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B.A.Longhaual a/c multiple lightning strikes.

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B.A.Longhaual a/c multiple lightning strikes.

Old 21st Jul 2007, 19:42
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B.A.Longhaual a/c multiple lightning strikes.

Does BA aircraft weather radar direct B747 and B777 to lightning?
After yesterdays terrible weather BA have at least 11 aircraft on the ground with multiple lightning strikes.I thought flight crew were trained to avoid lightning but I suppose some of the lightning was unavoidable.1 a/c had a direct hit on the windscreen,I bet that was scary for the crew! Brave people indeed.
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Old 21st Jul 2007, 19:52
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Aircraft radar show precipitation rates, is essence where it is raining harder or conversely, less so. The radar doesn't give any indication of where or when lightning will strike....there is no real way other than a bit of meteorological knowledge and the application of common sense and experience to avoid lightning.
I've been flying an aircraft 40nm's from an active storm cell in clear air, and still been struck by lightning.

Last edited by haughtney1; 21st Jul 2007 at 21:40. Reason: Lightening....and for any other pedants out there
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Old 21st Jul 2007, 22:03
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AMS, modern aircraft are constructed (bonded) in such a way that allows the massive electrical loads experienced in a lightning strike to be safely dispersed via static discharge wicks which are usually located near the wingtips and the vertical stabilizer.
There are cases where there have been minor injuries caused through electrical overloads.. e.g. a hot circuit breaker or two fizzing through the cabin, or a burn caused by arcing...but these events are quite rare.
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Old 21st Jul 2007, 22:39
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I remember a vague reference to a FO on some type(again can't remember but I think was jet) being injured during a lightning strike - apparantly he was leaning his elbow against the lower window frame when the strike happened. Maybe someone else 'round here might remember the details.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 05:51
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Actually I remember a BA 757 operating into AMS , where the FO was seriously injured with burning wounds on his arm , which was resting on the windowframe when it got struck by lightning.
Must been asome 5 years ago , can anybody fill me in on this ??
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 10:01
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Just to put lightning strikes into perspective:
I've only had one in a lifetime of flying - TriStar, approach, cloud outside starts to glow slightly pink, (could have been aircraft glowing due rapid static build up) huge BANG! (mentioned in Arthur Whitlock's "Behind the Cockpit Door") not a mark on the hairyplane

The static wicks should dissipate the static charge which may collect on the airframe during flight. In our case, I guess the build up was so rapid that the wicks' ability to discharge was exceeded.

The first line of defence is to stay away from Cb, which doesn't always endear one to ATC esp when one crosses a sensitive international border to avoid a long line of big 'uns.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 12:52
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"Actually I remember a BA 757 operating into AMS , where the FO was seriously injured with burning wounds on his arm , which was resting on the windowframe when it got struck by lightning.
Must been asome 5 years ago , can anybody fill me in on this ??""
I think he was arrested after landing and charged.
It's a serious offence you know "flying while in possession of a dangerous firearm "
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 13:06
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On the Fokker 50, first thing to fail after a lightning strike used to be the weather radar!

Aren't there stories around of these lightning "balls" traveling through the cabin after a lightning strike?
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 14:10
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I once took a large strike going into AMS at night on a 146. ( The aircraft had a poor wx radar.) The bang was so loud my chest felt winded , it felt as if we'd been blown apart. The Captain was temporarily blinded and we both sat there stunned for what seemed an age but I guess was only a few seconds. Fortunately, the autopilot stayed in.

The cabin crew reported a plasma lightning ball travelling through the cabin from rear to front and disappearing through the flight deck door. The smell was then quite intense, so we called a PAN and had priority vectors into AMS. (The smell soon after dissipated).

There was damage to the aircrafts elevator (entry point) and to panels high on the nose (Exit point).

I now always carry extra fuel if the forecast is for TS at the destination and have much respect for mother nature.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 15:14
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Regarding the ability of aircraft to withstand a lightning strike

Violent lightning strike brought down Kato Dornier 228
By David Kaminski-Morrow

Norwegian investigators have confirmed that a lightning strike, which severely damaged the tail of a Kato Airline Dornier 228-200, caused the aircraft to crash while attempting to land at Bodo airport during a storm.

Both pilots and the two passengers on board were injured when the turboprop, operating domestic flight 603 from Rost on 4 December 2003, struck the ground heavily just short of Bodo's runway.


Thunderstorms had been in the vicinity during the approach and Norway's accident investigation board, the AIBN, says the aircraft suffered a powerful lightning strike to the nose, which passed to the empennage and severed the central elevator control rod.

The AIBN says it destroyed the only connection between the pilots' control columns and the elevator, adding: "When the lightning struck the aircraft the pilots were blinded for approximately 30s. They lost control of the aircraft for a period and the aircraft came very close to stalling."

Despite the damage, the pilots used the elevator pitch-trim to regain a degree of control of the aircraft and attempt a landing. The aircraft's airspeed on the first approach was too high, however, and the aircraft bounced the crew aborted the landing and took the turboprop around for a second approach.

"Wind conditions were difficult and the next attempt was also unstable in terms of height and speed," says the AIBN. "At short final the aircraft nosed down and the pilots barely managed to flare a little before the aircraft hit the ground."

It says that the aircraft struck the ground 22m (72ft) short of the eastern end of runway 25 and slid 78m before coming to a halt. The heavy impact, around 8.4g, crushed the underside of the fuselage and damaged the propellers. The aircraft, a 16-year-old example registered LN-HTA, was written off.

"There is reason to believe that the total amount of energy in the lightning exceeded the values of the construction specifications," says the AIBN, although it points out that up to 30% of the wiring in bonding connectors in the tail may have been defective before the strike.

In its report into the accident the AIBN has made three recommendations, centred on increased attention to maintenance, better use of airborne weather radar, and improved presentation of ground weather-radar information by air traffic control.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 16:05
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When I first started airline flying, I had the good fortune to fly quite regularly with a very experienced captain.
He had also been an AEW pilot and, as you know, these aircraft carry a very powerful radar and large aerial.
His advice was always to have a good look at the radar picture to confirm where the "weather " was. He would then take up clearing headings,(with permission of ATC) switch the radar off for a while and then check the situation again after a few minutes.
Never failed !
The theory was that, as the lightning will take the shortest path, it will follow the return signal of the nearest radar - in this case, us.
Always worked for me, apart from a couple of times, in over 25 years.
Just luck ?.....or anything in it.
Oh, and re: plasma balls (ionised gas) down the aisle, apparently a regular occurrence in 707s.

Sleeve.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 16:45
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I was much amused, very non PC I know, to read the article in today's Indie.
A door to door bible salesman in Miami was struck by lightning under a clear, cloudless blue sky! tee hee.
It just goes to prove that there is a Devil after all!
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 17:17
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Originally Posted by ubreakemifixem
... Does BA aircraft weather radar direct B747 and B777 to lightning? ...
Originally Posted by Sleeve Wing
... The theory was that, as the lightning will take the shortest path, it will follow the return signal of the nearest radar ...
If I read this correctly, there is some kind of belief, that a weather radar "attracts" lightning.
Could somebody elucidate? I've never heard of this.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 17:36
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Avoiding lighting strikes is akin to avoiding insects splashing on the windscreen... it's all a question of how rapid you are


live 2 fly 2 live
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 17:42
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Lightning strikes

Nothing attracts lightning like 3 miles of wire out the back of a Canberra. I was struck off the Scillies in gin clear weather. Put one of the old Avons out and punched several dozen holes in the bomb bay doors. Made my mate lying in the nose get his ass back in Martin Baker's finest double quick I can tell you. As they say it can strike anywhere. As for the "bonding", even through kid gloves I felt it. Doesn't last forever that "bonding"!!
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 17:43
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If I read this correctly, there is some kind of belief, that a weather radar "attracts" lightning.
If you're projecting a beam of ionised particles then you might provide a favoured path for lightning to flow. However, I wouldn't want to be near a radar set powerful enough to do that.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 18:10
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The radar doesn't give any indication of where or when lightning will strike....there is no real way other than a bit of meteorological knowledge and the application of common sense and experience to avoid lightning.


No real way to show lightning... apart from the LSS (Lightning Sensor System) on my aircraft which is independent from the Wx radar, and shows lightning within 100nm radius.




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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 19:14
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Just to add to the tales of daring do....

Mate of mine on the headset during a pushback (1-11 I think) at MAN, bolt of lightning grounded within a couple of yards, all went very quiet until the flight deck could be heard urgently "...eng? eng? you ok?.."
Like a true professional our man blinked away the tweety birds and stars and continued the push.

His name was Nigel too. Does that count?
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 20:32
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Originally Posted by ciderman
Nothing attracts lightning like 3 miles of wire out the back of a Canberra.
Ouch......
I agree that IS asking for it..... Glad to know you lived to tell the tale.

Originally Posted by llondel
If you're projecting a beam of ionised particles then you might provide a favoured path for lightning to flow. However, I wouldn't want to be near a radar set powerful enough to do that.
There are no radar sets powerful enough to do that.... microwave radiation is not ionising radiation... certainly not at the level transmitted by a weather radar.

Originally Posted by Mungo Man
No real way to show lightning... apart from the LSS (Lightning Sensor System) on my aircraft which is independent from the Wx radar, and shows lightning within 100nm radius.
Mungo Man, you triggered what must be a 20-year old memory, called StormScope. Good to see it still exists and still serves a useful purpose.

Anybody has any more info about what appears to be an urban legend (an aerial one in this case) ?
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Old 23rd Jul 2007, 00:24
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RE
''I was much amused, very non PC I know, to read the article in today's Indie.
A door to door bible salesman in Miami was struck by lightning under a clear, cloudless blue sky! tee hee.
It just goes to prove that there is a Devil afte'' SNIP

Maybe it wasn't an authorized version? In which case God allowed the sky action..
and proves He watches over His Word
y
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