Chicago-bound plane struck by lightning, diverted to Rockford

June 8, 2011 2:51:55 PM PDT
A Continental flight from Madison to Chicago's O'Hare Airport was diverted to Rockford, Ill., after it was struck by lightning.

Continental Express Flight 5822 landed without incident Wednesday at Rockford around 10:30 a.m. The Embraer 145 had a crack in its windshield, although it's not clear if the lightning strike created it.

"I was sitting on the right side of the plane and looking out the window, there's this big flash of lightning and I felt a shudder, probably 6 inches to a foot, the plane moved, I guess it was the shock wave of the lightning," Andrew Keech, passenger, said.

"A bolt of lightning hit the front of the plane and you saw the light come on strongly. It shook the plane pretty strongly," Clif Curtis, passenger, said.

A charter bus was sent to pick up the passengers and took them to the United Terminal at O'Hare Airport. The flight was operated by United Airlines.

The Federal Aviation Association is investigating.

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