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Plane Hit by Lightning, Lands Okay

October 4, 1999

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A US Airways Express plane carrying 25 people was struck by lightning and forced to make an emergency landing Sunday night.

The twin-turboprop plane, en route from Port Charlotte to Pensacola, was hit by lightning shortly after takeoff.

Two generators were knocked out, forcing the plane to continue on battery power, said Gainesville Fire Rescue spokesman Stuart Schwartz.

``The plane didn’t dive or anything, but it kind of seemed like anything could happen,″ said passenger Barbara Cox. ``They just started telling us what we would have to do and to prepare for the worst.″

The plane, which carried 22 passengers and three crew members, landed safely at Gainesville Regional Airport. No one was hurt.

Passengers were loaded into taxicab vans or rental cars for the trip to Pensacola, said David Trovillion, US Airways Express supervisor at Gainesville Regional Airport.

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