Airbus A380 Struck By Lightning While Landing In London

The moment a lightning bolt struck a commercial passenger plane mid-flight has been caught on tape. None of the 500 passangers on board the Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 were injured as the plane flew through a storm as it approached London's Heathrow Airport.

Videographer Chris Dawson, 37, pointed his digital camera at the plane from his terrace in south-west London about 7.30pm local time. "I saw a storm coming and I thought there could be lightning," he told Abu Dhabi's English language newspaper The National.

"I wasn't expecting it to hit a plane but I just got fortunate." The plane landed without incident.

A United Emirates spokesperson told the newspaper lightning strikes are not rare and that every plane in its fleet is designed and certified to withstand a lightning strike.

Just yesterday a Qantas Boeing 737-800 en route from Auckland to Melbourne was forced back mid-flight after a suspected lightning strike — but it too landed without damage or injury to passengers.

The average lightning bolt produces a current of 20,000 amps and can attain temperatures of 30,000C

But an airplane's metal hull forms a Faraday confine that protects it from lightning, carrying the electric charge through the hull and expelling it at an output point without harming the aircraft or the passengers inside.

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