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An Eastern Australia de Havilland Dash 8-300 on behalf of Qantas, performing flight QF-2164 from Sydney, NS to Port Macquarie, NS (Australia), had just levelled off at cruise level 170 out of Sydney about 17 minutes into the flight when the crew decided to return to Sydney reporting the aircraft had sustained a lightning strike.
The aircraft landed safely back in Sydney about 40 minutes after departure. A replacement Dash 8-300 registration VH-TQZ reached Port Macquarie with a delay of 2:40 hours.
The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Sydney about 17 hours after landing.