Lightning strike turns United flight back to SFO

(KGO)
April 13, 2012 9:49:15 PM PDT
It was not only a bumpy flight last night for passengers aboard United Flight 930, which took off from SFO headed for London Thursday night. Their plane was hit by a lightning bolt.

Flight 930 took off in stormy weather. Passengers were already nervous.

"It was really, really bumpy and I actually covered my eyes because I was scared," Vivian Pomeroy said.

"And all of a sudden, there was this almighty great bang; my wife screamed, all the kiddies started crying," Alan Hornsby said.

"There was a big flash, an enormous bang and within seconds the oxygen mask fell," Steve Yull said.

"You could actually just feel the lightning hit the plane and, just a giant flash, where everyone's sitting and watching movies and stuff. But, it was pretty overpowering how bright the flash was," passenger Michael O'Neal recalled. "I looked around and just sort of continued about my business, but I was definitely shaken and everyone sort of looked at each other like, 'What was that?'"

Yull says there was an eerie silence.

"I guess people were waiting to hear what was next," he said.

Pomeroy says the captain spoke on the intercom.

"He just said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, we've just been struck by lightning,' and that was it really," she said.

The captain told passengers everything was alright and the plane returned to San Francisco.

Most boarded another flight to London on this Friday the 13th.

Before I was scared we're going to land on Friday the 13th; now we're going to fly over on Friday the 13th, so I don't know," Fatma Aaltonen said.

But passenger Rich Chin said not to worry.

"Being Chinese, 13 is a lucky number," he said.

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