Sign in to follow this  
Guest Fortress

lightning strikes

Recommended Posts

There is really really nasty weather over Pittsburgh right now, so I looked out my window to the southeast and saw some navigation lights of a plane just after 8:00PM EST. I thought they were heading into KBTP (a small airport which is just up the road from me) and then I noticed they were getting farther and farther apart. In a minute or so, a rather large airliner flew over just a few thousand feet up (I guess). It was low enough to rattle my house. I dont' think the plane had it's gear down and it was definitely looping back to the southwest. I assume he was heading back into KPIT. Of course, this concerned me as I've never seen anything like this. While I was outside, I saw some lightning up in the clouds to the south. I know aircraft have something called a Faraday Cage or something like that that is suppose to protect a plane from a lightning strike, but is it possible that a modern airliner could be damaged from a lightning strike to the point where it would have to land at the nearest airport?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Absolutely. In two separate instances I have seen lightning shatter a windshield and take out all the EFIS screens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The damage can be highly variable. I've seen a 4"-wide hole punched clean through the fuselage of a 767 (I saw the plane afterwards, I didn't see it happen - thank God!), and I also heard the Copilot of a 747 saying he felt a small shock in his hands after a strike (he was holding the yoke). So.. you never can tell what damage - if any - the strike will do.Edit: Actually, as I understand it, the biggest threat to life and limb is blindness. If the aircraft is struck at the front, the pilots can be temporarily blinded for upto 30 seconds. Hmm, scary!Cheers,Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this