Lightening Strike Grounds BWI Flights For Hours, Injures Air Traffic Controller … Make that 11 Hours


Sorry for the lack of posts but guess who got caught in this debacle?

Lightening struck the tower BWI airport in Baltimore, MD causing complete chaos. Air traffic control systems went down and one air traffic controller was injured due to the strike. As for the passengers aboard planes and waiting in the air port, was an adventure. Yours truly was aboard a Southwest plane that arrived at 1 pm and then the fun began. First there was a torrential rain and thunder storms that stopped all flights from taking off as the wind felt like it was going to blow the 737 over. Then it got worse and the lightening rolled in as myself and about 40 other passengers waited in the metal canister with wings. Luckily there were two nuns sitting in the seats next to me.

Then after waiting 2 hours on the plane we learned the bad news of the tower being struck by lightening and a person being injured. It would take another hour at least to reboot the systems. Not even close. After waiting another hour we then learned in would take between 4 to 6 hours to fix and then the dreaded text message came that the flight had been canceled.

Talk about total chaos, thousands of passengers scurrying to find new flights, ways home, anything. Needless to say there was no guarantee that I could even get a new flight the following day and not really wanting to stay in Baltimore overnight, I opted to rent a car and drive the remaining 7 hours to my destination. Needless to say it has been quite the eventful last 24 hours. And to think that I did not travel on 9-11 because I did not want to have to deal with airport craziness. So much for that idea.

A lightning bolt strikes the air traffic control tower at BWI—injuring an employee and grounding planes for hours.

Now delays stretch across the country and into the night.

Meghan McCorkell has the latest on the delays.

That lightning strike hit the tower just before 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, and grounded flights for hours.

A lightning strike leaves a sea of passengers stranded.

“We’re stuck in Baltimore,” a passenger said.

“Hopefully we can get out of BWI safely tonight,” said another traveler.

Now I just need to hunt down my luggage.

Posted September 13, 2013 by
Personal, Travel, weather | 3 comments

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  • Comments

    3 Responses to “Lightening Strike Grounds BWI Flights For Hours, Injures Air Traffic Controller … Make that 11 Hours”

    1. Tamikosmom on September 13th, 2013 11:12 am


      Thanks for sharing.

    2. A Texas Grandfather on September 14th, 2013 10:04 am

      And now you know how weak the FAA administration’s flight control systems are.

      They are often working with equipment that is ten or more years old. Lightning can do some weird things to electrical and electronic systems. Having proper training for emergencies and backup power is important. It appears from your story that it did not exist at Baltimore.
      SM: yea I was a little stunned at the lack of a backup and redundancy plan in place.

    3. IBE on September 20th, 2013 10:21 am

      Glad to find that you were OK. Nice to see Tamikosmom and Texas Grandfather again! Am in process of coming out of cocoon and coming back to Scared and net. Miss all of you! Love, IBE

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