Clippers Team Plane Dropped In Altitude After Struck By Lightning, Players Thought They Were Going To Die

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On November 8, 1948, six players from the Czechoslovakian national ice hockey team died in a plane crash on the way to an exhibition tour. One year later, eighteen players from the Italian football team F.C. Torino died when the plane crashed on its landing approach to the Turin airport.

February 6, 1958, eight players of Manchester United died when their plane failed to take off on its third attempt.  November 28, 2016, the plane of Brazilian football club Chapecoense crashed en route to attend the 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals, killing 19 players.

These are some of the most tragic and widley known plane crashes involving sports teams.

Thankfully, no NBA team has ever had to go through a tragedy like this, even though one of the most famous sport teams in the entire world almost had a plane crash, but ended up getting lucky – the Minneapolis Lakers.

Imagine an NBA without the Lakers. On January 18, 1960, the Minneapolis Lakers flew back from a game in St. Louis and crash landed in a cornfield in Carroll, Iowa, after getting lost and running low on fuel in a blinding snowstorm.

Now, six decades later, the Los Angeles Clippers faced a scary ‘in air’ situation, when they were heading on a trip to Denver.

On said trip on February 25, the Clippers’ team plane was hit by lighting and dropped in altitude several times, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.


The Clippers’ plane began to shake and rattle before a loud bang could be heard. Some staffers saw a flash on the right side of the aircraft as the engine went eerily silent for a moment before roaring back to life and filling the cabin with thunderous revving.

The plane dropped in altitude several times and shrieks could be heard from passengers in what some staffers called one of the worst moments they’ve experienced on a flight.

“Us players, we’re trying to nap away,” guard Eric Gordon told ESPN, calling it the second-worst flight he has experienced in his 15 NBA seasons. “Oh, everybody was up after that for sure.”


Thankfully, the plane landed safely in Colorado, with the lighting strike even leaving a mark on the tail of the Delta Air Lines plane.


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