Watch Lightning Strike a KLM 777 Just After Takeoff

Nov 20, 2017

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Aircraft lightning strikes are a fascinating and terrifying sight. That said, they’re common enough that aircraft are designed to suffer minimal to no damage from the surge of electricity passing over the skin of the aircraft. However, catching strikes on video is much rarer.

But one aviation videographer got incredibly lucky to get one on film last week in Amsterdam. According to the YouTube video description, the electrified aircraft was KLM flight 743 taking off from Amsterdam (AMS), beginning a 6,532-mile journey to Lima, Peru (LIM). The aircraft (PH-BVS) is a Boeing 777-300ER which was just delivered new to KLM in February 2017.

Thankfully, the lightning strike didn’t seem to cause any damage. Not only did the aircraft continue onto Lima, but it’s flown over 66,103 miles in the seven days since the incident.

Here’s the full video. If you just want to see the strike, skip ahead to the 3:05 time mark:

Those of us who are really “AvGeeky” might enjoy other aspects of this video. For example, from 1:33 all the way through 2:09, you can see fascinating engine condensation masking the front of the engines as the aircraft performs its takeoff roll.

Once the aircraft lifts off, we see a striking example of condensation clouds on the aircraft’s wings:

Around 0:47 and 1:09 in, you see non-metallic birds flying around the runway. Thankfully none of these impacted the aircraft in the video, but this is a big problem with about 1 in every 2,000 flights having a birdstrike. Some of these can be quite drastic.

Can’t get enough clips of aircraft lightning strikes? Check out this video of a WOW Air A330 being struck and a Sun Country aircraft taking a lighting strike during pushback.

Featured image by Gianluca Prioli/Getty Images.

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