Lightning Bolt Hits Airplane
Credit: Richard Boll

The pilot of an Air France flight from Paris on Friday declared a mid-air emergency as it headed to Birmingham Airport after the airplane was struck by lightning.

When an airplane is hit by lightning, usually only a few people notice: It's a relatively common occurrence, and airplanes are tested to withstand strikes. But as Friday's incident shows, it can sometimes cause problems.

No one was hurt during the incident, but an alarm was sounded on the aircraft.

“I can confirm that AF1064 was hit by lightning during flight from Paris with an emergency being declared as a precaution,” an Air France spokesperson said in a statment. “The aircraft has since landed safely at Birmingham Airport with no emergency response needed and with no injuries to passengers or crew. All passengers have since disembarked the aircraft safely from the airport stand as usual.”

Airplanes are hit by lightning more often than you would think, and the show it puts on often appears worse than the damage it does. There are plenty of several videos recorded by passengers who were gazing out of the window at the right time.