A Pacific Coastal Airlines Saab Fairchild SF-340A, similar to the plane used for Flight 713.

B.C. plane hit by lightning, forced to perform emergency landing in Vancouver

A Coastal Pacific Airlines flight from Comox Valley to Vancouver was struck mid-flight

A lightning strike forced a plane originating from Comox to perform an emergency landing in Vancouver on Sept. 18.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday night, Pacific Coastal Airlines flight 713 was hit by lightning, about 20 minutes outside of Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Twenty-seven passengers and three crew members were aboard the flight, which departed from Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) at 7:07 p.m.

“An aircraft declared emergency landing. Has landed safely. No impact to airport operations,” tweeted Vancouver Airport following the incident.

Pacific Coastal Airlines spokesperson Kevin Boothroyd said despite an emergency being declared, the pilots were still able to successfully land the plane. (By declaring an emergency, the plane was able to get priority landing from air traffic control).

“The pilots are well trained and — following all their predetermined operational procedures — did exactly the right thing,” he said. “The plane did successfully land at YVR and all the passengers were de-planed.”

There were no injuries reported to passengers. YVR was the plane’s final destination.

Boothroyd said lightning strikes to aircraft, while not common, do happen from time to time.

“All aircrafts are designed with engineering to mitigate strikes from lightning and they do happen,” he said. “In this case the plane took a pretty good hit, but it operated as it should.”

“At all times, the pilots were in full control of the aircraft.”

YQQ chief executive officer Fred Bigelow, who is also a pilot, said his own flights were hit by lightning a few times.

“It catches your attention, usually there’s a flash sometimes … inside the aircraft,” he said. “Usually there’s a tiny little burn-mark where it goes in and a tiny little burn-mark where it goes out.”

He said though it can sound dramatic, lightning strikes are usually not serious.

“The way an aircraft is grounded and the way electricity flows through it and enters and exits an aircraft, other than seeing the flash and feeling a knock, it’s not such a big deal for the occupants of the aircraft.”

The aircraft that was hit is an Saab 340 twin-turboprop. It is 20 metres long with a 21-metre wingspan and a top speed of 463 km/h.

Just Posted

Truck fire forces evacuation of Lake Country gas station

No one was injured as firefighters quickly contained blaze at the Shell on Sunday afternoon

Gas leak contained near Lakeshore Road

Ruptured line was quickly contained Sunday morning by Kelowna Fire Department

High winds cause havoc for sailors

Kelowna Fire Department assists boats with broken masts on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Search continues after human remains located

The search of the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road enters its fourth day

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Rockets raise money for autism

Western Hockey League club hosts third annual Family Day Sunday in Kelowna

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Most Read