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Lightning strike on radome

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Lightning strike on radome

Old 30th Jan 2023, 12:37
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Lightning strike on radome

I am Just reading about this lighting strike in our local newspaper. The video is very long but very detailed.
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 12:43
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There are metal strips on the radome to carry the current; they appear to have done their job but I'm sure that's going back for an ultrasonic inspection to check for any delamination. Even if they don't put it back as a spare, seeing if/how the lightning protection worked is worthwhile.
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 09:09
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I recall being at Boscombe Down in 85/86 and a new Tornado F2 took a strike on that long nose. The witness marks were along the nose over the canopy and down the port wing. Its was a grey jet not the 2 prototypes livery.
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 13:51
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Has lightning ever downed an aircraft?
Hail seems to be a bigger danger?
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 14:48
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Originally Posted by uxb99
Has lightning ever downed an aircraft?
Hail seems to be a bigger danger?
Yes indeed. Pan Am 214 in 1963 and TW891 win 1959 to name just two...
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 19:32
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Originally Posted by MichaelKPIT
Yes indeed. Pan Am 214 in 1963 and TW891 win 1959 to name just two...
Lightning protection is critical in modern aircraft. The reason we've not had recent loses due to lightning is in no small part due to lessons learned from the above noted accidents.
Even now, lightning protection isn't 100% - a major strike will still cause damage (composite structure being particularly vulnerable). I recall reading about an incident perhaps 20 years ago - 757 IIRC - severe lightning strike to the nose, although the lightning protection worked as designed, one of the pilots was reportedly temporarily incapacitated by the induced EMI, and the other pilot was "affected". Fortunately they were able to land safely and apparently suffered no long-term effects.

I was in the flight deck of a 747-8 during a flight test shortly before I retired when we took a lightning strike - scared the crap out of me . Apparently attached to the nose and exited out a wing root (doing a job on the wing root fairing in the process). The pilots were pretty unhappy with ATC - they'd directed us right into a cell, then had us do a spiraling descent while in the cell...
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 22:13
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Originally Posted by uxb99
Has lightning ever downed an aircraft?

And the sequel is a lovely story:

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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 13:51
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Not much of a story. This is happening quite often in the summer days and is a constant source of work for sheetmetal workers/mechanics, as lightning strikes often leave minor thermal damage on metal parts - window edges, exposed rivet heads, etc. When airplanes were made mostly of aluminum, this was not a big issue, but with composites, things changed a bit, as these are more vulnerable to lightning strikes, despite embedded wire mesh etc. and delamination, especially at the corners, (LDG doors etc.) is not so rare. Radomes are traditional entry point and are regularly repaired / replaced for this, as metal stripes provide only limited protection. I would not consider this event a close call, as today`s designs are quite resistant to such damage. A Sukhoi SuperJet (Aeroflot Flt 1492) comes to my mind where this was not entirely the case, since lightning strike contributed to the crash, as several systems were affected by lightninig strike, requiring an emergency landing, that didn`t go well.
Gliders are much worse, as there is no lightning protection embedded in the design. I cannot imagine what would happen if a glider, made of fiberglass, but with carbonfibre stripes in a main spar, would be hit. I suspect that spar would literally explode.
So I stay away from CBs when doing gliding flights-had already some scary episodes with static electricity flying (too) close to Congestus cloud.
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