German pilot Birk Möbius was snapping a few photographs of an incoming Boeing 777 near Leipzig on Sunday when a spectacular rainbow appeared. Möbius asked a colleague to help him count down to when the plane crossed the path of the rainbow and at that moment, he took a photo.
Capturing a plane crossing the path of a rainbow would have been a great photo on its own, but Möbius told a German newspaper, “I looked at the screen and immediately got goose bumps.”
The amateur photographer realized he had captured a bolt of lightning that he didn’t even noticed occurring when he took the photo…
Incredibly, not only had the bolt of lightning run exactly in line with the rainbow, it actually struck the plane.
If you look closely, you’ll notice the lightning bolt seems to disappear and then reappear just to the right. While the low resolution of the photograph makes it difficult to make out the plane, it’s clear the lightning enters one wing and exits the other.
Here’s a closeup…
It may seem like this would be terrifyingly dangerous for passengers, but planes are designed to handle lightning strikes like this. No call was made to the tower, and it’s quite possible the pilot didn’t even notice the strike. No damage was done and the aircraft landed safely.
Möbius said he’s now hearing from friends he hasn’t spoken to in ten years congratulating him on the amazing photograph. “It is the most unique picture I’ve ever shot,” he says, “Something you do only once in a lifetime.”