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Home > Lightnings > Was the plane struck by lightning and did it cause the engines to fail?
Was the plane struck by lightning and did it cause the engines to fail?
Weather - Lightnings
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 14:20

 
Dear Capt Lim,

My husband was flying back to base after visiting me for a while. Midway through the flight, the plane was struck by lightning causing a power surge and the engines to stop working.

According to my husband, the plane dropped at least 1000 feet. I am now terrified to ever get on another plane again. I'm scared that it will happen to me and the power won't come back on.

What do you think happened in that plane? And what are the chances of it happening again?

In a situation like that, what will the pilot do to keep the passengers safe?

Hazel,

Hi Hazel,

I wonder if your husband’s story is an embellishment of what actually happened. A lightning strike does not give rise to any power surge nor cause engines to fail in flight. I have explained this many times to passengers and I have just written about it in my new book. Here is my answer to a lightning strike question in one of my article in a magazine.

Lightning is not exactly dangerous to airplanes. Even if there is a direct strike, it would not penetrate the cabin; affect the engines or the fuel tanks. When an airplane is struck by lightning, the electrical charges simply travel the length of the aircraft and exit harmlessly through the antenna-like rods at the trailing edges of the flaps or at the tail of a plane.

The strike, however, may cause some burn marks on the fuselage skin at the point of impact. The pilot would normally be aware of such a strike and report this incident to the engineers after landing for further inspection and rectification if necessary.

Your other questions are just the imagination of someone who is fearful of flying. This is understandable but the fact that you seek to find out the reasons, is in some way, a means to help you reduce your fears.

Knowledge is the antidote to fear. My book - LIFE IN THE SKIES – everything you want to know about flying (see here), if you intend to buy it, will hopefully help to lessen your fear of flying.

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim and also more information about my book LIFE IN THE SKIES here


Airplane Struck by Lightning

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Your education and comments
smilies/smiley.gifI am your follower for the past 5 years and having lot of respect for your knowledge and sharing your experience for others or common man to understand fear of flying.

The Malaysian flight MH370 is becoming a mystery in Aviation industry. Can you give your valuable comments what could have went wrong? Praying for all the members of the flight to be safe.
Dr.Captain Lim , 14 Mar, 2014
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Hi, Captain Lim. I'm in upper secondary now and I would like to ask you about the way of becoming a commercial pilot. Should I study in form 6,university or I can interview at the company when I get my SPM certificate?
Isaac , 19 Dec, 2015

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