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Lightning Strikes Plane Landing At LAX

Photo by gui jun peng via
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It sounds scary: a lightning struck a plane just as it was about to land at LAX this morning. But the phenomenon is pretty common and on average every airliner will be struck by lightning once a year.

In this case, the Delta Airlines flight from Narita, Japan landed at 8:10 am just as it was hit by lightning, according to City News Service. There were no injuries. Los Angeles was the final destination for the passengers.

FWIW, lightning hasn't caused an airliner crash in the U.S. in more than 40 years when a Pan Am Boeing 707 in a holding pattern over Elkton, Maryland was struck, igniting fuel vapor in a tank and causing an explosion. This led to a lot of rules requiring airplanes have built-in systems that would prevent a spark from igniting a fire, according to USA Today.

Several lightning strikes were observed in West Los Angeles and Marina del Rey this morning. By 9 am this morning, a storm has dropped .28 inches of rain at a gauge in Culver City. There's a 70 percent chance of rain for the rest of the day, according to the National Weather Service.