Crazy video shows Delta Boeing 737 hit by lightning strike

A passenger has caught on video a direct lightning strike on a Delta Boeing 737 at Atlanta airport.

The video below is extremely interesting. Shot at Atlanta airport during a thunderstorm by Jack Perkins, a passenger of another plane, it shows a lightning strike hit a Delta Boeing 737 on the taxiway.

No one was hurt as a consequence of the lightning as the plane is shielded by Faraday Cage, that blocks out external static electrical fields: charges redistribute on the conducting material and don’t affect the cage’s interior.

In simple words: if hit by a lightning aircraft let the current pass through the fuselage until ground, preserving the systems’ integrity. Furthermore, all commercial and military aircraft have been designed to meet several safety lightning-related requirements needed to get the airworthiness certifications required.

Generally speaking, lightning strikes are rare and do not represent a real threat to military and civil planes, even though, in the 1980s, some F-16 Fighting Falcon jets were lost after being hit. In one case, the lightning ignited the vapors in the empty centerline tank, which exploded causing extended damage to the aircraft’s hydraulic system.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. In a situation such as this does the crew know they’ve taken a lightning strike and is the aircraft – such as this one is on the ground – pulled from service as a precaution or is it a complete non-issue? It’s interesting to see a video with a direct strike like this, that’s a rare occurrence indeed!

  2. Probably NOT a Boeing 73, but more like a Boeing 76. In either case, FAA certification requirements make it such that these airplanes have to be protected from these type weather events, so it becomes more of a ‘non-event’ to passengers, crew, and aircraft. Depending on who was awake, may not have even noticed.

    • I dont like it when an ignoramus makes a post and uses my real name. Why the hell did you think that it was a 767? And stop calling yourself Hutch.

  3. also, the tail of the aircraft extends forward toward the fuselage a little – doesn’t go straight into it, dead give away.

  4. Yes, the green-blue glow indicating superheated metal at the aircraft’s aluminum surface where it was struck plus the fiery sparks shooting from the main gear at the lightning’s exit point would seem reasonable cause for alarm, or at least for immediate withdrawal from service for proper A&P inspection….

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