Last updated: 01:36 PM ET, Fri April 10 2015

Lightning Strike Damages Denver-Bound Icelandair Flight

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | April 09, 2015

Lightning Strike Damages Denver-Bound Icelandair Flight

Photo via Twitter

Mother Nature is an inevitable obstacle when traveling through the sky. Fortunately, jetliners are built to withstand lightning strikes, even those as violent as the one that struck a Denver-bound Icelandair flight earlier this week, knocking a hole through the plane's nose. 

"There was a loud bang and a pop — really loud — and a bright light," said passenger and musician Nathen Maxwell via Laura Keeney of the Denver Post. "It was pretty scary."

Not long after takeoff from Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland on Tuesday, Icelandair Flight 671 was struck by lightning that tore through the Boeing 757 aircraft's protective shell.

Here's a look at the extensive damage courtesy of CBS Denver on Twitter:

The strike was so intense that some thought it might require an emergency landing.

"At some point pretty soon after we left, we got hit. It wasn't at the halfway point," Maxwell told The Post. "I thought we'd probably have to go for an emergency landing or turn around, detour or something."

Nonetheless the pilot assured passengers that the aircraft was safe to fly and the flight continued as scheduled.

"If there were issues with the safety or flight worthiness of the aircraft there would have been a system notification or the pilots would have noticed the handling of the aircraft change. Neither of these were the case," Icelandair spokesman Michael Raucheisen told The Post. "After the strike there was no signal that the plane was unstable or unsuitable for flight."

Although it's not uncommon for a commercial plane to be struck by lightning, it's rare for those strikes to physically damage the aircraft, as commercial aircraft are equipped with static-reduction rods on the aircraft’s wings to help lessen the impact of any strike.

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