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anshabhi
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British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm

According to various sources a post flight inspection revealed the aircraft had received about 40 holes as result of the lightning strike (the sources reported between 42 and 46 holes).

The occurrence aircraft was unable to depart for the return flight and remained on the ground in Chennai for a week until Jul 29th when the aircraft ferried back to London. Following landing in London the aircraft remained on the ground in London for another 24 hours, then returned to service.


http://avherald.com/h?article=4ac5aac3&opt=0

Which "holes" could this exactly these be? And are there actually no indications for such holes, or did the pilots missed something?
To what extent, was the safety of flight endangered?
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:44 pm

Unless you have a reason to believe the aircraft is severely damaged or the computers are not working properly, pilots will continue to their destination. I have been hit 4-5 times in my career and non of those affected the operation of the aircraft, so I can safely say that safety of flight was most likely never an issue.

As far as the "holes" I have my doubts. Usually lightning will produce burn mark, dents and in sever cases metal/composite will be lost at the exit point. I have seen metal missing from the tips of the ailerons, but usually the exit point is an antenna.

The reason the aircraft was on the ground for so long is because every inch of the outer skin of the aircraft needs to be inspected for damage. Once the damage is found they need to take a picture document the exact location and measure the burn/hole/dent. All of those documents need to be sent to engineering at the manufacture (Boeing) and they need to approve the fix and the timeline for repair. If the exit point was an antenna that antenna will need to be replaced.
 
B757Forever
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:48 pm

Zero danger to the flight. Numerous aircraft are struck by lightning every day. Occasionally there will be a small hole, the most typical damage is a small burned spot on the skin. I suspect the source quoted in the story used the wrong terminology when saying there were "holes". When there are no abnormal cockpit indications, the crew will continue the flight and have the aircraft inspected at the destination.
 
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posti
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:27 pm

The outer layer of the 787 carbon fiber skin has phosphor bronze wire woven in which conducts the electrical charge from a lightning strike to static wicks, similar to a metallic airframe. After a lighting strike the SRM contains a visual inspection to look for damage indicators like scorching, charring, or delamination (I'd imagine that inspection can take some time). If you're lucky and damage is found to be within allowable limits you're good to go. This aircraft doesn't sound that lucky.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:48 pm

Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:50 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks


Pretty much the same way you're perfectly safe inside your car if struck by lightning. Look up Faraday cage.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:57 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks


There is significant bonding, grounding and insulation protecting electrical energy from entering the fuel tank and sparking. Take a look at SFAR 88 to read about all the requirements

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guida ... enDocument
Last edited by Newbiepilot on Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:01 pm

anshabhi wrote:
Which "holes" could this exactly these be? And are there actually no indications for such holes, or did the pilots missed something?
To what extent, was the safety of flight endangered?


There is a quick reference handbook for the pilots to determine if the plane is safe to fly. Damage from lightening strikes is covered. The plane is designed to continue safe flight and land after a lightening strike. Lightening can blow off antennas, access panels, pitot probes, etc.
 
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817Dreamliiner
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:05 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks

In addition to what others have said above, the 787 (and pretty much any new aircraft) also has a fuel inerting system to prevent that from happening.
 
by738
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:19 pm

7 days is still a very long time for a post lightening inspection and suspect there is indeed more to this...
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:43 pm

by738 wrote:
7 days is still a very long time for a post lightening inspection and suspect there is indeed more to this...


Not forgetting where the plane ended up.

More telling, IMHO, is that it was back in service the day after it returned to Heathrow.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:47 pm

scbriml wrote:
by738 wrote:
7 days is still a very long time for a post lightening inspection and suspect there is indeed more to this...


Not forgetting where the plane ended up.

More telling, IMHO, is that it was back in service the day after it returned to Heathrow.


By crew's own choice. They could have stopped climbing and return into the arms of highly qualified technical staff.
 
Yflyer
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:49 pm

CriticalPoint wrote:
The reason the aircraft was on the ground for so long is because every inch of the outer skin of the aircraft needs to be inspected for damage. Once the damage is found they need to take a picture document the exact location and measure the burn/hole/dent. All of those documents need to be sent to engineering at the manufacture (Boeing) and they need to approve the fix and the timeline for repair.


So in other words, although the holes were rather small, they had to count them all.
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:57 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
By crew's own choice. They could have stopped climbing and return into the arms of highly qualified technical staff.


From the AvHerald article:
In the absence of any abnormal indications the crew decided to continue the flight to Chennai where the aircraft landed safely about 9 hours later.


Why return if the plane gave no indication of any issues? Planes are struck by lightning every single day, the vast majority continue as if nothing happened.

The airline reported the plane received "minor damage". The reason for the delay in Chennai was that BA had to dispatch an engineering team to inspect the aircraft. Being back in service the day after it eventually returned tells me it was no big issue.

Forgive the pun, but seems to me to be a storm in a teacup. :spin:
 
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litz
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:58 pm

Plus, referring back to the original issue ... if the plane is struck, and the pilots don't have warning lights, don't have error messages, the airplane is flying and handling normally, and nobody in the cabin complains of fire/smoke/etc .... why wouldn't they just keep going?

All those warnings, errors, sensors, and the 300+ pairs of eyes and ears seated behind them exist for a reason ... and if nothing alerts to a problem ....

This is non-news ... airplane got struck, was safe to fly, they flew it to the destination, and a post landing inspection found issues.

normal-normal-normal.
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:02 pm

Yflyer wrote:
So in other words, although the holes were rather small, they had to count them all.


Now they know how many holes it take to ground a 787! :wink2:
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:08 pm

scbriml wrote:
The reason for the delay in Chennai was that BA had to dispatch an engineering team to inspect the aircraft. Being back in service the day after it eventually returned tells me it was no big issue.


Cheap airlines don't use local MX to save money and AOG support is already baked into existing support agreements, but spin it as their staff is highly technical and no one else can do it.

This is the third instance of week+ AOG of a BA B787 in India. Shouldn't be a surprise.

Immediate return to LHR would have minimized AOG time.
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:43 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Immediate return to LHR would have minimized AOG time.


You still haven't explained why, given no indication of any issues, they should have returned to LHR. Planes are struck by lightning on a daily basis and continue to their destination.

Really not sure why you have an issue with it. :?
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:46 pm

scbriml wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Immediate return to LHR would have minimized AOG time.


You still haven't explained why, given no indication of any issues, they should have returned to LHR. Planes are struck by lightning on a daily basis and continue to their destination.

Really not sure why you have an issue with it. :?


Your statement trying to pass on the blame is the issue, it is not where it ended up, it is where the crew took it not understanding the consequences.

scbriml wrote:
by738 wrote:
7 days is still a very long time for a post lightening inspection and suspect there is indeed more to this...


Not forgetting where the plane ended up.

More telling, IMHO, is that it was back in service the day after it returned to Heathrow.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:06 pm

[quote="dtw2hyd"]

Your statement trying to pass on the blame is the issue, it is not where it ended up, it is where the crew took it not understanding the consequences.

/quote]


The crew didn't just take the plane without understanding the consequences. Anytime anything happens to the aircraft, such as a lightning strike, the crew contacts dispatch and maintenance control. Those two departments along with pilots determine the best course of action, in this case continue.

The pilots don't just take a plane. You are being awfully dramatic.
 
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scbriml
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:15 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Your statement trying to pass on the blame is the issue


In my book there's no 'blame' to be passed. :shakehead:

However, the fact the plane ended up in Chennai resulted in a delay in getting it back in service. If this incident had happened on the inbound leg rather than the outbound, I doubt we'd even be discussing it.

You still haven't explained why, given no indication of any issue, you believe they should have returned to LHR.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:21 pm

The inaugural LHR-AUS service was struck by lightning at takeoff too, and continued on.

Funnily enough, it's flight 191, the "cursed" flight number.
 
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bluefltspecial
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:50 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks


Not a stupid question at all, that's why I like these fourms. I have been in aviation 20 years and still learn something new every day. This was a question I never thought to ask, but as soon as I read it went... "hmmmm, good question!!!" :boggled: :confused: :highfive:
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:03 pm

[/twoid]
dtw2hyd wrote:
scbriml wrote:
The reason for the delay in Chennai was that BA had to dispatch an engineering team to inspect the aircraft. Being back in service the day after it eventually returned tells me it was no big issue.


Cheap airlines don't use local MX to save money and AOG support is already baked into existing support agreements, but spin it as their staff is highly technical and no one else can do it.

This is the third instance of week+ AOG of a BA B787 in India. Shouldn't be a surprise.

Immediate return to LHR would have minimized AOG time.


Pilots don't know the extent of damage from a lightening strike. A lightning strike is not sufficient reason to divert a plane. In fact a lightening strike is not even a notable enough event to have a checklist in the quick reference handbook. The pilots make a determination based on the flight deck indications by following the quick reference handbook and consulting with maintenance control and dispatch if needed. The pilots may not even have known where the Plane had been struck by lightning. The pilots trust the engineers who designed the plane so that it is capable of continuing flight unless an event is indicated in the flight deck and described in the QRH as needed. Finding lightening strikes is one reason why mechanics do walk arounds.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:40 am

scbriml wrote:
In my book there's no 'blame' to be passed. :shakehead:

However, the fact the plane ended up in Chennai resulted in a delay in getting it back in service. If this incident had happened on the inbound leg rather than the outbound, I doubt we'd even be discussing it.

You still haven't explained why, given no indication of any issue, you believe they should have returned to LHR.


I guess this crew didn't get Willy's memo. If there is the slightest chance of IRROPS fly back to home base.

A few months back WX radar was in-op on MAA bound B787 over Finland??, there are probably several airports with engineering capability to fix the issue, but returned to LHR.

Another BA B787, ex-MAA, RAT deployed soon after departure, but continued to London.

Previous prolonged AOGs in India
-Missing slat, one week at MAA.
-Unknown technical issue one week at HYD.

Newbiepilot wrote:
Pilots don't know the extent of damage from a lightening strike. A lightning strike is not sufficient reason to divert a plane. In fact a lightening strike is not even a notable enough event to have a checklist in the quick reference handbook. The pilots make a determination based on the flight deck indications by following the quick reference handbook and consulting with maintenance control and dispatch if needed. The pilots may not even have known where the Plane had been struck by lightning. The pilots trust the engineers who designed the plane so that it is capable of continuing flight unless an event is indicated in the flight deck and described in the QRH as needed. Finding lightening strikes is one reason why mechanics do walk arounds.


This is not a mid-flight diversion, it happened on the climb. May be outbound would have delayed by 6 hrs with a swap.

Now cancel BA36, rebook all those passengers, one-week AOG and ferry back to LHR.

This is BA B787 we are talking about, if it is some other airline or B777/A332, I would agree.

B787 part depots are few and far between, even if Singapore depot has the part, BA wouldn't buy at market value, it scours for cheap used/refurb parts and stocks them.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:26 am

Hindsight is 20 20. Looking back you can play armchair Director of Maintenance or CEO and say they should have gone back to LHR, but in real time there is almost no way for a crew to determine how bad the structural damage was for a lightening strike. Airplanes don't do airturnbacks for a single lightening strike. Most of the time the airplane doesn't suffer damage outside of the dispatchable limits. No airline does precautionary diversions like that.

Comparing it to an airplane with a real identifiable fault and flight deck affect is different. If BA does an airturnback for a weather radar problem because they know they don't have the parts in India and the plane can't be dispatched in that condition under a suitable MEL deferral then that is a prudent decision. Diverting for a lightening strike with no serious flight deck affects would be very unusual. I don't know of any airline that does that.

787 parts are rapidly becoming available worldwide even from third party part vendors. There are over 500 787s in service. BA does a pretty good job of stocking parts at outstations.
 
strfyr51
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:02 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Possibly a stupid question I have here, but here it goes:

While I understand the static wicks on the wings discharge the lightening energy (correct me if I'm wrong), I'm amazed how how the fuel doesn't somehow combust when the plane is struck. Can anyone shed any additional light on how the fuel is completely safe from exploding during a lightening strike?

Thanks

Unless one can ignite jet fuel while it's misting? Your chances of igniting jet fuel are slim. The later JP blends after JP-4 require work to get them burning.
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:02 am

I guess most of the time an inspection is all it takes to get the aircraft in the air again after a lightning strike. This time there were damages that needed to be at least documented and perhaps even repaired. It's obviously hard to tell while airborn, so a decision has to be made whether to continue or not based more or less on previous experience. Possibly the situation on LHR and availability of spare aircraft played a role as well. In hindsight, the best decision would have been to return, but the crystal balls are not standard issue even in the fancy 787.

Interestingly, SK/SAS seems to have a policy to land as soon as possible if struck by lightning (stated in the 3rd post):

viewtopic.php?t=1343667&start=200

/Fredrik
 
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Dano1977
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:13 am

LAX772LR wrote:
The inaugural LHR-AUS service was struck by lightning at takeoff too, and continued on.

Funnily enough, it's flight 191, the "cursed" flight number.



What is the story behind that then?
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:26 am

I think everyone complaining in here that lightning strike is completely normal blah blah blah is forgetting to add "for aluminium aircraft" to their statements.

It's still a novel occurrence for composite aircraft, and although the mesh is supposed to mitigate things I would expect caution (and just plain curiosity to see if things behave as designed) should compel people to treat 787 and A350 lightning strikes with some additional respect for the moment...

Don't forget that a strike on unprotected carbon composites produces some pretty big splintered holes compared to plain metal. Think "explody".
 
rbavfan
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:31 pm

B757Forever wrote:
Zero danger to the flight. Numerous aircraft are struck by lightning every day. Occasionally there will be a small hole, the most typical damage is a small burned spot on the skin. I suspect the source quoted in the story used the wrong terminology when saying there were "holes". When there are no abnormal cockpit indications, the crew will continue the flight and have the aircraft inspected at the destination.



You realize composite structures can be damaged internally by lightning strikes and because they are plastic can attract it more when in the air. It can cause separation of laminations. So there can be a danger. To help mitigate it they use metal alloys in the composites to provide lightning to pass with little or no damage. This has been covered in articles for years including ones written by Boeing & Airbus.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:59 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
I think everyone complaining in here that lightning strike is completely normal blah blah blah is forgetting to add "for aluminium aircraft" to their statements.

It's still a novel occurrence for composite aircraft, and although the mesh is supposed to mitigate things I would expect caution (and just plain curiosity to see if things behave as designed) should compel people to treat 787 and A350 lightning strikes with some additional respect for the moment...

Don't forget that a strike on unprotected carbon composites produces some pretty big splintered holes compared to plain metal. Think "explody".


I flew a 787 last month that was struck going into DEN. It was on the ground for about 4 hours before it returned to SFO. 23 different burn marks and dents were recorded. All were within limits and nothing was splintered and blown apart. If you were to walk around the aircraft you wouldn't even notice where the damage was.

To think that the FAA, or the world for that matter, would allow an aircraft that explodes when struck by lightning to fly is just fear mongering. You don't think they tested lightning strikes on the material?
 
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ITMercure
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:17 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
I think everyone complaining in here that lightning strike is completely normal blah blah blah is forgetting to add "for aluminium aircraft" to their statements.

It's still a novel occurrence for composite aircraft, and although the mesh is supposed to mitigate things I would expect caution (and just plain curiosity to see if things behave as designed) should compel people to treat 787 and A350 lightning strikes with some additional respect for the moment...

Don't forget that a strike on unprotected carbon composites produces some pretty big splintered holes compared to plain metal. Think "explody".



You are right, but only about airliners. Military aircrafts use lots of composites since the 80's, manufacturers are well documented on the conséquences of lightning on such material. Add to that that testing of the 787 fuselage most definitely comprised in-hangar and in-flight lightning strikes, otherwise the damage tolérances could not be calibrated.
 
Tristarsteve
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:46 pm

Anytime anything happens to the aircraft, such as a lightning strike, the crew contacts dispatch and maintenance control. Those two departments along with pilots determine the best course of action, in this case continue.


About four years ago BA operations changed their policy about in flight events. Before, Maintenance Control decided where the aircraft would go, and it often went back to LHR. After the change, the aircraft continued on its normal flight if safe to do so, and the problem was given to maintenance after it landed.

When I worked on the ramp as a maintenance engineer, I used to hate lightning strikes. Often the crew were not sure if it hit them or not. It is very hard to closely inspect a whole widebody for the tiny burn marks that the strike produces, and when do you stop when you haven't found anything?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:45 pm

Dano1977 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
The inaugural LHR-AUS service was struck by lightning at takeoff too, and continued on.
Funnily enough, it's flight 191, the "cursed" flight number.

What is the story behind that then?

Just that plenty of airlines with that flight number, especially in the Americas, have experienced extremely tragic and/or unusual fates.

American 191 - the deadliest crash on the US mainland
Delta 191 - windshear crash; plane broke in half, most in rear survived, all in front died after hitting fuel depot.
Prinair 191 - failed go-around after unauthorized vehicle entered runway during its approach
JetBlue 191 - captain has a sudden psychotic breakdown and had to be restrained and locked out of cockpit
X15 191 - crash of experimental operation
British Airways 191 - very visibly struck by lightning on its inaugural takeoff, continued safely
Comair 191 - plane mistakenly takes off on commuter runway, slams into trees, only FO survives


It's right up there with July 17th, the alleged "cursed date"... where crashes such as TW800, JJ3054, and MH17 (among others) all occurred.
 
MBSDALHOU
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:14 pm

Dano1977 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
The inaugural LHR-AUS service was struck by lightning at takeoff too, and continued on.

Funnily enough, it's flight 191, the "cursed" flight number.



What is the story behind that then?


You have AA 191 at ORD back in '78 the DC-10
Delta 191 a L1011 at DFW from winshear
JetBlue 191 where the pilot had a breakdown
Prinair 191 back in '72

** Edit
I can't remember the locations / dates for some of these incidents off the top of my head so my apologies! Amazed I can remember these accidents but I can't remember where I park my car
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:58 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
To think that the FAA, or the world for that matter, would allow an aircraft that explodes when struck by lightning to fly is just fear mongering. You don't think they tested lightning strikes on the material?


Yeah, I knew I would get that kind of reaction.

Instead of jumping way off to the extreme of what I was was saying, how about actually taking the point I was making: the behaviour *IS* different, there *HASN'T* been much in the field experience, it *SHOULD* be looked at when it happens - guess why? To gather that experience and validate that the theory and testing is okay.

This is all completely normal for new things in aerospace. I'm not being hysterical, it's just how you should do it.
 
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Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:05 pm

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:
To think that the FAA, or the world for that matter, would allow an aircraft that explodes when struck by lightning to fly is just fear mongering. You don't think they tested lightning strikes on the material?


Yeah, I knew I would get that kind of reaction.

Instead of jumping way off to the extreme of what I was was saying, how about actually taking the point I was making: the behaviour *IS* different, there *HASN'T* been much in the field experience, it *SHOULD* be looked at when it happens - guess why? To gather that experience and validate that the theory and testing is okay.

This is all completely normal for new things in aerospace. I'm not being hysterical, it's just how you should do it.


There are over 550 787s in service and there have been lightening strikes. I agree that composite damage is a bit different than what would be seen on an aluminum plane.

The engineers at Boeing developed procedures to respond to lightening strikes. Airlines follow that guidance. The guidance put simply is to continue flying to the destination unless there is some indication as described in the QRH to warrant a diversion. An airline can make a business consideration to divert if the crew believes that the airplane may have received damage to a location with more maintenance capability. Once the plane is on the ground, a walk around is done just like on other airplanes. Any defects noted are addressed according to the Structural Repair Manual and Airplane Maintenance Manual including composite repair if required.

There is a process to validate the design. If damage is beyond the scope of the SRM, the airline will do an engineering analysis most commonly sent to Boeing for review. Their structural engineers will review the damage and develop a repair and issue an FAA approved 8100-9 form. It is not the job of the flight crew of maintenance in the ground to validate any theory or testing. The policies and procedures put in place are already conservative. If damage beyond what would be expected is found, there is a whole safety review process that both airlines and the manufacturer are involved in under regulatory oversight.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1934
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: British Airways B788 flies for 9 hours despite lightning strike; aircraft grounded for a week

Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:26 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
There is a process to validate the design. If damage is beyond the scope of the SRM, the airline will do an engineering analysis most commonly sent to Boeing for review. Their structural engineers will review the damage and develop a repair and issue an FAA approved 8100-9 form. It is not the job of the flight crew of maintenance in the ground to validate any theory or testing. The policies and procedures put in place are already conservative. If damage beyond what would be expected is found, there is a whole safety review process that both airlines and the manufacturer are involved in under regulatory oversight.


Completely agree - I was just pointing out that a lot of people responded here saying it's completely normal, nothing to see, move along - which isn't really true (yet) for composite aircraft. So interest in this topic is valid.

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