Lufthansa A321: Lightning Strike on Approach to Gothenburg

Oliver Holzbauer, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Lufthansa flight inbound from Frankfurt was struck by lightning on its approach into Gothenburg, Sweden on 9 June 2024.

Lufthansa flight LH816, an Airbus A321-200, was arriving from Frankfurt Main airport (FRA) during the period marked by thunderstorms and rain showers.

Lufthansa LH816 Frankfurt-Gothenberg

The flight crew was establishing an approach when they noted the weather build up conflicting with the final approach leg to the active runway, RWY21.

As a precaution, the crew requested that they enter a holding pattern until it was deemed clear for the approach. Lightning was detected from the cumulus buildup by air traffic control.

According to the online source Aviation Herald, ATC subsequently advised the aircraft that a right-hand circuit with a short final approach to RWY21 may be suitable.

Accordingly, the aircraft was positioned for the right-hand circuit pattern. At this point, the aircraft was then struck by lightning whilst on the downwind leg.

The approach was continued and the aircraft landed without further incident. The extent of the damage to the aircraft has not been disclosed. The onwards return flight from Gothenburg was subsequently cancelled.

Aircraft and Flight Details

Flight data shows that flight LH816 had made a slightly delayed departure out of Frankfurt main airport (FRA).

The flight showed an actual time of departure of 1307 local time against the scheduled departure time of 1225 local time.

The flight then proceeded normally, climbing to flight level FL330 (33,000 feet) for the service to Poland.

Following the let down and initial approach procedure, flight crew initiated a holding procedure. This was conducted at 10,000 feet to the south-west of the airport.

The flight then conducted two laps of the holding pattern before being directed for a right-hand circuit and approach to the duty runway.

Oliver Holzbauer, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The aircraft conducting the LH816 service was an Airbus A321-200, registered D-AISR. This is a 14.9 year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the German national carrier Lufthansa.

It has been in operational service with the airline since its initial delivery in July 2009.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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