Lightning Strike Causes Plane to Make Emergency Landing

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A Virginia-bound US Airways plane made a safe emergency landing Wednesday morning after being struck by lightning.

The flight was en route from Charlotte, N.C., to Lynchburg, Va., when it was hit. The plane was just 20 miles south of its destination and made an emergency landing in Lynchburg Regional Airport without incident at approximately the time it was scheduled to arrive.

The plane, a Dash 8-300 twin turboprop aircraft operated by the US Airways subsidiary Piedmont Airlines, was carrying 16 people. Airline spokesman Valerie Wunder tells the Associated Press nobody was injured.

Carol Hill, one of the people on board, tells a local news station the passengers "all heard a loud boom, saw a bright flash and then smelled something burning."

Hill says the flight attendant reassured passengers everything was okay and the plane touched down minutes later, where emergency vehicles were waiting on the runway.

After landing, the pilot told passengers exactly what had happened. Hill says she was impressed with the way the staff handled the situation.

According to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters, the pilot reported an electrical failure. The FAA is investigating the incident.

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