Passengers ‘in tears’ after Tigerair plane hit by lightning strike and turned back to Melbourne

Passengers on a Tigerair flight were left terrified when their plane was hit by lightning.

Tigerair flight TT471 was set to fly from Melbourne to Adelaide on Thursday evening, but was forced to turn around after it was struck.

Ten minutes into the 80-minute journey, there was a big flash outside the aircraft, followed by a ‘big boom’.

A Tigerair flight that was set to journey from Melbourne to Adelaide on Thursday evening was struck by lightning and forced to turn back (stock image)

Once the plane was struck, the captain announced that they’d have to turn back to Melbourne Airport.

Karen Juniper from South Australia told the ABC that the aircraft was ‘bouncing all over the place’.

The plane circled the skies for about 45 minutes before they were able to land back at the airport.

The cabin’s lights were dimmed as they were circling, and passengers began to get distressed and emotional.

Some passengers were in tears, and Ms Juniper said that sick bags made the rounds.

‘It’s probably [something] that happens more often than we’d know about. But being amongst it, it’s a scary event,’ she told the ABC.

‘People around us, the children, they were in tears and the woman next to me was head down, holding onto the seat in front.’

Ms Juniper believes that although passengers were happy to be safely back on land, many of them felt that the ordeal was ‘very poorly managed’.

The passengers hadn’t received any information from the cockpit, and hadn’t gotten any support from Tigerair staff.

Ten minutes into the one hour and 20 minute journey, there was a big flash outside the aircraft, followed by a ‘big boom’ (stock image)

One passenger who didn’t own a smartphone had no way of finding another flight or a hotel room for the evening.

‘It was very, very, very poorly managed. I don’t know the answer… but probably having ground staff to support these people would be a really good start.’ Ms Juniper said.

A spokesperson for Tigerair Australia confirmed that the aircraft was struck by lightning.

‘As a precautionary safety measure, the captain diverted back to Melbourne and the aircraft landed without incident,’ the statement read.

Following inspection of the aircraft, it has been cleared and is back in operation.