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Current as of 19/12/14 07:40PM NZST

'Bang and flash' as plane struck by lightning

By Patrice Dougan

Air New Zealand is set to cut 84 jobs at its aviation maintenance unit. Photo / File
Air New Zealand is set to cut 84 jobs at its aviation maintenance unit. Photo / File

An Air New Zealand flight from Christchurch to Auckland this morning was struck by lightning as it approached its destination.

Flight NZ 504 had 163 passengers on board, including Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel, who tweeted about the experience: "Exciting start to the day with a bang and a flash on flight NZ 504 to Akld - hit by lightening!''

No one was injured but speaking to APNZ, Ms Dalziel said it was a "surprising'' start to the week.

"I've never been struck by lightning in all my years of flying.''

She described the moment as "a bang and a flash'', and while it didn't cause the plane to shake it "did wake up the guy that was sleeping next to me.

"The pilot came on shortly after and said that we had been hit by lightning, they had checked all the systems and everything was okay,'' she said.

Despite the shock she wasn't worried by it because she has "huge confidence in pilots''.

"I'm glad I've done it now, it's off the bucket list, not that I particularly wanted to do it,'' she said.

A spokeswoman for Air NZ confirmed the strike, saying: "Air New Zealand flight 504 from Christchurch to Auckland was hit by lightning on approach to Auckland this morning. There were 163 passengers on board.

"The aircraft will now be inspected by engineers before being cleared to return to service.

"Lightning strikes are not uncommon in the aviation industry and aircraft are designed with this in mind.''

- APNZ

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