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

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Kervin’s Corner: Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

“Any transition out of our forest-based economy would take years along with careful planning…”

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read