Eurowingsa320
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British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:28 pm

I was surpost to be flying back to London Heathrow from Barcelona el pray today on ba487 when we were told that the flight had been cancelled for atleast 12 hours because it flew through a storm and had “27 holes” caused by lighting. I had never heard of this happening before and thought the airbus a320 would be fine and Un damaged, does anyone know how this has happened?
Last edited by atcsundevil on Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title updated
 
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zeke
Posts: 12782
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:33 pm

It is obvious, the aircraft was struck by lightning multiple times, these areas were discovered during the transit requiring further maintenance.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
asuflyer
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:34 pm

I think you answered your own question. The plane was clearly damaged by the lightning strikes and will have to be repaired in order before it can fly again with paying passengers under EASA regulations. Severe weather can damage aircraft, including hail, thunderstorms, ice etc.
 
Jkraid
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:50 pm

asuflyer wrote:
I think you answered your own question. The plane was clearly damaged by the lightning strikes and will have to be repaired in order before it can fly again with paying passengers under EASA regulations. Severe weather can damage aircraft, including hail, thunderstorms, ice etc.


Agreed. 2 weeks ago, a Qantas flight got struck by lightning and had to make an emergency landing as a precaution.
 
smi0006
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:04 am

This happened to DL 77L in Sydney recently - 50 odd holes, the flight was cancelled for three days, in the end they ferried the aircraft to SIN for repairs.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:47 am

I suspect the OP has heard, as is mentioned on this site from time to time, that airplanes are frequently hit by lightening, perhaps most planes once a year. Usually it does not cause much damage, nor is a safety threat. But not always. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable posters could provide a longer answer. Did any of the holes in previous posts cause decompression? Ever injure a passenger or crew person? Disable electronics?
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
BAeRJ100
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:59 am

This absolutely is a thing that happens. I remember a NZ 787 that was grounded in PER for a while after sustaining damage from a lightning strike.
B737/738/739/744ER/752/753/763/77L/77W/788/789
A320/321/332/333/346/388
MD82/MD88/717/F100/RJ85/RJ100/146-100/200/300
E175/190/CRJ700/900
 
Adipocere
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:01 am

I would be relieved that they grounded that plane - not having to fly in a plane with holes in it.
 
PEK777
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:35 am

The atmospheric discharge of electricity hit the flying machine, thus resulting in damage to the aforementioned winged vehicle which, according to Bernoulli's Principle, may have resulted in suboptimal aeronautical performance due to holes.
 
strfyr51
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:08 am

standard proceedure after a suspected lightning strike is a fuselage and wing inspection. Unfortunately? If there are Burn marks and damaged fasteners? The repairs need to be accomplished before the next revenue departure. It's not uncommon at all..
 
Apprentice
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:28 am

Hi: Lightning Strike, most of the times “Hit” front of plane, (Radome ) and leave or by wings tips “disipators” or end of fuselaje.
“Leave” damage may be postponed for some cicles, and includes, replace rivets, paint, replace “electrostatics disipators on wing/ Stabilizer.
“In” damage, affect most of the time the radome. This condition is considered unsafe because any smal hole, may affect Radar Equipment Working.
Every time, an special check had to be performed (and noted in Log Book) indicating in/out locations, damage measurement, additional damage, if and aircraft condition (green/red).
Rgds
“An4; IL18; IL6; Tu5; D10; MD11; MD83; B32; B34: B37; B744; B748; B752; B763; B772; B773; B77W; A320; A332; A333; A342; A343.
"A NO" is a positive answer., "DON'T KNOW" is not. My Tutor (a wise man)
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Apprentice
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:39 am

So: I will said: Thanks BA, for take Safety always first.
Appreciate Your quality
Rgds
“An4; IL18; IL6; Tu5; D10; MD11; MD83; B32; B34: B37; B744; B748; B752; B763; B772; B773; B77W; A320; A332; A333; A342; A343.
"A NO" is a positive answer., "DON'T KNOW" is not. My Tutor (a wise man)
“CUBANA” 90 years Flying”
 
stratclub
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:57 pm

PEK777 wrote:
The atmospheric discharge of electricity hit the flying machine, thus resulting in damage to the aforementioned winged vehicle which, according to Bernoulli's Principle, may have resulted in suboptimal aeronautical performance due to holes.

I think a more realistic effect to an aircraft from lighting damage would be compromised structure resulting in the possibility of a pressurization blowout long before aerodynamics of the aircraft would be compromised. Even with that, the majority of lightening strikes pass harmlessly through the airframe.

Image
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:00 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I suspect the OP has heard, as is mentioned on this site from time to time, that airplanes are frequently hit by lightening, perhaps most planes once a year. Usually it does not cause much damage, nor is a safety threat. But not always. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable posters could provide a longer answer. Did any of the holes in previous posts cause decompression? Ever injure a passenger or crew person? Disable electronics?


The lightning strikes cause damage to the structure of the airplane that must be repaired or within allowable limits in the structural repair manual. If the holes are too big they will cause cracks that will expand and can result in structural failure. Decompression isn’t the risk, it is the load bearing ability of the primary structure. Lightening does physical damage that must be repaired just like hail, bird strikes, ground collisions, FOD, etc.
 
gregorygoodwin
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:18 pm

Hello everyone,
I've worked many lighting strikes over the years as a structures tech. Usually, what happens is the strike will cause a burn mark around a fastener such as a rivet or Hi-Lok. Also, it can cause damage to the static wick bases where they mount to the aircraft, and I've seen where it will blow out a trailing edge on the elevators, ailerons, and other surfaces that usually has static wicks attached. If the fastener has a burn mark it will be between the fastener edge and the surrounding skin, sort of like a arcing burn. The SRM will give the limits you can have, and they are very small if the damage is on the fuselage pressurized skin. Now, you can drill out the fastener and install a new one and you have two options. You can shoot in a blind rivet, such as a Cherrymax or Huckclinch fastener, these will be time limited until replacement with a solid rivet or Hi-Lok fastener. The real challenge is, if you go for a solid rivet or Hi-Lok, is gaining access to the back side, which means taking down the interior of the ship to gain access to the location. This is sometimes a challenge with all the equipment in the way. If a static wick base is blown out, you will probably be doing a skin repair to restore it to service. If you have a lot of strike damage, it can get to be a lot of work and a lot of down time for the ship.

Gregory
 
Dalmd88
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:25 pm

Lighting rarely creates holes. They are actually burn spots that require repair. I gate agent speak they are 'holes in the plane.' It can take some time to do the inspection and then to drill out the damage and fill the drill holes with a blind fastener. Some areas require a patch to be installed per the manual which takes many hours do to the locations involved.
 
stratclub
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Re: British airways cancelled my fligh because holes in plane after lightning strike !

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:56 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
I suspect the OP has heard, as is mentioned on this site from time to time, that airplanes are frequently hit by lightening, perhaps most planes once a year. Usually it does not cause much damage, nor is a safety threat. But not always. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable posters could provide a longer answer. Did any of the holes in previous posts cause decompression? Ever injure a passenger or crew person? Disable electronics?


The lightning strikes cause damage to the structure of the airplane that must be repaired or within allowable limits in the structural repair manual. If the holes are too big they will cause cracks that will expand and can result in structural failure. Decompression isn’t the risk, it is the load bearing ability of the primary structure. Lightening does physical damage that must be repaired just like hail, bird strikes, ground collisions, FOD, etc.


Image

Do you see any risk of structural failure in these pics? The design of aircraft structures uses the philosophy of multiple load paths wich means that the failure of one structral element will not cause a catastropic structural failure. With extreme damage to the pressure vessel, the most probable indication of severe structural damage from a lightning strike would be loss of pressurization not failure of the structural integrity of the aircraft.

Clearly, the aircraft in the example could have flown many hours with the damage without the possibility of catastrophic structural failure. Of course they didn't because the aircraft would not have been able to pressurize and the noise would have been deafening.

A little history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Comet
 
WIederling
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:51 am

"The design of aircraft structures uses the philosophy of multiple load paths wich means that the failure of one structral element will not cause a catastropic structural failure."

The lightning damage removes one or more of these multiple paths.
Thus you no longer have a multiple paths save design. :-)

There is an interesting addemdum to this around:
Save systems ( here railway control and signaling stuff ) are designed to be "single failure save"
in respect to parts used. i.e. switching on or in use single failures will be indicated ( and cause some save action. railway systems are assumed save if stopped, note this is different to airplanes ).
If you switch off the system much longer than its MTBF it can come up with a developed double error
which the system is not designed to expose. problem.
Murphy is an optimist
 
stratclub
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:57 am

WIederling wrote:
"The design of aircraft structures uses the philosophy of multiple load paths wich means that the failure of one structral element will not cause a catastropic structural failure."

The lightning damage removes one or more of these multiple paths.
Thus you no longer have a multiple paths save design. :-)


There is an interesting addemdum to this around:
Save systems ( here railway control and signaling stuff ) are designed to be "single failure save"
in respect to parts used. i.e. switching on or in use single failures will be indicated ( and cause some save action. railway systems are assumed save if stopped, note this is different to airplanes ).
If you switch off the system much longer than its MTBF it can come up with a developed double error
which the system is not designed to expose. problem.

100% agree. No airlines would fly with such damage because it is clearly beyond allowable SRM (Structural Repair Manual) damage limits and the multiple load path built philosophy did ensure that the aircraft was able to land safely to be made airworthy again, unlike the Comet whose pressurization blowout events caused several aircraft to disintegrate in flight.

It was very unfortunate for de Havilland at the time, because the Comet came to market before the B-707. The Comet disasters gave Boeing time to catch up. Some good came out of it though. Engineers learned a lot about how to build airplanes that were safer and more damage tolerant than what was known when the Comet was first designed.

I did not know that about RR design. So you are saying the implication is two wrongs do make a right (which turns out to be a wrong). :shakehead: It's that kind of thinking that brought down the Titanic.
 
WIederling
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:35 pm

stratclub wrote:
I did not know that about RR design. So you are saying the implication is two wrongs do make a right (which turns out to be a wrong). :shakehead: It's that kind of thinking that brought down the Titanic.


Wrong.
Titanic:
IMU one major design error that sunk the Titanic was that the safety bulkheads
that separated individual water tight sections only went slightly above the regular draft line.
aggravated by structural weakness and problems with watertight doors in those bulkheads.
( i.e. the safety concept was not fully thought through.)

2wrong ~= 1 right :: NOT :
In the RR case you have a "certified to go into a safe state on _single_ component error" system.
Together with acceptable overall MTBF that constitutes a safe system.
Observation: parts break even when not in use or powered up.
If you have the system powered down long enough probability that _two_ errors may have come up
is high enough to be relevant.
If you now switch on this system it can have _two_ errors that as a pair have not been shown to result
in a safe state. The system now can have a failure situation that is not visible.
Murphy is an optimist
 
stratclub
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:27 am

WIederling wrote:
stratclub wrote:
I did not know that about RR design. So you are saying the implication is two wrongs do make a right (which turns out to be a wrong). :shakehead: It's that kind of thinking that brought down the Titanic.


Wrong.
Titanic:
IMU one major design error that sunk the Titanic was that the safety bulkheads
that separated individual water tight sections only went slightly above the regular draft line.
aggravated by structural weakness and problems with watertight doors in those bulkheads.
( i.e. the safety concept was not fully thought through.)

My thought was about the mindset that allowed such a glaring catastrophic failure potential to be designed into the ship. It was decided cutting cost was more important that building a safe vessel. After all, the Titanic was thought to be unsinkable so having watertight compartment bulkheads that met seaworthy standards or even enough lifeboats for all the souls onboard was deemed unnecessary, IIRC by Bruce Ismay the chairman and managing director of White Star lines when Titanic sank.

The two wrongs that sunk the Titanic were unseaworthy construction compounded by sailing to fast for current conditions which was Bruce Ismays idea because he wanted to set a new speed record. So two wrongs can be additive and = a catastrophic wrong in the survival of the Titanic. Either wrong by it's self would not have sunk that amazing ship.
 
WIederling
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:39 am

stratclub wrote:
My thought was about the mindset that allowed such a glaring catastrophic failure potential to be designed into the ship.


Hindsight is perfect.

You are looking at this from the wrong vantage point.
( i.e. in relation to today's "super save litigious suspenders and belt culture" ).

You have to measure Titanic in relation to its contemporaries.
Running aground or sinking a ship was more or less an accepted risk for traveling over the oceans.
Murphy is an optimist
 
stratclub
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:32 pm

WIederling wrote:
stratclub wrote:
My thought was about the mindset that allowed such a glaring catastrophic failure potential to be designed into the ship.


Hindsight is perfect.

You are looking at this from the wrong vantage point.
( i.e. in relation to today's "super save litigious suspenders and belt culture" ).

You have to measure Titanic in relation to its contemporaries.
Running aground or sinking a ship was more or less an accepted risk for traveling over the oceans.

Certainly a different world back then. Unfortunately the pendulum has swung way too far the other way. As a child (1950's), I remember reading a book that had storyline about a child being blind. The setting was in a school for the blind and the child remarked to a teacher that on a fireplace the mantle could cause a terrible bump to the head if someone didn't see the mantle, so shouldn't it be padded? The response from the teacher was that the world is not going to make special allowances for you because you are blind. And actually, in my young mind, that seemed pretty fair.

Could you imagine the feeding frenzy of lawyers looking for a payday that would come out of the woodwork for such an incident today? One constant still holds true me thinks. Scum always finds a way to rise to the top.
 
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TZTriStar500
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:40 am

That ASA CRJ was NOT struck by lightning, but a ground fire:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/lucky-strike-2/
35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
 
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Siren
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Re: British Airways cancelled my flight because holes in plane after lightning strike

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:56 pm

Lightning strikes have taken planes down in the past - and forced airworthiness directives to refit planes with more robust protection. Pan Am flight 214 was a 707-121 that was struck by lighting in late 1963. This caused a fuel tank explosion and disintegration of the wing.

Probable Cause: Lightning-induced ignition of the fuel/air mixture in the no. 1 reserve fuel tank with resultant explosive disintegration of the left outer wing and loss of control.


See https://archive.is/20120707104455/http: ... 081263.htm and https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... Flight_214
Siren: single white female based @ KLAX. Aviation nerd, political wonk, disability rights activist, German car enthusiast

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