Flight makes emergency New Jersey landing after encountering lightning

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 08, 2013 8:00 AM

By David Jones

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - A JetBlue flight made an emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport late Friday after encountering lightning after taking off from Boston, according to an airline spokesman.

JetBlue flight 425, headed to West Palm Beach, Fla., with 148 passengers and five crew members, encountered lightning after taking off from Boston's Logan International Airport at 8:54 p.m. EDT (00:54 Saturday GMT).

"In an abundance of caution the captain chose to divert to the New York area," said JetBlue spokesman Sebastian White.

The Airbus A320 plane was flying through Andrea, a post-tropical storm which dumped more than five inches of rain in some parts of New York's Long Island.

After circling over John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y., the plane landed at 11:04 p.m. EDT (03:04 Saturday GMT) at Newark's airport, where the weather was clearer, the spokesman said.

No injuries were reported. Passengers were put on another plane and flown to their final destination in Florida.

White could not immediately confirm whether the plane sustained damage, as it was not clear if it was struck by lightning. He said the maintenance staff at Newark's airport would examine the plane before returning it to service.

A Federal Aviation Administration official was not immediately available for comment. (Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Vicki Allen)