Lightning carves kickball-sized hole in Icelandair plane

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Lightning Carves Kickball-Sized Hole in Icelandair Plane

When lightning struck an Icelandair plane heading to Denver on Tuesday, it did more than just rattle the passengers inside.

"This giant gash in the nosecone of this Icelandair jet is what greeted passengers on flight 671 when they landed in Denver," KMGH reporter Marc Stewart said.

Our partners at KMGH report the passengers weren't even aware the lightning had created the hole -- which is about the size of a kickball -- until they got off the plane.

The Denver Post reports the lightning struck shortly after the flight took off from the airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. The pilot told the passengers at the time that they'd continue their 3,740 mile flight without making any emergency landing.

"It was like a large pop ... It shook violently for just half a second. The blue color -- that's what I can't forget. I looked out the windows, and the whole plane was electric blue,"passenger Levi Garrett told KMGH.

It's been reported that on average, each plane flying in the U.S. is struck by lightning about once a year.

A writer for Scientific American says planes "often trigger lightning when flying through a heavily charged region of cloud." Though, the aluminum on the outside of aircrafts usually prevents lightening damage.

What happened to the Icelandair flight isn't typical, though.

In fact, an airplane pilot told The Telegraph that lightening damages an aircraft's exterior only "once in a while."

A representative for Icelandair told KMGH the plane has since been evaluated and pulled from its fleet.

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