Lightning Strikes Dutch Aircraft, Forces Return

Lightning Strikes Dutch Aircraft

Lightning struck a Dutch aircraft on 19 July 2017. The incident occurred shortly after taking off from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) on Wednesday evening. Luckily, the aircraft was able to safely return to AMS after the strike fifteen minutes after the initial takeoff.

Back on the ground, Corendon Dutch Airlines employees found minor damage on the Boeing 737-8200. However, the plane was deemed safe and functional. It safely made it to its destination of Corfu, Greece later that evening.

Total Lightning Detection

There were plenty of storms in the region on the night of this incident. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued a code yellow warning for the country on the 19th due to strong winds, heavy thunderstorms, hail, and heavy rain. Earth Networks tracked hundreds of storm cells as they moved through the country.

Our proprietary lightning sensor network detected 71,980 total lightning strikes in the Netherlands during an 8-hour period. This is a very high frequency of lightning discharges. In fact, this lightning activity prompted 37 Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts.

As you can see from the video above, a majority of the activity was to the east of the airport in the Netherlands and mostly in western Germany. This is the area where you can see most of the DTAs.

Airports and Severe Weather

Airports are no stranger to severe weather. Lightning and hail both are known to damage planes, runways, and even injure workers. This can decrease efficiency, customer satisfaction, and your overall bottom line.

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However, airports and airlines that make use of airport lightning detection systems and software are at an advantage. By knowing when dangerous weather is expected and what types of conditions may form, airports can protect crew, passengers, and their wallets.