Lightning Strike

GX

Well-Known Member
Wow! Awesome pics, but what's it like to get struck by lightning? What's the experience like?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Wow! Awesome pics, but what's it like to get struck by lightning? What's the experience like?
I've had the good fortune to have been hit once a year for the last 6 years. So far this year I've avoided it. The strange thing is that I'm really conservative about flying near a boomer.

Anyhow, some of the strikes I didn't even know occurred until we got on the ground. Flying in the clouds, especially at night, near a thunderstorm, there are lots of REALLY bright flashes so if you get hit farther back on the plane around the tail area, you might not actually know it. I got hit right on the radar dome once. That one we knew about. Huge flash of light (thankfully I was looking down at the time) and a VERY loud clunking noise. It also took out our radar so we knew something was wrong. I don't have the picture anymore but it put a 4 inch dent in the radar dome and blew the radar dish off it's mounts. I also took a strike on the left winglet last summer which took out about 5 inches of the thing. That one I saw a really bright flash off the left but didn't think anything of it until the FA called up saying that a passenger thought our wing was falling apart.
 

GX

Well-Known Member
I've had the good fortune to have been hit once a year for the last 6 years. So far this year I've avoided it. The strange thing is that I'm really conservative about flying near a boomer.

Anyhow, some of the strikes I didn't even know occurred until we got on the ground. Flying in the clouds, especially at night, near a thunderstorm, there are lots of REALLY bright flashes so if you get hit farther back on the plane around the tail area, you might not actually know it. I got hit right on the radar dome once. That one we knew about. Huge flash of light (thankfully I was looking down at the time) and a VERY loud clunking noise. It also took out our radar so we knew something was wrong. I don't have the picture anymore but it put a 4 inch dent in the radar dome and blew the radar dish off it's mounts. I also took a strike on the left winglet last summer which took out about 5 inches of the thing. That one I saw a really bright flash off the left but didn't think anything of it until the FA called up saying that a passenger thought our wing was falling apart.
Wow. Thanks for the reply. Really interesting. What type of aircraft?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Wow. Thanks for the reply. Really interesting. What type of aircraft?
CRJ. For a long time it was a lightning magnet, but they redid the position of some of the static wicks a few years ago and the number of strikes has gone down. I guess I've just been unlucky.
 

AUpilot

Well-Known Member
It's funny because I've been hit before, maybe 3 different times....but nothing like this one! We were climbing through FL200 and in moderate precip...no convective activity nearby. Then out of nowhere, "BANG"! We swap seats after each leg and I happened to be in the right seat on this leg and the flash started at the radome and moved down the right side of the fuselage causing the hair on my right arm to stand on end! We had a funny smell at first which initially we thought might be a fire but there was no smoke and the fumes went away after about 10 seconds. We have come to the conclusion that the smell was due to the air being ionized. When people ask me what it was like I tell them it was exactly what you would expect it to be like when you get hit by lightning...loud, bright, and it scares the crap out of you!
 
Top