March 6, 2015

Getting your money's worth

Incident: AirExplore B738 at Birmingham on Mar 1st 2015, lightning strike
By Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Mar 2nd 2015 23:10Z, last updated Monday, Mar 2nd 2015 23:10Z
An AirExplore Boeing 737-800, registration OM-HEX performing "fear of flying" flight ED-4444 from Birmingham,EN to Birmingham,EN (UK) with passengers, was returning from an about 40 minutes' flight to calm fears of flying and was on approach to Birmingham about 15 minutes prior to landing when the aircraft's right hand wing was struck by lightning. The crew continued for a safe landing on Birmingham's runway 15.
A passenger reported: "Not much was heard by way of sound but there was a bright flash which lit the whole cabin."
A post flight inspection revealed damage requiring repairs, the aircraft is still on the ground about 30 hours after landing.
You can't make this stuff up!  Someone on Reddit claimed to be a passenger on this flight, having paid for the service that takes you up to overcome your fear of flying.  
I was on this flight "getting over my anxiety" and to be honest it's probably the best thing that could've happened! Flying on a clear day with no winds would've been nice but wouldn't have been much use when flying in bad weather in the future. The running commentary we had throughout the flight (from a Virgin Atlantic senior captain(in the jump seat!)) was a great help and when we were struck he ever so calmly announced that we'd had a lightning panic. Due to the orientation of BHX the landing was in pretty strong crosswinds which was also a great experience. The only thing that would've made this flight better would've been a go-around! I couldn't have asked for a better flight (if you know what I mean) to help me get over the fear...
He sure has a good attitude, though I wonder if the other fear-of-flying passengers came out with the same optimism. 
I wonder if the company that runs these flights goes in ahead of time with rubber seat covers...

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