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If so, how does it not get struck by lightning?

May 15, 2009 - 08:26 am
JnJ
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I have no idea but I know I'd be scared to death to fly during a thunderstorm

May 15, 2009 - 08:27 am
flipper
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It's very, very scary. Turbulence don't scare me... the lightening does. So do birds!

May 15, 2009 - 08:44 am
Christi
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Even the Turbulence scares me...

May 15, 2009 - 08:48 am
flipper
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They try to avoid thunderstorms, but do end up flying through them from time to time. My understanding is that many times they are able to fly ABOVE the storms, so they don't experience much of the roughness.

I was once attempting to fly back to Peoria through O'Hare, and they had to move us to a different plane because our first plane had been struck by lightning. They claimed that there wasn't any real damage, but said that there are FAA regulations that require them to run through a whole diagnostic test before the plane can be used again.

May 15, 2009 - 09:00 am
brauner
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Gosh, I am starting to feel SOOOOOOO much better.

May 15, 2009 - 09:01 am
JnJ
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When do you fly out JnJ?

May 15, 2009 - 09:12 am
flipper
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You haven't flown til you've been in a plane sitting on the tarmac and they are de-icing it

May 15, 2009 - 09:16 am
crodseth
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Hey… a little turbulence is a little like an amusement park ride. You get bounced around a lot as the plane hits little wind pockets… you drop, then lift back up, kind of fun, you’ll be safe. Really! Just keep the window shade down so you don’t see the lightening and dark clouds and like brauner said they will most likely fly over it and you won’t even notice the storm. No fears at all. Just in case, take that sippy cup of yours.

May 15, 2009 - 09:17 am
Christi
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Makes you wanna watch the first episode of LOST again, doesn't it?

May 15, 2009 - 09:29 am
stayathomemommy
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From what I understand, airplanes get hit by lightning all the time, but it's not a huge issue because they are not grounded.

Just some random things I found:

The effect of a lightning strike is usually harmless, although sometimes some mysterious things can occur. The average commercial jet (if such a thing exists) is actually struck by lightning about twice a year. Some may never be struck, others may be struck more. It depends on where the aircraft's flights usually take it.

FAA regulations require commercial aircraft to remain at least 20 nautical miles from thunderstorms and other severe weather masses. However, sometimes this is unavoidable during low level operation. Many folks can tell a tale or two about a horrifying takeoff in a storm. Storms and lightning may be a scary thought for an airborne passenger. On the flight deck, they aren't as scary as you think.

and another post...

What happens? Usually not much. When struck by lightning, the electrical energy travels through the metal skin of the aircraft and is dissapated via the static wicks. Burn marks will be found at the entry and exit point of the strike (exit points occur if not all the energy is dissapated via the wicks). Occasionally in the more severe instances electrical equipment or avionics may be affected or damaged.

It would be a highly unlikely scenario that lightning would cause a crash. There are only a handful of accidents on record due to a strike. Most notably was back in the 1960's when lightening hit a Pan Am plane directly on the fuel vent causing it to explode inflight. After that accident, the vents were redesigned and static wicks were required to be installed on aircraft.

Lightning strikes are more common than one might think. Statistics show that the commercial airlines average one hit per aircraft per year or an average of once every 1500 flight hours.


May 15, 2009 - 09:32 am
JeepPilot
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No fears at all. Just in case, take that sippy cup of yours. Not sure what you are referring to there, Missy

May 15, 2009 - 09:46 am
JnJ
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Mom & I flew several times when there was a thunderstorms, turbulence & lighting. Like was said here the piliot would come on and say he was going to higher altitude to try to get above them. It is quite a sight to lookout and see the lighting. We at times got into some good rock & roll turbulance. Relax JnJ and enjoy your trip.

May 15, 2009 - 09:53 am
Msgem
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Msgem is right. So long as cloud altitude isn't too high they fly ABOVE the storms. Then sometimes they have to circle around before landing as to avoid the lightening. The hope is usually to get on the ground before they run out of gas, of course!

May 15, 2009 - 10:04 am
artlvr
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JnJ writes:
No fears at all. Just in case, take that sippy cup of yours.

Not sure what you are referring to there, Missy






May 15, 2009 - 10:07 am
Christi
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