Aviation Photo #1024173 Airbus A340-642 - Untitled

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Saint Elmo's fire appears on our windshield as we cross a stormy cell. I must thank my friend J. for letting me use his "magic arm".
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Distinct Views: 224,784
Photo Added: March 28, 2006

Comments (49)

Anonymous
13 years ago
Great capture!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Fantastic capture. Really lets the layman onto the flight deck. Thanks!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Good Photo - I am sure that required some quick action ! If I am right this only the second photo of its kind (showing St Elmos fire) in this enormous database .. congrats !
Anonymous
13 years ago
Great Shot!!!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Great pic -really. But I hate such comments as the first one here. I think the pilots know how and where to fly a plane - thrust me!
Anonymous
13 years ago
It's just static discharge
Anonymous
13 years ago
Why is it some people continue to doubt the remarks of people who are actually IN the flight deck, and TOOK the photo? You can see the storm cell in the display!!!

Wonderful photo by the way, good work to capture this :)
Anonymous
13 years ago
Freakin awesome!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Congrats to the photog for pressing the button at the right moment, and thx to the screeners for not clicking any quality, grainy, motiv buttons... phantastic!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Very nice. Pozdrawiam Mati
Anonymous
13 years ago
Amazing!!!! GOOD JOB:)
Anonymous
13 years ago
Spectacular!!!!! amazing luck, good timing, awsume location!!! how could u ask for anything better
Anonymous
13 years ago
Amazing capture! But looking at the instruments it must be a rather weak storm with wind 093/15 at FL360. BTW is it Iberia?
Anonymous
13 years ago
Simply incredible!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Just heard of this in my CPL-theory a couple of days ago and checked airliners for som pictures but found none, this is simply incredible!
Anonymous
13 years ago
GREAT SHOT!
Nice "whip" from the sky!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Amazing, really amazing.

By the way, stupid question but what is St Elmos fire?
Anonymous
13 years ago
This might be a IB flight out or Argentina or a LH flight out of Brazil. The Nav display shows SBAR, which is Aracaju Airport in NE Brazil, so this pic is taken over South America. Great photo!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Incredible photo!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Does a captian get "scared" or concerned in these conditions, i think its a very scary moment
Anonymous
13 years ago
St. Elmo's Fire is an electro-luminescent corona discharge caused by the ionization of the air during thunderstorms inside of a strong electric field. Although referred to as "fire", St. Elmo's Fire is in fact a low density, relatively low temperature plasma caused by massive atmospheric electrical potential differences which exceed the dielectric breakdown value of air at around 3 megavolts per meter. St. Elmo's Fire is named after Erasmus of Formiae (also called St. Elmo), the patron saint of sailors (who sometimes held its appearance to be auspicious).

Anonymous
13 years ago
So scary and so real!
Anonymous
13 years ago
That's scary, but great shot!
Anonymous
13 years ago
The "fire" is no potential risk of the safety of an aircraft but a nice electric effect...
Anonymous
13 years ago
Awesome photo! no question about it. couple of comments: note the speed ".82". is that the recommended penetration speed for an A340 in bad WX?
note he is avoiding the actual cell to the left!
Anonymous
13 years ago
AFAIK, St. Elmo's Fire is a bad translation from the Portuguese "São Telmo", Saint Telmo in English. He was the saint of the Portuguese navigators. I also think this phenomenon was first described and so named on The Lusiads.
It's great to be able to see it in this photo! =)
Jon-jon
Anonymous
13 years ago
Wonderful and nice change of photo subject. I have been lucky enough to experience this once while in a jump seat. Great to see it again.
Anonymous
13 years ago
Nice picture.


Which Airline was it?

I think its Iberia.
Anonymous
13 years ago
Brilliant shot. I've got two questionas about this image, first - what were the camera settings and secondly, how can the photographer not know who operated the A340?! Surely he remembers that?
Awesome capture though!
Anonymous
13 years ago
Short remark to the remark of the guy from Germany also who wants to be trusted:"trust me, were the last words ever heard from him!"
Anonymous
13 years ago
Really nice shot!!! It's just like enjoying of an incredible luminous spectacle in first class seats!!
Anonymous
13 years ago
The flight timer reads 7 hours and 33 minutes, so I think it's probably a flight to South America from Europe rather than the other way around.

I bet that St. Elmo's Fire would be a bit scary the first time you saw it, but after that would be fun to watch.
Anonymous
13 years ago
Extremely good picture
Anonymous
13 years ago
Excellent picture. Nice to see something different. But how in the world does the photographer not know what airline it is? Haha, seriously, he is on it! And he has it as "Unknown". I think thats just kind of funny since he was actually on the airplane. Anyways, very nice.
Anonymous
13 years ago
Probably the airplane was almost in Brazil. If you look at the screen you'll see the code for the Santa Maria Airport, in Aracajú SE, Brazil. (SBAR)
Anonymous
13 years ago
Great picture
Anonymous
13 years ago
My guess is that it is a IB jet heading for south america
Anonymous
13 years ago
Ander Aguirre is a A343 and A346 Iberian pilot. This is an Iberian A340-600.

Nice picture Ander. Keep up the level!! ikusiko gera gizon!!
Anonymous
13 years ago
I have seen St. Elmo's fire once before, really neat to watch. It does not just stay there and crawl around, instead it flashes very regularly (about once per second or two).
Anonymous
12 years ago
THe combination of panels in close, and the strickinglightning outside makes a great combination in graphics and details
Anonymous
12 years ago
Very scary
Anonymous
11 years ago
Beautiful photo of a mother nature phenomenum. This aircraft is overflying Brazil´s northeast, SBAR is Aracaju, Sergipe state.
Anonymous
11 years ago
Not much wind at FL360 that night, huh? I was reading the "AIM" and was wondering what 'St. Elmo's Fire' was. Thanks for the nice example!
Anonymous
11 years ago
Great capture , mother nature showing all of its beauty
Anonymous
11 years ago
Beautifull
Anonymous
11 years ago
Pushing the button right at the moment lightning strikes is very difficult! Picture is all sharp! You can see all numbers of the instruments!
Anonymous
10 years ago
The lightning actually impacted the aircraft, that is why Ander doesn't remember the airline. Of course he had permission to stay in the copckit during the flight. That makes me think the airline is Lufthansa, Swiss or British Airways, I don't think it is Iberia :-)
Anonymous
10 years ago
I think the Airline is unknown possibly to protect the identity of the crew for allowing someone on the flight deck to take photos.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Wow such a beautiful,amazing photo!

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