Footage shows passengers on the flight amid turbulence.

By Talia Avakian
February 21, 2018
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Credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Passengers flying with Qantas on Tuesday were in for a frightening surprise as they flew through severe storms during their journey.

Footage obtained by 7 News shows passengers on the flight as turbulence began to hit, while bursts of lightning could be seen outside.

A witness who was on the flight told the news agency that lightning outside lasted for a total of roughly 40 minutes onboard as the flight headed from Mount Isa to Townsville, Australia, on Tuesday, though the plane was not hit.

Qantas representatives told Travel + Leisure that the aircraft landed normally and was not damaged by the storm.

"The aircraft landed safely as all modern aircraft are designed to withstand lightning strikes," a Qantas spokesperson said in a statement to T+L. "As in normal procedures, our engineers will inspect the aircraft before it returns to service."

Townsville is located on the northeastern coast of Queensland, where severe thunderstorms have been causing heavy wind and hail that’s led to damaged properties and more than 30,000 properties left without power, according to ABC.

The drastic conditions led the Queensland Bureau of Metrology to issue a storm warning of developing thunderstorms coming to northeast Queensland, with strong winds, large hailstones, and heavy rainfall following as a result.

While these types of conditions can cause heavy turbulence and make for a startling scene during a flight, planes are made to be able to withstand such conditions.

As lightning can be a common occurrence in the skies, airlines will take procedures that include fully blocking off their fuel tanks and fuel lines to ensure a safe journey for passengers.

In addition, as Boeing points out, most of the external parts of an aircraft are made out of structuring that allows for enough thickness to make it resistant to a lightning strike, protecting the plane’s interior by blocking the electromagnetic energy from getting into any of the plane’s electrical wires.