jamesag96
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My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:38 pm

Got upgraded to first today from IAH to LAS on a CO 757300. Weather in and around Houston was bad, so on climb out we were in the clouds. As such, and since I am a self confessed wimp-getting better-but a wimp...I stare out the window looking for blue sky.

All of a sudden there is a BOOM, like nothing I had heard, the Plane jumps in the sky and there is a shower of what looked like fire and sparks that goes down the left side of the plane. I immediately think we struck something, but at this altitude? And what would cause the sparks? It woke those asleep up, and a bunch of people were freaking out.

Pilot comes on ten minutes later and says a lightning bolt hit close...not us...but close....right I think, any closer and it would have been in my seat.

3 vodka's and some meds later I was fine...passed out and woke up in time to take this:



Anyone else have some similar stories?

Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
Airlinerfreak
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:44 pm

My best story is that I have flown over storms and actually seen the light from the lightning strikes up above. I have also flown over tornados which are really cool to see from above even though it still looks like regular clouds.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:10 pm

>>>3 vodka's and some meds later I was fine...passed out and woke up in time to take this:

No offense intended, but fearful flyer or not, mixing meds and alcohol plus 3 hours at a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet or so is NOT a good combination. Glad you made it, this time, but you're asking for problems if you continue.

Nice picture of the dam. Lake Mead was down to about 55% of normal when we were there last summer.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:15 pm

3 vodka's and some meds later I was fine...passed out and woke up in time to take this

Skip the meds next time, double the vodkas!  Big thumbs up

FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
waketurbulence
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:21 pm

Wow, that was an interesting story. I hope I am never in that situation. The closest I have come to lightning in a plane was seeing a huge storm from the plane, but the cloud to cloud lightning was awesome.
-Matt
 
macc
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:51 pm

closest to lighning was a landing in FRA last year. closed the airport right after touchdown and we couldnt get out of the plane for half an hour. some 3 or 4 minutes before touch down, below 3000 feet (i guess) there was a thunderstorm like a wall to the close left of the plane. some lightning came down 1 to 2 kilometers away i think. no danger, but a cool landing anyway for freaks like me.
I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
 
jamesag96
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:56 pm

OPNLguy...you are indeed right...no offense taken. It was more of a gut reaction to the situation...I may have lucked out because the FA took my third one away when I fell asleep so I only made it about half way through.

I had seen lightning in the distance before, but nothing ever like this. Was glad to get above it.
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
gkirk
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:06 pm

Is that Hoover dam in the photo?
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
mdsh00
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:52 pm

Is that Hoover dam in the photo?

That is affirmative Kirke.
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
 
jamesag96
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:47 pm

That is Hoover...I woke up and SHIT...that's Hoover damn. Took pictures as quickly as I could. Turned out ok...
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:55 pm

>>>I had seen lightning in the distance before, but nothing ever like this. Was glad to get above it.

Lighting strikes and static discharges occur to aircraft all the time, and it's nothing to be overly concerned about. You're probably at a greater personal risk from the booze/med combination than you are from the lightning.

There's a video floating around somewhere of a 747 climbing out after takeoff over in Japan somewhere, and they take a lightning strike right on the nose, and it exits the tail. Impressive, but comforting at the same time...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
jamesag96
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:09 am

"Lighting strikes and static discharges occur to aircraft all the time, and it's nothing to be overly concerned about. You're probably at a greater personal risk from the booze/med combination than you are from the lightning."

I know I know...in fact I tell people all of the time that they are made so that the charge is made to pass right through with minimal to no damage to the craft...seems I forgot all things common sensical...and I watch too many damn movies.

OPNLguy...again you are looking out for my best interest with the chiding for the booze/med combination...thanks, and welcome to the RU list.

Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
redngold
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:14 am

Likely the part about "the plane jumps in the sky" was the concussion wave from the lightning... The same thing that causes the sound of thunder. Lightning superheats the air it travels through, causing rapid expansion and producing a concussion wave radiating outward.


redngold
Up, up and away!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:23 am

The first link is to that 747 clip (although it seems to only work intermittently) and the second link is to a previous thread that had some lightning damage photos...

http://lightning.pwr.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/lrg/temp/plane.html

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1445151/4/

There are also a couple of still photos within the first few pages of this report...

http://plaza.ufl.edu/rakov/ProgressinAerospaceSciencespaper.pdf


[Edited 2005-02-02 16:31:44]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:26 am

Nice dam picture! The next time I take a Vegas Vacation, I want to take a dam tour with a dam guide........  Big grin
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
jumbojet
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:38 am

cool pic. what kind of camera was used, with what kind of lens?
 
transswede
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:05 am

Lightning strikes are quite common.

I once got struck in a DL 767-300 from MCO to ATL (continuing to ONT) - I actually saw the lightning contact the wing, and the whole plane shook.

The captain came on a few seconds later and explained what happened, and that they were going to continue to ATL since they could not detect any problem with the aircraft.

But after we landed in ATL, a grund inspection revealed that a tiny hole had been burned in the nose cone of the 767. Apparently the lightning had entered the aircraft in the nose and exited on the left wing. Or the other way around.  Smile

So our continuing flight to ONT had to be delayed due to equipment change.

- Lars
 
jamesag96
Posts: 2007
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:07 am

I use a Sony DSC-V1...has a Zeiss lense and is 5megapixel..that is actually one of the better ones I have taken. Not sure yet how to use all of the bells and whistles on it yet.

Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:13 am

Looks like they're moving right along on the Hoover Dam Bypass Road project.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
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BALandorLivery
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:00 am

Interesting story.

It is not uncommon for aircraft to get struck by lightning though.

There are static discharge wicks on the trailing edge of the flight sufraces of most if not all commercial aircraft.They help to get rid of the energy from a lightning strike.

Regds.
 
aogdesk
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:24 am

I was jumpseating on a 757 a couple of years ago, descending thru about 8000'i into SYR, light drizzle but nothing major, when all of a sudden we took a hit directly below the F/O's windshield. I had never experienced that before, it sounded like an M80 went off in the cockpit, and within less than second I could smell that 'electrical' smell. It blinded the crew for a few seconds, and it took me a couple of seconds to recognize that it was lightning, but for a moment I thought that the plane was coming apart. Didn't even have time to crap my pants. Awesome power.....just made for a rather exciting day at the office.
 
ATLFlyer323
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:29 am

ok just asking but don't plane have lightning resistant fuselage??
Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
 
JeffSFO
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:43 am

James,

On an unrelated topic, I finally understand your signature:

Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.

That's one of Doc Holliday's quips to Big Nose Kate in the movie Tombstone, which I saw for the first time recently. Val Kilmer had some hilarious lines in that role, my favorite being his response to McMasters when asked where Earp was after a big shootout, "Down by the creek, walking on water."

Anyway, I was on a Mohawk airlines flight back in the day when I was very young and we encountered a storm and heavy turbulence with several close calls with lightning. It scared the daylights out of me.

-Jeff
 
crownvic
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:50 am

I experienced the same thing last year on a Korean 777 landing in a blinding snowstorm in DFW of all places. The lightning struck the number one engine right where I was seated and made a hughe explosion of light and thunder.
Everyone was scared to death but we continued on and were on the ground 15 minutes later. The pilots never came on until we were on the ground taxiing towards the gate to explain what had happened... The aircraft was grounded for the return flight and never left. Needless to say, an interesting way to end a 11 hr flight!
 
citjet
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:05 am

When I lived in Hawaii, our car was hit by lightning! Just a big BANG!
Also lived in Switzerland and ooooohhhhh the thunderstorms. You haven't seen anything like it until you see lightning interconnect with all of the neighboring lightning rods on all of the roof peaks. Its a trip. Here at the Airport I work at, I have helped change static wicks that have been melted to nothing because the A/C was struck in flight. Pretty cool!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:18 am

>>>ok just asking but don't plane have lightning resistant fuselage??

No matter what man could engineer into an aircraft structure, there's no way to lightning proof it that I'm aware of...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
jamesag96
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:19 am

Well I am somewhat relieved to see others have had similar experiences...and similar emotional reactions.

JeffSFO...great movie.
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
dogfighter2111
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:28 am

2 years ago i was arriving back in GLA from Greece on a JMC B757-200 and the weather was terrible, so my home airport EDI was closed and all traffic was diverted to GLA. When we were on final approach, the captain announced that we had to turn away from teh airport and start the approach again as a BA A320 took our landing slot. So as we were on our second approach, a large flash of lighting came down and struck the plane just 2 or 3 seats in front.

People in GLA were listening to our aircraft on a radio and the First Officer notified that we'd been hit (dunno why, wouldn't do much good) and all of the relatives in the terminal waiting were freaking out a bit.

Well as you can tell i did survive it or else i wouldn't be writing this message.

Thx
Dog

[Edited 2005-02-03 00:29:06]
 
4holer
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:52 am

Looks like they're moving right along on the Hoover Dam Bypass Road project

That was my first thought looking at the pic as well.
Can't wait till it opens so the PHX-LAS drive can be done without the usual weekend hour wait!
Excellent photo!
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
 
777wt
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:29 am

Here's a more reliable link for the lighting footage caught:
http://fnadot.club.fr/747.htm
 
OPNLguy
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:03 am

Thanks for posting a better link for the 747 video...

Check this out on the Hoover project...

http://www.hooverdambypass.org/
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
SonOfACaptain
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:26 am

Although, very rare, if there is a defect, planes can actually make lightning. This happened once to my dad when he was flying a King Air, created a hole the size of a fist on the wing.

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
flymia
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:39 am

Yea lighting is nothing dangerous, it happens often and nothing happens to the plane. Just like when lighting would hit a car.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
citjet
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:48 am

I have seen electrical discharge into the cloud from the wing of a Cessna 402, but certainly no damage done to the A/C. Maybe the fuel cap blew off or something....on the King Air that is. BTW, thats some awesome footage of the 747 taking a strike!
 
SonOfACaptain
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:57 am

Maybe the fuel cap blew off or something....on the King Air that is.

Naw, there was actually damage. If fact, the company got a new King Air from Beechcraft for free just because that incident was never suppose to happen, the plane was assembled wrong.

FYI, the reason there was damage was due to the fact that the aircraft itself caused the lightning.

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
newyork355
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:59 am

I think back in 1994 or 1995, I was flying from DCA-TPA on a USAir 737-400. As we were turning into our short finals to land at TPA, it was storming, and I would say less than a mile away, a lightening bault struck. Very cool; I'm glad it didn't strike the airplane, and I'm glad I've never been in an airplane that has been struck by lightening.
"No Way BA/AA"
 
jamesag96
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:44 pm

I had no idea there was a Hoover bypass project...thanks for the compliments on the picture.
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
wukka
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:55 pm

Lightning on any flight can be a harrowing experience. I've flown in some nasty storms with lightning all over the place, but have never been privvy to a strike on the plane, AFAIK. I'm thankful for that!  Smile I've talked with a number of flight deck crew that have had strikes, and some have said there wasn't any effect other than the blinding and the noise, and others that have had temporary electrical failure. I suppose it has everything to do with where and how mother nature decides to hit you as to the response that your a/c has to it.


-wuk
We can agree to disagree.
 
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RobK
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:49 pm

I had no idea there was a Hoover bypass project...thanks for the compliments on the picture.

Me neither  Wow!

I was shortly about to ask if there used to be a big bridge across the valley after seeing the path of the road but now I see it's the other way round and the road is new with the bridge to err, bridge the gap coming later.

Cool.

Cheers,

Rob K  Wink/being sarcastic
 
USAFHummer
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:42 pm

"My best story is that I have flown over storms and actually seen the light from the lightning strikes up above. I have also flown over tornados which are really cool to see from above ven though it still looks like regular clouds."

Very strange, since no airliner (well, maybe Concorde), could fly high enough to go above a T-storm cell, since those extend 50-60,000 ft. into the sky...and I dont believe you would be able to see a tornado from above, because as you said, you would just see clouds which would obscure the twister...care to clarify this story with some more details?

Greg
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greasespot
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:41 pm

Raython will not replace and aircraft because of a defect....they would fix the defect....blus on a king air you can replace a wing quite easily....your dad is either lying to you or your making up stories. plus as long as the aircraft is not grounded then lighting will usually do no more damage that a little melt spot where it jups arround the fuselage....ie: from a cut out to a door...is rare cases it burns a hole in a radome.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
Aviationhack
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:00 pm

Lightning along with all forms of electricity, will travel to a ground through the path of least resistance. I'm assuming that although some damage will occur, airliners just happen to be an innocent bystander in the path. It might make your hair stand on end, but from what I've seen, there are relatively few fatal crashes of airliners due to lighting.

Any other info on this topic would be greatly appreciated, I fly mostly from DEN to ORD and DFW, and have lived in both cities, and there are some impressive storms in both.
 
TUNisia
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:46 pm

This past August while flying from TUN-FCO on AZ (A320) we were struck right after takeoff. The weather was quite bad yet we still departed. We were still climbing through clouds when I heard a huge bang (like a hammer hitting sheet metal) and a bright flash outside the window. We continued as normal.
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adriaticus
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:55 pm

<< Yea lighting (sic) is nothing dangerous, it happens often and nothing happens to the plane >>

I beg to disagree. Lightning can be a serious matter, depending on the conditions... Like the Iranian air force B747 that went down because of a lightning strike in 1976...

<< The aircraft was struck by lightning while on approach, which ignited the left wing fuel tank, leading to failure of the wing and a loss of control. >>

http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi-bin/view_details.cgi?date=05091976®=5-8104&airline=Iranian+Air+Force

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yukimizake
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:57 am

"I have also flown over tornados which are really cool to see from above even though it still looks like regular clouds."

Airlinerfreak/AAplatnumflier/Walter Mitty, even if we assume your are telling the truth about flying over a supercell cloud formation your statement still makes absolutely no sense. If they still look like regular clouds then why are they really cool to see from above?
'Opfer müssen gebracht werden (Sacrifices must be made)' - Otto Lilienthal
 
AlitaliaMD11
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RE: My First Lightning Strike...and Hopefully Last.

Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:01 am

sounds scary! I hope that something like this will not happen to me in the future.

I know what it is like to fly in a storm, I was in a UX flight going from MAD-SCQ and my plane almost crashed upon arrival due to the rains, clouds, and thunderstormy conditions.

The photo is not working, just to let you know, I really want to see it!
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