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Icelandair Plane Completes 6,000km Flight After Losing Nose In Lightning Strike

10/04/2015 16:59 BST | Updated 10/04/2015 17:59 BST

An Icelandair plane flying from Reykjavik to Denver was hit by lightning shortly after take-off on Wednesday.

That in itself is not unheard of, but the fact that the aircraft simply continued its 6,000km journey with its nose missing is what makes this story somewhat remarkable.

Musician Nathen Maxwell was on board Flight 671 when he heard a loud crash and saw a flash of bright light.

plane lightning

Carry on regardless: The Icelandair flight completed its journey to Denver

The Flogging Molly frontman told the Denver Post: “It was pretty scary.

“At some point pretty soon after we left, we got hit. It wasn’t at the halfway point.

“I thought we’d probably have to go for an emergency landing or turn around, detour or something.”

Instead, the pilots confirmed the aircraft had been hit, but pressed on with the journey anyway.

nathen maxwell

'It was pretty scary': Nathen Maxwell

The decision to keep going must have unnerved some passengers, with Maxwell adding: “I think the entire plane may have had drinks.”

"The aircraft handling characteristics and notification systems were unaffected and the flight continued,” Airline spokesman Michael Raucheisen said in an email to the Denver Channel.

“Lightning strikes are common and protocol was followed.

“There was no cause for further concern and the flight landed in Denver without issue. This aircraft was replaced upon landing and is being evaluated.”

But 9News aviation expert Greg Feith says the flight should not have continued after the strike.

He told the channel: “They should have turned around. It’s a prudent thing to turn around, because you don’t know what the damage is.”

Feith added planes are only hit between one and five times a year.

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