Three passenger planes have been grounded at Philadelphia International Airport after they were hit by lightning en route to landing there yesterday in a thunderstorm, officials say.
A Federal Aviation Adminstration inspector is slated to examine the three aircraft for damage today. If any damage is found, the airlines will be required to make repairs, an FAA spokesman said.
No one was injured in the lightning strikes or during the landings yesterday evening.
"It was an unusal event" said Jim Peters, an FAA spokesman. "The thunderstorm developed quickly."
The FAA provided the following summary:
Republic Airlines Flight 3407, an Embraer 170, reported being struck by lightning over Northeast Philadelphia at 6:15 p.m. and landed on Runway 27L at 6:20 p.m. The pilot did not declare an emergency.
AirTran Airways Flight 628, a Boeing 717, declared an emergency after it was hit by lightning and landed on Runway 27R safely at 6:22 p.m.
America West Flight 1036, a Boeing 757, reorted being struck by lightning three minutes after the Republic flight was hit and declared an emergency before landing on Runway 27L at 6:34 p.m.
The Republic Airlines crew reported no damage last night. America West reported some damage and the AirTran crew reported the aircraft was struck "right on the nose," the FAA said.
Peters said that at 8:14 p.m. a Continental Express jet also was hit by lightning while coming in for a landing at Newark International Airport. The plane landed safely but the crew reported damage to the raydome and a wing tip.