​Lightning Hits Plane Causing Newark Airport Diversion​​

June 9, 2021

Lightning can strike at anytime in the skies, but no one knows what it feels like when it actually hits a plane, causing it to divert to an unscheduled stop at Newark International Airport.

JetBlue Airways Corp. says the Florida-bound flight was diverted to Newark International Airport in New Jersey after being struck by lightning.

JetBlue spokesman Sebastian White says Friday the pilot of the Airbus a320 diverted the plane “out of an abundance of caution.” White says the plane landed safely and there were no injuries.

The flight, which was carrying 148 passengers, took off from Boston on Friday night and was headed to Palm Beach when it “encountered lightening while airborne.”

White says all the passengers were connected to a new flight to Florida that departs just after midnight.

The weather in the Northeast has been stormy all evening Friday, with heavy rains due to Tropical Storm Andrea.

Mikaela Fernandez, who was on the flight from Boston to West Palm Beach, said initially she had no idea the plane had been hit by lightning. But then the turbulence started. She grabbed the back of the seat in front of her and said a prayer.

“The captain then came on calmly but sternly and let us know the aircraft had been struck and that we had lost some power to instruments and we needed to make an emergency landing,” Fernandez said.

“You could feel and see the panic, but you could not hear it.”

Fernandez credited the JetBlue flight crew for keeping people calm. They shouted instructions but never “once led us to believe we were actually going to crash.”

Still, Fernandez said she was so scared she wrote small goodbye letters to her three daughters and husband.