying despite the lightning bolt suddenly shooting out and striking the plane only metres away from them. All passengers and crew onboard landed safely

No damage was done to the plane following the strike and the pilots carried out a safe landing. Lighting often strikes planes though rarely causes damage or accidents thanks to a special 'protection finish' coating the planes

No damage was done to the plane following the strike and the pilots carried out a safe landing. Lighting often strikes planes though rarely causes damage or accidents thanks to a special ‘protection finish’ coating the planes 

If an aircraft is struck by lightning while in mid-air it usually hits sharp edges such as antennas, wings, the nose or tail. The electricity then flows through the wiring and out of the plane. 

Lighting strikes can happen during heavy storms though are very unlikely to result in an accident. Planes are coated in ‘protection finish’ to avoid any damage from possible lighting strikes or similar impacts.  

The event happened on March 15, as the passenger plane was flying in to Panama City. 

The pilots were flying the Boeing 737 MAX plane through a heavy storm in almost complete darkness when the sudden bolt struck the jet, brightly lighting the cockpit

The pilots were flying the Boeing 737 MAX plane through a heavy storm in almost complete darkness when the sudden bolt struck the jet, brightly lighting the cockpit

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