Air New Zealand flight turns back after lightning hit

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Wellington, May 31 (IANS) An Air New Zealand plane was forced to return to Auckland on Friday after encountering lightning while flying to South Pacific’s Tahiti island.

“The aircraft will be inspected by engineers,” said a statement by Air New Zealand.

“Lightning strikes are not uncommon. Aircraft are designed with this in mind and our pilots train for this scenario,” the statement said, adding that “customers will be accommodated on alternative services”, Xinhua news agency reported.

New Zealand’s weather forecast agency MetService said that severe weather would last between Friday and Monday.

More heavy rain and strong winds are forecast to affect parts of central and southern New Zealand. Severe weather orange warnings and watches remain in force.

–IANS

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