A flight from Amsterdam to England’s Birmingham International Airport was struck by lightning Friday afternoon before landing safely.
A storm watcher on the ground happened to capture an image of the plane being struck by three lightning bolts at once.
Passengers said they heard a “massive bang” when the aircraft was struck, but they were unsure of what happened.
“After the bang, my initial thought was the engine had blown-up. Surprisingly, it wasn’t frightening, it was exciting,” said passenger Tiny Everitt, 51. “You are waiting for something else to happen, then you realize nothing has gone wrong.”
It wasn’t until after the plane landed safely around 4 p.m. that the pilot announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed we were hit by lightning.”
Lightning isn’t the worst thing that could happen to an aircraft. In fact, planes the world over get struck by lightning every day. The metal fuselage directs the lightning to the ground so those on board are safe from being electrocuted.
Planes are built with electrical shielding to protect them from the effects of lightning bolts, and can withstand voltages 10 times the amount of an the average bolt. The worst lightning damage to a plane sine 1967 has been a scorch mark, according to Metro.
In a year, the average commercial aircraft can expect to be struck at least once during flight.
Tracy Meakin White, 42, said the photograph was just a lucky shot.
“I didn’t even see the plane at first, I was just clicking on my phone and then afterwards I saw the aircraft,” Meakin White said. “I think it is a once in a lifetime picture, I doubt I will see anything like that again, I am not a photographer, it was just a stroke of luck I got the shot.”