Flight delayed after Hawaiian Airlines plane struck by lightning

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A Hawaiian Airlines flight was delayed Friday night after a plane got struck by lightning.

Hawaiian Airlines says flight HA 380 was hit while flying from Honolulu to Hilo.

At the time, there were at least two thunderstorm systems near Honokaa, located directly in the normal flightpath from Honolulu to Hilo.

A flight tracking website indicates the plane adjusted course to avoid the storms.

A passenger on board describes that frightening moment, saying it’s an incident he’s never experienced before.

“Next thing you know, I was looking out my window and you could just see the white crackling, you could hear it crackling , and then boom!” said passenger Mark Veneri. “It struck the plane and you knew it struck the plane cause we dropped.”

The aircraft landed at Hilo International Airport at 7:01 p.m. without incident. The airport continues to operate as normal.

An airlines’ maintenance team checked the aircraft for damages.

HA 381, which was supposed to depart Hilo for Honolulu at 6:47 p.m. was delayed while the team made inspections. The new departure time was listed at 9:15 p.m.

Aviation expert Peter Forman says planes are frequently hit by lightning and built to sustain strikes.

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