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   Undertoad  Thursday Aug 11 12:29 PM

8/11/2005: Lightning strikes airliner (with animation link)



Some time ago xoB sent along a set of animated GIFs of lightning striking a All Nippon Airlines jet. I kept them around as I often do with submissions, until I could take the time to figure out how to present it. The animated GIF images of this are the real excitement, which are too large (about 400K each) to link directly for those people still on modems. Plus, our connection is a little slow today.

So I'll just link them in and you can see them in a new window, if you have a good connection. The first time the animation runs it may be slow; it loops, so the second time the animation runs it will be at the correct speed.

If you are an anxious flyer you may not want to click through. It's just one more thing you'd have to worry about:

Lightning strikes jet, actual speed

Lightning strikes jet, slow motion



Troubleshooter  Thursday Aug 11 12:37 PM

That's gonna leave a mark.



Bullitt  Thursday Aug 11 12:51 PM

A.) I wonder what that did to the jet
B.) How many mop buckets it took to clean up 100+ people pissing themselves



Hobbs  Thursday Aug 11 01:54 PM

Who is the aviator in the Cellar? What happens when you get a massive lightening strike on an aircraft this size?



wolf  Thursday Aug 11 02:00 PM

You momentarily pass into another dimension slightly to the left of your expected space-time continuum.

You in that moment give birth to your own grandfather.

But only if you're male.



Bullitt  Thursday Aug 11 02:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbs
Who is the aviator in the Cellar? What happens when you get a massive lightening strike on an aircraft this size?
That would be plthijinx


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Aug 11 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt
A.) I wonder what that did to the jet
B.) How many mop buckets it took to clean up 100+ people pissing themselves
A - Nothing, it happens all the time.
B - They probably didn't even notice it.
Notice the lightning didn't go through the plane, it traveled from the front to the back then jumped to the ground.


capnhowdy  Thursday Aug 11 05:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
A - Nothing, it happens all the time.
B - They probably didn't even notice it.
Notice the lightning didn't go through the plane, it traveled from the front to the back then jumped to the ground.

The pissing actually starts when they look out their window after the strike and see a really fake looking "monster" crawling around on the wing.

and yes plthijinx..... I wonder....has this ever happenened to you? At what altitude? I've been researching some since lastcall and I nearly got struck a few weeks back.


Cyclefrance  Thursday Aug 11 06:46 PM

Now that could weald a cell phone to the side of your head - 'well, I did tell you to turn it off, Mr Yashimoto....!'



busterb  Thursday Aug 11 09:13 PM

No ground= no foul



Hemlock  Friday Aug 12 02:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
A - Nothing, it happens all the time.
B - They probably didn't even notice it.
Notice the lightning didn't go through the plane, it traveled from the front to the back then jumped to the ground.
Although nothing would happen, they would notice. I can imagine the thunder would be rather loud (and somewhat frightening), considering how close they are to the lightning.


fredorpaul  Friday Aug 12 02:26 AM

long time reader first time poster

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
A - Nothing, it happens all the time.
B - They probably didn't even notice it.
Notice the lightning didn't go through the plane, it traveled from the front to the back then jumped to the ground.

ahhahaha first off have you ever been near a thunder storm, and second did you see the gifs??

No trust me even if the the pax didn't see the strike they sure as hell heard and probably felt it(imagine the turbulence caused by something that can be heard several miles away???

also as someone who has seen first hand what lighting strikes can do to a plane, ill tell you right now that it left holes somewhere not to mention burnt a bunch of the little rods that are place on the end of the control surfaces for just such occasions clean off.

worst case scenario plane went down. More likely it caused the electrical systems problems and popped a couple of breakers, which the pilots can quickly correct. Seeing how it stuck it might of damaged the radar.


BigV  Friday Aug 12 02:32 AM

Hiya fredorpaul, welcome to the posting side of the cellar. You know the drill. The poster who stands up will be hammered down. Or struck by lightning. Post away!



Cyclefrance  Friday Aug 12 03:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by busterb
No ground= no foul
Well I think I heard that it had some effect - something about a passenger finding his dentures acquired a light blue tincture and that he temporarily lost hearing in both his ears following the strike. So maybe I mistook that for being a cell phone wealded to the side of his face instead of the blue tooth ear peace it really was (sorry, old fogey humour, luckily only occurs infrequently).


Slurpy  Friday Aug 12 06:37 AM

Wouldn't be surprised if a few of the passengers wanted to Nippoff after that.



mlandman  Friday Aug 12 09:42 AM

often

Two points:

(1) I live near Manchester, NH, and our neighborhood happens to have 5 pilots. They've all had their planes hit by lightning.

(2) I've had it come up through my feet and out my hands before, when it struck my driveway about 50 feet away from where I was standing. Knocked me to the ground. Yep, dumbass here was standing INSIDE his slightly-wet concrete-floored GARAGE (watching the electrical storm) when I picked up a FIBERGLASS broom handle with plastic whiskers, to give a couple quick pushes to a puddle that was forming at the edge of the garage, just underneath the garage door (rain was pouring, and some of it making it inside the threshold). Yes, VERY un-smart. Bolt likely ran through water channels underground, only to jump up through my feet and out my hands. Had 5-6 quick jolts in succession, HURT. Was fine.

-mike



Slurpy  Friday Aug 12 10:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlandman
Two points:

(1) I live near Manchester, NH, and our neighborhood happens to have 5 pilots. They've all had their planes hit by lightning.

(2) I've had it come up through my feet and out my hands before, when it struck my driveway about 50 feet away from where I was standing. Knocked me to the ground. Yep, dumbass here was standing INSIDE his slightly-wet concrete-floored GARAGE (watching the electrical storm) when I picked up a FIBERGLASS broom handle with plastic whiskers, to give a couple quick pushes to a puddle that was forming at the edge of the garage, just underneath the garage door (rain was pouring, and some of it making it inside the threshold). Yes, VERY un-smart. Bolt likely ran through water channels underground, only to jump up through my feet and out my hands. Had 5-6 quick jolts in succession, HURT. Was fine.

-mike
Lucky escape...

That'll teach you for trying to use any sort of cleaning device...


glatt  Friday Aug 12 10:49 AM

My aunt sometimes tells the story of when she was washing her hair in the kitchen sink during a thunderstorm. Lightning struck the hill behind her house. Some of the current found the pipe that leads from the natural spring on the hill down to the house. She gets a shock that throws her across the room and splatters shampoo foam all over the walls and ceiling of the kitchen. She was stunned, but otherwise OK.

I annoy my wife and kids, because I won't let them use the bathroom during a thunderstorm. Something about those cast iron vent pipes poking up slightly into the sky above the roof of our house makes me nervous.



mlandman  Friday Aug 12 11:25 AM

and to boot...

I had one of these taken OUT of my arm just 5 days prior: youch!

I shudder to think of what would have happened if it was in my arm at the time all the electricity ran through it.

lol probably nothing, I don't really understand ohms vs volts vs capacitance, etc, but still the thought scares me....

-mike



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Aug 12 11:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredorpaul
ahhahaha first off have you ever been near a thunder storm, and second did you see the gifs??

No trust me even if the the pax didn't see the strike they sure as hell heard and probably felt it(imagine the turbulence caused by something that can be heard several miles away???

also as someone who has seen first hand what lighting strikes can do to a plane, ill tell you right now that it left holes somewhere not to mention burnt a bunch of the little rods that are place on the end of the control surfaces for just such occasions clean off.

worst case scenario plane went down. More likely it caused the electrical systems problems and popped a couple of breakers, which the pilots can quickly correct. Seeing how it stuck it might of damaged the radar.
Welcome to the Cellar, Fredorpaul.
I'm sure the passengers both saw the flash and heard the thunder but that doesn't mean they knew it hit the plane. It happens all the time.
These little rods on the end of the control surfaces? What surfaces? I've built leading and trailing edges for 757s and 767s and never seen them.
The plane didn't go down but you're probably right about the breakers. That's one of the reasons for so much redundancy. That's also one of the things that bothers me about the fly by wire systems that have pervaded commercial planes.
The radar domes being composite, wouldn't the lightning strike further back?


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Aug 20 08:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredorpaul
snip~~ not to mention burnt a bunch of the little rods that are place on the end of the control surfaces for just such occasions clean off.~~snip
I've found a picture of "the little rods" on some of the edges and engine mounts.
I'm told they are to dissipate static charge built up from the air moving over the surfaces.


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