Birdwatching
Topic Author
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1963: Ball Lightening (St. Elmo's) On Eastern Jet?

Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:05 am

I've been researching about the phenomenon of ball lightning and St. Elmo's Fire, and I found this interesting passage about a ball lightening supposedly happening on an Eastern jet in 1963:
One of the best observations of ball lightening (for of mobile St. Elmo's fire) occurred when Professor R. C. Jenninson of the Electronics Laboratories at the University of Kent, was flying in an Eastern Airlines Jet from New York to Washington in March of 1963. The plane was caught in a thunderstorm and struck by lightning. Shortly thereafter, a glowing sphere emerged from the pilots cabin and floated down the aisle. The ball continued down the aisle and disappeared near the rear lavatory.

Does anybody have any further info or links? Is this made up or did it really happen?

Found at
http://www.physics.northwestern.edu/...Phyx135-2/17/personalaccounts.html
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Type-Rated
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RE: 1963: Ball Lightening (St. Elmo's) On Eastern

Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:26 am

I always thought that ball lightning explodes when it disappates. If this is true, then I think it would have made a mess of the rear of the plane near the lav.
I have heard of this phenomena outside the plane, especially around the windscreen, but never inside an aircraft.
Was the cockpit door open? How did it "pass" into the cabin? What did the passengers do or say?
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LPLAspotter
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RE: 1963: Ball Lightening (St. Elmo's) On Eastern Jet?

Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:31 am

I puchased a metal detector from a man in Riverside California who told me about experiencing ball lightning in a Connie (MAT) going from Japan to Guam. The way he described it is exactly like the one from the Eastern Airlines jet.

Cheers:
LPLAspotter
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