Alaska Airlines is inspecting a 737-700 after it was struck by lightning while flying from Juneau to Sitka on Feb. 21, 2021 in accordance with the company’s policies. (Courtesy photo / National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration)

Alaska Airlines is inspecting a 737-700 after it was struck by lightning while flying from Juneau to Sitka on Feb. 21, 2021 in accordance with the company’s policies. (Courtesy photo / National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration)

Alaska Airlines inspecting flight after lightning strike near Sitka

An inspection is the airline’s standard procedure after a strike.

Alaska Airlines is inspecting an aircraft that was struck by lightning flying from Juneau to Sitka Sunday evening, said a spokesperson for the airline.

“Flight 70 from Juneau was struck by lightning on descent into Sitka. The Boeing 737-700 landed safely in Sitka,” said spokesperson Tim Thompson in an email. “Jet aircraft are designed to withstand a lightning strike and what the passenger saw/heard was most likely the lightning discharging from the aircraft through static discharge wicks on the wing.”

Lightning strikes occur most commonly on planes in clouds, and damage can vary significantly from none to significant, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Alaskan Airlines has standardized procedures for lightning strikes, Thompson said.

“When an aircraft has a lightning strike, the aircraft is taken out of service,” Thompson said. “This aircraft has already been ferried to Seattle for inspection.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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