Flight forced to return to Ireland after being struck by lightning
A Flybe aeroplane was hit by lightening just 15 minutes into the flight
A Flybe aeroplane carrying 74 passengers from Belfast to East Midlands Airport had to turn back yesterday after it was hit by lightning during the cross-channel flight.
The De Havilland Dash turboprop aircraft was hit by the lightning bolt just 15 minutes into the flight, which took off from George Best Belfast City Airport.
The pilot immediately decided to return to the city as a safety precaution.
The aircraft landed without incident and all crew and passengers disembarked safely from the plane.
Technical staff at the airport immediately began an inspection of the aircraft to assess the extent of any damage that may have been caused by the lightning strike.
Last night Flybe said: "Flybe can confirm that flight BE365 travelling from George Best Belfast City Airport to East Midlands this afternoon returned from airborne as a precautionary measure due to a lightning strike.
"The aircraft landed as normal and the 74 passengers and crew disembarked without incident.
"Engineers are currently inspecting the aircraft.
"Arrangements are being made to enable passengers to complete their journey as soon as possible."
"The safety of passengers and crew is always Flybe's number one priority.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay."