Struck By Lightning

January 20, 2008 by Kailani  
Filed under flight attendant stories


Our flight back home yesterday was struck by lightning! I’ve heard it happening before but it’s the first time that I’ve ever experienced it. Luckily, no one was hurt and the aircraft wasn’t damaged.

It happened while we were flying through a really bad storm. So bad that I actually got air born for a few seconds. I immediately strapped myself into my jumpseat but even then, the bottom of my seat kept lifting up as the plane bounced it’s way through the storm clouds. It felt like I was on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland!

The lightning first hit right near the Captain’s feet and then traveled it’s way down the sides of the aircraft. The whole cabin lit up and it sounded like fireworks were exploding. What a trip!

The turbulence lasted for about 30 minutes and when it was over, we had to pass out large trash bags for those who were sick. I felt sorry for the people who had to clean the plane that day. Yuck!

So for those of you traveling this winter season, please make sure you buckle up your family even if the seat belt sign is off. You never know when turbulence is going to hit. It’s better to be on the safe side than risk hurting yourself or someone around you.

Featured Comment by Pamela of The Dust Will Wait: I love watching a thunder storm roll through the valley – but I don’t want to roll with it. Middle name could be RALPH. Hand me one of those garbage cans (:

About the author:
Owner and founder of An Island Life. Sharing my life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


60 Responses to “Struck By Lightning”
  1. Dee says:

    I sure will and I sure do. I fly now about 2 times a year and always have my seatbelt on, ever since I read a story about a japanese traveler flying to Hawaii and the turbulence made her hit her head on the top of the cabin, she actually died!
    That was sad……

    Dee’s last blog post..The “Atonement”

  2. Tiffany says:

    Wow! How scary! I am glad no one was hurt! That was close.

    Tiffany’s last blog post..Sunday Seven

  3. Fresh Girl says:

    Yikes, how scary!! I’ve only flown through a storm once, but I remember being scared to death that lightening would strike the plane. Didn’t thank goodness!

    Glad you survived to tell about it!

    Fresh Girl’s last blog post..A Year of Food — day 16

  4. Vader's Mom says:

    I hate hearing stories like that. I’m so very glad that you were all safe!!

    Vader’s Mom’s last blog post..Sick in Minni

  5. Corrie says:

    Oh my word! I’m glad you’re alright.

    Corrie’s last blog post..The induction and arrival of one Miss Gracie-face

  6. Renee says:

    I like to watch lightening but I don’t like the noise.

    I’m glad that everyone was okay.

    We always fly belted…although it seems that most flights that I’ve been on either the captian forgets the seatbelt sign or it’s too short to turn it off.

    Renee’s last blog post..It’s Official… I’m sick…looks like flu

  7. Summer says:

    I’m glad you weren’t hurt. And forgive my ignorance but could anyone be hurt by the actual lightning strike, when inside a plane or is there some kind of conductor that keeps that from ever happening?

    Summer’s last blog post..An Award and a Thank you

  8. Desert Songbird says:

    Ack! So glad you arrived home safely!

    Desert Songbird’s last blog post..Excuse Me! Does Your MOTHER Allow That?!

  9. Carey says:

    Oh my goodness! That would make me not want to fly again. How scary! Will it make you nervous for your next flight?

  10. Jennifer says:

    Mercy – what a trip! I haven’t flown in years, but the next time I do – - – guaranteed I’ll be strapped in & have my baggie ready! Glad nobody was hurt!

    Jennifer :-)

    Jennifer’s last blog post..The Friday Memes

  11. Dana says:

    Oh my gosh – LIGHTENING!!! That is scarey. I guess I should have figured that happens every now and then, but I have never heard a first-hand account. Glad I wasn’t on that flight as I bet I would have been tossing my cookies :)

    Dana’s last blog post..Future Blogger?

  12. TheAngelForever says:

    Wow, thank goodness nobody was hurt.

    I think you just sold me on the need to get my son a seat on the plane when we go to a wedding next October. He will still be the age that it is not required. I need to e-mail you some of my questions about the airplane requirements that you may know. I have not traveled with kids before and am scared already.

    Back to your story. Hopefully the rest of the winter is tame with no more storms in the air for you. Stay safe :)

    TheAngelForever’s last blog post..He’s on his feet – ACK!

  13. Karen (Pediascribe) says:

    YIKES! That’s scary!!

    We were in some pretty nasty turbulence flying through a storm once. It was pretty scary. I did NOT like the flight attendant’s tactic for calming people down though. She sat in her jumpseat (small plane, she was facing us) and she acted like she was on a roller coaster. Every time the plane dropped a few feet suddenly, she raised her arms and said, “WEEEEEEEEEEE.”

    Karen (Pediascribe)’s last blog post..SUNDAY MEME–SEVEN RANDOM THINGS

  14. Lissete says:

    OMG, I would have probably needed an xtra large trash bag and a mega dose of a heavy duty tranquilizer!

    My seatbelt stays on the entire flight. No matter what!

  15. natasha says:

    Oh my Goodness!!!
    I’ve never flown, flying is prolly my greatest fear! I know I will have to one day because there is so many places I wanna visit! Thats just scary though! I have noticed I have become such a chicken since having babies, I even worry while riding a silly roller coaster.

    natasha’s last blog post..Valentines Day Swap :)

  16. Angi says:


    Angi’s last blog post..Welcome to Teen Lit Review

  17. melli says:

    echk! How WERE the passengers? I hate flying! It’s far too confining for claustrophobic me — but I don’t tend to panic over things like that…. I just NEED to be able to be UP out of my seat! I flew all the way from BWI to Colorado Springs standing in the aisle orrrrrrr (because I had a REALLY REALLY understanding steward…) standing in the space behind the cockpit. (where I absolutely was NOT supposed to be!) I just CAN’T sit STILL for that long! I need heavy sedation to fly… But anyway… I was just wondering if the passengers “panicked” with that kind of turbulence. (that’s the kind of thing that would actually “entertain” me if I was on the plane!) LOL!

    melli’s last blog post..Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt — Important

  18. Wendy says:

    OMG! I am freaking out just thinking about it! I need valium to fly and I have to fly 6-8 times a year. Any time we hit any type of turbulence I about flip my lid. I don’t know how planes can withstand some of the bumps we take. I seriously think I am about to die. You are my hero!! I would much rather run into a burning building than be a flight attendant!

  19. Pamela says:

    I love watching a thunder storm roll through the valley – but I don’t want to roll with it.

    Middle name could be RALPH. Hand me one of those garbage cans (:

  20. Wendy says:

    Wow, I’m glad you’re okay! I’ve only flown twice in my whole life (short flights at that). I’ll have to seriously think about it before I do it again after reading this. Yikes!

    (I know, it’s supposed to be safer than driving, but it still seems scary to me…I’m just a big chicken, I guess!)

    Wendy’s last blog post..Is This Weird To You?

  21. Lisa's Chaos says:

    I think I would have shat myself! And I’m pretty sure hubby would’ve had a heart attack – he HATES to fly!

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Happy 1st Birthday Fun Monday!

  22. Michelle in Mx says:

    That is SO COOL!
    I’d be scared out of my wits – I only like lightning from a distance, but hey, I mean, That is SO COOL!

  23. Michelle in Mx says:

    That is SO COOL!
    I mean, I’d be scared out of my wits . . but still THAT IS SO COOL!

  24. Kailani says:

    Dee ~

    I totally remember that story! We’ve even had that happen to flight attendants. Luckily, no one that I know of has ever died but they did get seriously injured.

  25. Kailani says:


    I’ve never heard of a person getting hurt from lightning hitting the plane. However, I have known planes to sustain major damage that caused an emergency landing.


  26. Kailani says:


    You would think so but I’m so used to it by now. For me, it was actually pretty cool. Who needs to go to Disneyland? hee hee


  27. Kailani says:


    Please feel free to email me anytime!

  28. Kailani says:


    I think it’s because once we have children, we have responsibility. We’re more careful with our lives because we want to take care of them and watch them grow up. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Kailani says:


    You’re the hero! You risk your life for total strangers. Now that’s amazing!

  30. Baby Advice says:

    I bet that was scary! I have a lot of respect for the job that you do, there is no way that I could handle that! I get a little freaked just being on a plane for 4 hours (even though it is safer than a car)

    Baby Advice’s last blog post..Question: I Let My Baby Watch TV, Is That Bad?

  31. BeachMama says:

    Glad everyone was ok. Makes me very happy that I always keep my belt done up. Can I also say I am happy that I wasn’t on board?

    BeachMama’s last blog post..Four (and a half) Month Update

  32. Melissa Markham says:

    My hubby would be laughing with his hands up in the air as if he were on a rollercoaster. I would be praying alternating with screaming and throwing up!

    Melissa Markham’s last blog post..Save on Your Prescription Medications!

  33. Sarah (Real Life) says:

    Oh, how scary!! I’m so glad everyone is OK. I know some turbulence is normal, but even the least bit scares me to death.

    Sarah (Real Life)’s last blog post..And the Potty Training Saga Continues

  34. Jessica K says:

    I can’t believe that! That’s crazy. I have never heard of lightning striking an airplane. I bet the passengers were freaked out. I know I would have been. I’m so glad you or noone else was injured!

    Jessica K’s last blog post..Lost bits

  35. MyStarbucks says:

    I have always loved turbulence on flights. In fact some bumpiness always sort of rocks me to sleep. This sounds incredibly exciting and I wish I could have been there.
    I know- I’m weird.

  36. witchypoo says:

    I’ll bet it was scary for all concerned. Nothing worse than a freakout in a flying machine. It’s not like you can get off it.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Tagged, but no price tag

  37. Jeannie says:

    I’ve never been in a storm like that! I don’t fly a lot but still….UGH!!! Glad you made it home safe!!!! =)

  38. Lisa says:

    I was once in an automobile that was struck by lightning – it was a twilight zone kind of experience. I still twitch during storms :-)

  39. Thrifty Karen says:

    I’m glad you’re ok!!!

    Thrifty Karen’s last blog post..Cutting My Cable Bill

  40. Sparky Duck says:

    I think I am going to just swear off your flying posts. Dont help alay my fears at all

    Sparky Duck’s last blog post..Mrs Duck is no Paula Deen

  41. Lisa in CA says:

    I don’t think I could have been as calm as you. I’d be far too scared.

  42. Pam says:

    Wow! I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I’d been on that plane. I’ve had a few bumpy flights, but never any lightning!

  43. Lulu says:

    Yikes! I am not a big fan of flying; however, my wanderlust stamps all over my fear. I probably would have needed the airbags as well. I’m glad that all is well.

    Lulu’s last blog post..Sometimes the Clothes Do Not Make the Man

  44. Christine says:

    WOW! Kailani, thank goodness you are allright, and everyone else on the flight!
    How dreadfully scary! I know I wouldn’t feel like flying anytime soon after riding in turbulence like that! LOL! Who needs Disneyland, you had the ride of your life!!

    Christine’s last blog post..Fun Monday~ Happy 1st Anniversary

  45. tracey says:

    Wow! So glad you’re ok! Just another perk of the job, eh? Glad to know it’s not common, though…

    tracey’s last blog post..It’s a new day, it’s a new start…

  46. momto3cubs says:

    30 minutes?! Wow, I would have peed my pants, and said my prayers and good-byes.

    Just a few rough minutes is enough to scare me half to death! I imagine the plane just breaking apart with all the shaking, etc.

    momto3cubs’s last blog post..Fun Monday’s First Anniversary! …

  47. peppylady says:

    wow what an adventure

    peppylady’s last blog post..I’m Going To My Your Brain Cell

  48. donetta says:

    beloved Terra firma!

    donetta’s last blog post..Hello My Friends

  49. Rach (Heart of Rachel) says:

    Oh my, that must have been a really scary experience. I’m glad no one got hurt in the incident.

    Rach (Heart of Rachel)’s last blog post..Heads or Tails #18

  50. TopChamp says:

    that sounds scary!

    TopChamp’s last blog post..accounts

  51. Karen MEG says:

    30 minutes of turbulence — yikes! I’m so glad everyone was ok.
    I always keep buckled even when the light goes off. Especially these days when you’re hearing a lot more about turbulence etc. (not so much of it happening more, they’re probably just reporting it more!) I like that quote!

    Karen MEG’s last blog post..Aloha Friday – Edition #1

  52. Tiff @ Three Peas in a Pod says:

    WOW! that’s scary! Glad you got home safe.

    Tiff @ Three Peas in a Pod’s last blog post..The Word “NO”

  53. Jen says:

    WOW! That sounds so scary!!! Glad everyone was okay!

    Jen’s last blog post..Win an Insignia Bluetooth MP3 Player

  54. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m with “Dust Will Wait” – watch it and pass on a garbage bag. Glad you’re all safe!


  55. Audra Marie says:

    So would you feel seasick or airsick?
    I love a good storm when I’m safe on the ground.

    Audra Marie’s last blog post..Giveaways Around the Net

  56. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    Sounds about like my day yesterday, but without the airplane ride! LOL

    Deb – Mom of 3 Girls’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday #28 – How to keep kids amused during a snow day…

  57. bleeding espresso says:

    Oh my goodness! How scary! Glad everyone was OK.

    bleeding espresso’s last blog post..all about blood oranges

  58. Rose says:

    I know how scary it can be. I was on a flight
    over the mountains when our flight was hit
    by lightening. The plane shook and went dark and dropped. All you could hear was the sound of seat belts clicking shut. It was so quiet, no one said a word or screamed. The engines came back on, and the pilot said “That’s never happened before”. When we landed, the flight crew got a standing ovation and a SINCERE thank you.

  59. Potty Training In One Day says:

    Scary story! I once flew in a small 6 person commuter plane and the pilot somehow lost control. He was able to pull us out of it safely, and ever since then I’m terrified to fly.

    Glad to hear everyone got home safely.



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