PDA

View Full Version : St. Elmo`s fire


JardaT
26th Jan 2010, 19:49
Good day to everyone,
I was wondering, if anyone flying here has got any pictures of St Elmo`s fires? I` ve recently seen a documentary on BA 747 emergency in Jakarta (1980s) which inspired me to ask here... cheers

Checkboard
26th Jan 2010, 20:30
The BA flight was in volcanic ash, which as a dry substance holds static electricity much better than water droplets.

The best St. Elmo's fire I have seen was in a 737. Two huge "stag horns", one off each windshield wiper post, projecting forward through the clouds for about ten meters! :ooh:

The 146 had a gap in between two bits of metal on the window on the right hand side, just the right length for sparks to jump in between. The frequency and length of the spark resulted in a "buzz" (know as P-static, P for precipitation) on the radio. It was kind of interesting to match the sparks with the buzz.

As a point, there is a theory that an aircraft experiencing P-static, or St. Elmo's fire is leaving a charged path behind it, like trailing a wire through the cloud. This means that the risk of a lightning strike, following the path to the aircraft is increased. :ouch:

No photos, sorry. :(

bobwi
26th Jan 2010, 20:52
Yes, I have seen a very spectacular foto from an Airbus flightdeck at night with lost of st Elmos fire on airliners.net. You'll have to look for it there though, I don't know the location but you should be able to find it there.

Have seen it many times myself. Its very spectacular!

Love_joy
26th Jan 2010, 21:18
Quick search on google yielded this beauty; Airliners St Elmo's Fire (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Jetstar-Airways/Airbus-A320-232/1553634/L/)

Real or not, only those who have seen it for themselves will really know

FE Hoppy
26th Jan 2010, 21:31
We used to get a large doughnut shaped st. elmos around the tip of the re-fueling probe on the Nimrod. Very hypnotic. Usual brought out of the trans by loud bang followed by rear crew screaming for salvation.

Juliet Sierra Papa
26th Jan 2010, 21:37
I also tried Google (images) St Elmo's fire aircraft and found some nice ones.


Real or not, only those who have seen it for themselves will really know

?????

JSP

Loose rivets
26th Jan 2010, 22:06
I've told the tale of my encounter with lightning on more than one occasion, but the fire used to be a portent of things to come and its beauty left me somewhat cold.

That wine! Just a little at first, then the fire and the odd Boomf, as it discharged somewhere.

Remember, we had no radar in those days...and we were at 18 thousand feet. Good place to be - if you wanted to study lightning.

One night, my skipper and I were looking at some pretty fire, then we broke out of cloud into a vast chamber. It was perhaps two or three miles long and a mile or so wide. It was totally illuminated with a bright mauve light. Double:ooh:

Neither of us said anything, but we just stared at it, then at each other, then back to the scene. Very, very spooky.

When I transferred to the BAC 1-11, I was surprised to find the fire was white. Always, not just and oddity. They had gold layer in the screens with huge heating current flowing in it, so, might have been the cause of the change, I don't know.

The best St. Elmo's fire I have seen was in a 737. Two huge "stag horns", one off each windshield wiper post, projecting forward through the clouds for about ten meters!

Because of the nature of 'Leaders', it's probably not a good idea to become Mesmerized by such phenomenon. Storm lights on, seat down, full harness. Every time, or flying blind might take on a new meaning.

Dani
26th Jan 2010, 22:36
I think the picture is real. I was flying a few years in the tropics - St Elmo's fire was a near everyday experience.

As a European pilot, I had thought that this natural phenomen is something very special, very rare, maybe even dangerous. Now I think differently.

Dani

rottenray
27th Jan 2010, 01:28
Love Joy writes:

Quick search on google yielded this beauty; Airliners St Elmo's Fire (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Jetstar-Airways/Airbus-A320-232/1553634/L/)

Real or not, only those who have seen it for themselves will really know

Real or not, it makes a wicked desktop wallpaper!

M2dude
27th Jan 2010, 09:40
Most amazing St Elmo's fire I ever saw was on Concorde in late 1991; We were subsonic over Saudi (returning from BKK/BAH), and caught in an electrical storm. The visor glazing was covered with this crazy bubbling electrical discharge, and the nose pitot had a blue glow around it, extending forward from the aircraft. Unfortunately none of us had a camera with us on the F/D. It would have been an amazing picture, it was like Star Wars up there!! :O.

moonbug
27th Jan 2010, 15:12
Generally over Borneo at 38,000 feet with storms in the vicinity we get to witness St Elmo.

Had no luck with pictures yet.

Dan Winterland
27th Jan 2010, 16:20
Very real. I see that a lot flying around Asia. I got some great video last year which I will post on you tube with a link when I get the time.

It's always fun to invite the cabin crew to the flight deck to take a look. They always love that!

FE Hoppy
27th Jan 2010, 16:28
and you can steer it on the windows with a finger, just like one of those lighting bowls.

IrishJetdriver
27th Jan 2010, 17:08
Couple of weeks ago at around FL280 near Southampton, IMC, smooth conditions with weather radar on, we were getting a pretty good St.Elmos's Fire display when all of a sudden the biggest lightning discharge right in front of us. Absolutely nothing on radar. Thinking our radar might be u/s I mentioned it to ATC and 2 other nearby aircraft reported same situation.

Fortunately we were "heads down" as the effect was as if a search light was aimed right through the windscreen.

Craggenmore
27th Jan 2010, 17:12
I've had it twice over the English Channel in the descent to LGW. It's a superb spectacle. :ok: