Alaska Airlines confirmed that two flights, 64 and 65, had been struck by lightning when they went through the storm that passed through Panhandle and shut down the power in Juneau.
Flight 65 took off from Petersburg and should have landed in Juneau.
Leo Luczak, who had been in the flight from Petersburg, said that when they had attempted to land in Juneau, they went through a cumulus cloud. He added that they all saw a flash outside and heard a terrible noise made by the plane’s being struck by lightning.
After a while, the flight safely landed in Juneau. Luczak pointed out that the pilot had announced that the lightning had struck and that they needed to check the plane. Passengers got out of the plane and waited for the flight to Anchorage which was due the same night. During the storm, the airport in Juneau lost power. Alaska Airlines said that the airplane was taken to Seattle for additional inspection.
That same day, Flight 64 took off from Juneau and was struck by lightning too. It should have landed in Petersburg and carried on to Wrangell, but it was redirected to Ketchikan. The airline company declared that a technician checked the airplane and gave a green light. That flight carried on to Seattle. The passengers who headed to Petersburg and Wrangell ended their trips on Monday.
The company assured the public that no other airplanes were struck by lightning on this fateful day. Although passengers did report another incident. A passenger, Bill Menish, said that he had been in two airplanes struck by lightning on Sunday. He and his wife were on Flight 65 which landed in Juneau.
According to his account of the event, when they went through clouds, they heard something resembling a popping sound. A flash surprised everyone, but nobody panicked, even though they were aware of what was going on.
Menish said that his next airplane from Juneau to Seattle had also been struck. Once they were in the air, the same thing happened, but this time, it was louder and brighter.
Daniel Hartsock, a meteorologist, said that the storms moved to Juneau at noon. He pointed out that a thunderstorm moved over the Auke Bay and the valley. Afterward, another storm occurred close to Juneau.
The electric utility of Juneau announced that the lightning strikes had caused the power outage all over the capital and that lightning was reported in other regions of Juneau as well.