14 Jul 2016

Little on Air NZ plane hit by lightning

12:10 pm on 14 July 2016

An Air New Zealand plane has landed safely in Auckland after being struck by lightning.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little was on board the Wellington to Auckland flight and tweeted that after a "few bumps" it was "all good".

Mr Little said it happened about 10 minutes before the plane touched down in Auckland.

"It was all going very well until there was a sudden flash of light and a big bang.

"The plane wobbled around a bit, and then the captain told us we'd been struck by lightning.

"A wake up to the day I guess".

He said passengers on the flight stayed calm.

"There was no panic, everybody kept their cool and after we had the reassuring words from the pilot then we just carried on.

"The flight was smooth and the landing was perfect.

"I'm not aware of anybody else who suffered in any way or had any bags damaged or anything. It was flash of light and a big bang and that was pretty much it."

Air New Zealand confirmed the flight had been struck by lightning and would be inspected by engineers.

The airline said the plane landed without incident "after encountering a lightning strike on its approach to Auckland".

"The aircraft will be inspected by engineers in line with normal process," it said in a statement. "Lightning strikes are not uncommon and aircraft are designed with this in mind."

The flight landed at 9.24am, just a few minutes later than scheduled.