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VC-10
Topic Author
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 4:58 am

I though you may be interested to see the damage done where lightning exits an a/c.





 
azeem
Posts: 132
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 5:20 am

which aircraft is this
 
EGGD
Posts: 11884
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 8:04 am

Looks like a small Jetliner to me, A320, B737 or suchlike. Am i right?

And it is the Tailplane?
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 8:45 am

Hi VC-10. Those are Great photo's. To me, it is obviously the left side horizontal stabilizer, or rudder of some type of Jet. I guess those static dischargers don't help out much when it comes to a direct hit. Or maybe they do. I'm pretty sure that static dischargers are for discharging static build-up caused by skin friction, as well as a sudden lightning strike, but I'm not sure anymore.

I remember marshalling a Metro III onto my ramp many moons ago at YYZ, and it had a witness mark of a lightning strike the size of a "pinhole" with some soot staines on the nose cone [radar dome]. The pilots and I couldn't find any other marks on the aircraft, so we didn't know if the damage to the nose was the point of entrance or exit.

Chris
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
Monocleman
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2001 10:21 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 11:38 am

Those are amazing... But in the 2nd and 3rd pic you can see how quite small it actually is - which is probably very lucky for the pax and flight crew!
-Will
 
VC-10
Topic Author
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 4:34 pm

It's an A340.

The Static Dischargers are not designed to deal with lightning, they are to dissipate static that builds up through friction etc
 
EGGD
Posts: 11884
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 10:03 pm

did i say tailplane? I meant horizontal stabilizer (yeeeah i hear you all say  Yeah sure)

EGGD Big grin
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 10:26 pm

Too bad the pictures aren't sharp enough for me to post on this site but I remember in 96 A USCG Herk 1700 took a lightning strike will flying downwind of a volcanic eruption. I have shot of the damage which allmost took the nosedome off the airplane and toasted the radar.

Almost exactly a year later, In almost the same spot, The same aircraft had another lightning strike.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Guest

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 02, 2001 11:04 pm

Some readers may find this intersting. Research is now showing that the aircraft may actually be causing the lightning strikes by disrupting the already highly charged particles.
Thanks for the great photos VC-10.
 
Guest

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sun Jun 03, 2001 9:28 pm

Yup, thanks very much for the photos-amazing.

VC-10, or anyone else,

what safeguards the engines from being struck, and could there be any consequences from this happening?

Rgds,
CP
 
Guest

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sun Jun 03, 2001 9:29 pm

Furthermore, what are the procedures regarding a lightining strike whilst airborne?

CP
 
VC-10
Topic Author
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sun Jun 03, 2001 11:17 pm

There are no special procs for lightning strikes. The pilot will write it up and hopefully state whether any nav instruments started to play up afterwards. Engineering will them just look for the entry & exit point of the strike and assess the damage.

There are no special precautions about strikes on engines, the whole a/c is electrically bonded so the charge will pass through with no ill effects
 
Guest

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sun Jun 03, 2001 11:41 pm

Thanks for your information.

Would you mind briefly explaining how electrical bonding works?

Rgds,
CP
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 2:57 am

Basically, static bonding comprises of a "bonding strap" that is connected to bare metal on the component, and to the fuselage or support structure on the other end. All components that are not directly bonded are supposed to have one. I.E., cowl doors, gear doors, flight control surfaces, etc. The static eliminators on the trailing edges have a thin strand of wire or a pin that transfers static buildup to the air. In theory, all static buildup is transferred from component to fuselage-wing/empennage to dissipater. It works just fine for normal static dissipation, but really isn't designed for a lightning strike. I have received lightning strikes 3 times, and only once did it cause external damage. Lockheeds had a large dissipater connected with about an 8-gauge wire for lightning strikes, normally located in the tailcone or vert. stab. I don't know about Boeing or MD.

Regards,
ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
Guest

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 3:33 am

Many thanks for your replies gentlemen.

Rgds,
CP
 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 4:06 am

Actually, the funtion of electrical bonding is for the purposes of static discharge as well as lightning.

Years ago a Navion (a light twin that looks like a Cessna 310) was hit by lightning. The airplane crashed because all the control surface hinges were welded by the lightning. A fire in the nose compartment didn't help matters either. (I'm typing this from distant memory so the details may not be accurate)

This caused aircraft designers to look more closely at lightning damage. The hinge bearings and rod end bearings for control surfaces were then designed with a teflon or phenolic "packing" that electrically insulated the pushrod from the control surface. A bonding strap was then used to allow static and lightning to discharge "around" the bearings instead of "through" them. Electricity will always pick the path of least resistance.

All aircraft surfaces must be bonded together to get the maximum benifit. If a bonding strap is missing between an aileron and the wing for instance, arcing will occur across the bearing in an effort to transfer the static charge of the wing to the aileron and on to the static dischargers. This arcing has the potential to cause radio noise.

Even de-ice boots and tires are "bonded" as they are made of conductive rubber or are coated with a conductive material. Windscreens are typically coated with a conductive material as well. Composite panels made from carbon fibre, fibreglass or Kevlar are also impregnated or coated with conductive materials.

One other point I'd like to make is that I highly doubt that there is no special maintenance required following a lightning strike on an A340. I haven't seen any aircraft that size that doesn't include a lightning strike inspection. I don't have immediate access to an A340 AMM to back this up though.

Besides the obvious burn damage, lightning can cause other structural damage by causing explosive air expansion due to super-heating air in enclosed compartments.

 
airplay
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 4:12 am

One more thing I just remembered....

Electrical discharge through static dischargers do not cause radio interference because they are designed with a large internal resistance of about 20 MegOhms which restricts the rate at which the charge is dissipated into the air.

If a static discharger were merely a sharp "pin" it would arc like crazy and cause a lot of radio noise.
 
VC-10
Topic Author
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 4:14 am

Yes there is a lightning strike insp. for the A340, as there is for any aircraft. My earlier statement was keeping it simple. It is broken down into 3 different parts whereby you inspect certain areas, if you find damage there you go to the stage two inspection and if you find damage there you go to the stage 3.

Having said that it is very rare you have to go beyond the stage one insp.
 
chdmcmanus
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 12:53 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 4:40 am

The next time you are on the line, take a look at an "H" style dissipator and tell me what you see, it's basically a straight pin. The explination was designed for those who do not work around heavies on a regular basis.

Actually, the funtion of electrical bonding is for the purposes of static discharge as well as lightning. Thats what I said wasn't it? I was referring to the dissipators and lightning, not the system and lightning.

Regards,
ChD

"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
JT-8D
Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:34 pm

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 4:59 am

Our Douglas planes used a static wick that had four sharp pins sticking out of it. It had plastic "guards" next to the pins to keep you from being impaled on them. I grabbed one with one of the guards broken off. Ouch..JT
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:30 pm

Does anybody remember that LearFan?

Back in the seventies they had one of the first composite cabins in that class aircraft. They ended up putting a copper mesh into the sidewalls. There was a lot of concern about lightning strikes and static buildup on that particularly airframe. Somebody relized that the airframe was made up of layers of carbon fabric which is a conductor and layers of epoxy which is an insulater. In electronics when you sandwich layers of an insulator and a conductor you end up with a device called a Capacitor.

They didn't wan't people flying around in a flying capacitor so they put the layer of copper mesh in for static and lighting strikes would have a path to travel.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 05, 2001 4:48 am

The 747-400 carries fuel on the horizontal stabilizer right? Isn't it much risk to put fuel there by making all that area a potential disaster if struck by lightning?

-bio
 
JT-8D
Posts: 423
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 05, 2001 4:55 am

No more than filling up the wings with fuel..JT
 
VC-10
Topic Author
Posts: 3552
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:34 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 05, 2001 4:56 am

No more than the wing being struck
 
bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 05, 2001 5:18 am

Yea you're right, dumb me


 
JT-8D
Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:34 pm

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 05, 2001 7:07 am

Bio, you ask good questions. Keep asking..JT
 
B727-200
Posts: 1008
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 11:28 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:15 am


I saw a TV documentory on lightening once (can't remember what it was called or who produced it). One of the pieces of research they did was the affect of lightning on aircraft. They did this by flying an old fighter jet through a thunderstorm with cameras placed around the aircraft.

The footage was quite spectacular, with the aircraft acting as a conductor (one of the cameras was on the wing-tip pointing at the cockpit, showing anything up to 2-3 strikes per second). A couple of hypthesis were proven in that an aircraft will act as a conductor because (obviously) it offers less electrical resistance than air, and it generates its own static electricity field that discharges more readily with the storm cloud.

An interesting point about the electrical bonding of aircraft. I only learnt recently that it is believed the Hindenburg disaster was a result of bad electrical bonding. When the great airships came in to land, the tethering lines also acted as a conductor to discharge the static build-up in the craft.

Unfortunately, it has been proposed that the Hindenburg had used new materials for its pannels and binding. The panels were highly conductive as they were coated with reflective aluminium oxide on the outside and iron oxide on the inside (the same mix later used in the SRB's of the space shuttle - doh!) . Unfortunately the binding was non-conductive, causing arcing between panels and the subsequent fire. The Hindenburg also had a greater than usual charge due to the thunderstorms that day.

Sorry to bore you, but love talking (typing) about this sort of stuff.

B727-200.
 
ILOVEA340
Posts: 2064
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Wed Jun 06, 2001 2:41 pm

that must have been a wild ride.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6189
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Thu Jun 07, 2001 1:41 am

what airline is this? Virgin with the reg' removed graphically? Turkish?
 
bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Thu Jun 07, 2001 2:37 am

Hey B727-200, I saw that documentary. It was on the discovery channel and was conducted by the NASA. They used a fighter jet, and yeah the shots are impressive! Some lightning struck a few feet from the pilot. It is awesome seeing an airplane getting hit by lightning with no harm done.

-bio
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sat Jun 09, 2001 3:21 am

Hi guys. I believe that I saw the same documentary as B727-200 and Bio15. It was a really cool program.

I'm pretty sure that the type of fighter jet used for the "Airborne" lightning strike tests was either an F-106 Delta Dart or an F-102 Delta Dagger.

I remember that the fighters' cockpit was "wedge" shaped, like these two aircraft.


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Chris
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
JT-8D
Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:34 pm

RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Sun Jun 10, 2001 12:41 pm

I saw a training film on bonding. It showed the effects of lightning on a rotating beacon assembly. The correctly bonded beacon was hit with a simulated charge about half as strong as a typical lighning strike. It didnt even burn out the bulbs. When the non bonded beacon was hit, it just dissappeared. Vaporized, gone, history. Kinda taught me to make sure those straps are on there..JT
 
Cessna172RG
Posts: 643
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RE: Pix Of Lightning Strike Damage

Tue Jun 12, 2001 2:27 pm

Maybe it's Northwest Airlines. If it is, then that wouldn't be an A340 or an A330...perhaps an A320 or 319 if it's an Airbus. Just a guess, I don't know what it is lol!

~C172RG
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