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Lightning Puts Hole Gov. Bush’s Plane

February 28, 2003

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Gov. Jeb Bush’s plane was struck by lightning that zapped a hole in a wing during a flight Thursday from Tallahassee to Orlando.

None of the seven people onboard was injured, said Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for the governor.

Bush said he wasn’t scared. ``Alia, on the other hand, was frightened, paralyzed,″ he said wryly.

The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air, which seats up to 10 people, landed safely at its destination. The size of the hole was not immediately known.

The governor and his staff took another plane to Miami Beach.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said lightning strikes are common and her agency does not regularly investigate them.

In 1995, a lightning bolt struck a plane carrying another Florida governor, the late Lawton Chiles, from Tallahassee to Tampa. The Beechcraft King Air sustained slight damage but landed safely.