Plane struck by lightning: Lightning strikes two planes on approach to Heathrow Airport - with bolt hitting British Airways wing

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A British Airways flight was forced to divert after being struck by lightning on its way to Heathrow Airport.

BA Flight 919 from Stuttgart, Germany, was scheduled to arrive at Heathrow Airport at 1.40pm yesterday (Sunday 7 July), but just as it came in for landing, lightning struck the tip of its wing. The aircraft was forced to divert to Gatwick Airport, some 25 miles away.

Passenger Jeco said on X, formerly Twitter: “The crew were amazing when our flight got struck by lightning on the approach to Heathrow. It was shocking. The flight had to divert to Gatwick.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A British Airways spokesperson said: “BA919 diverted to Gatwick earlier this afternoon due to weather related conditions in the region. The flight landed just before 2pm. Customers were driven from Gatwick to Heathrow.”

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said the incident was a matter for the airline. It wasn’t the only lightning strike suffered by a plane arriving at Heathrow yesterday.

Ben, a traveller on a separate unspecified flight, posted on X: “It entered just underneath the flight deck and left the tail – we saw it shoot through the cabin. I’d heard of lighting travelling through the cabin before but it was my first time seeing it in real life.”

However, unlike to the BA flight diverted to Gatwick, Ben’s flight was “unaffected” and it “continued its approach for an uneventful arrival”. Commercial passenger planes are thought to be hit by lightning once or twice a year, according to the USA’s National Weather Service. Planes are required to undergo mandatory inspection for damage after a lightning strike which could cause costly delays and diversions.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.