Lightning hits plane after takeoff from Atlanta - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lightning hits plane after takeoff from Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) - An airplane bound for Detroit from Atlanta was hit by lightning shortly after takeoff and returned to the airport as storms rumbled through the state.

AirTran Airways spokesman Christopher White says the plane was hit soon after it took off around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. He said there was a brief, minor issue with 1 of the two engines, and the captain decided to return to the gate as a precaution.

The Boeing 717 landed and taxied to the gate, where the 94 passengers disembarked. White says a new plane was brought in, and the flight continued as planned.

White says it's not unusual for planes to be struck by lightning and that they're built to withstand it.

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