Huge Lightning Bolt Strikes Plane In Mid-Air

Submitted by: Tyronics 7 years ago in Science

And takes it!
There are 70 comments:
Male 5
Awesome! Iteresting, how it feels inside the plane. Must be very loud
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Female 193
Lol, I like the way he says, "Whoa! D:"
He has a voice that reminds me of Kermit the Frog.
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Male 12
such an awesome video, but yeah, they wouldn`t put planes in the air if they couldnt handle weather
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Male 171
I`m more confused as to why the the person filming only said woah... than the plane itself not going down.
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Male 11,739
Doesn`t "Lost" start something like that?
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Male 3,915
more like stuck TWICE!
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Female 188
The cloud looks like the Gieger(sp?) alien from the Alien and AVP movies.
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Male 130
chaty chickie can i have your msn please :)
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Female 31
haha dang lionhart, i didn`t know farm kids played such mean pranks!
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Male 795
Thank god for proper conduction eh?
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Male 22
re: cage effect vs. `insulation` from tires

It`s actually common sense. It`s just that people don`t take a second to realize that, hey, the lightning is arcing across thousands of feet of air. It can sure the hell get around a 17-inch rubber hoop.

now, if you`re rolling on 24"s...you probably good. go ahead and put the top down
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Male 255
As viruzzz says, it`s got nothing to do with being grounded. The reason you`re safe in a plane or some cars for that matter is because of the Faraday Cage effect. A Faraday cage is any enclosed hollow conducting shell and if struck by lightning,the electric charges on the shell will move around and rearrange themselves until the electric field inside the shell is zero. As long as you`re not in electrical contact with the exterior shell and the outer shell is a continuous condutor, you`ll be fine. Unfotunatley, if your car has a soft top or fibreglass body, your ass is toast..
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Male 11
That`s not how electricity works
take a look at this www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n1pSHzdahc
It has the exact scenario you describe but with the exact opposite result

Electricity always takes the path of least resistance, it doesn`t matter where you are on that path, if it passes through you, it`s going to hurt.

The reason a plane is not affected is because they`ll be built with that in mind, a huge lump of metal in the air is more conducting than air itself. the electricity takes a path through the outer shell and passes around everybody inside. Same thing in a car, it travels through the body and therefor around the place where you sit, the rubber tires have nothing to do with it, It`ll just take the path through air that it has done for the past mile above the car.
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Male 8,302
It makes no difference whether the electricity passes through you or not, you only get shocked if you`re the LAST step in the chain. Try the old farm-kids electric fence prank... 3 or 4 of you join hands and stand near an electric fence in gumboots, convince someone passing by to join the chain, and then guy number 1 grabs the electric fence. Only the end guy gets shocked, because he`s the uninsulated one. The electricity passes harmlessly through the others without them feeling it.
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Male 12,365
[quote]You are insulated from the ground by the tires, so you`re somewhat better off than if you were standing on the ground, but not much.[/quote]

Less than not much. The voltage is far too high. You`d need yards of rubber to be of any use as insulation.

But...carbon fibre is not completely nonconductive. A brief look seems to indicate that it conducts quite well. So I`m not convinced that through the inside of the car would be a path of less resistance than around the outside of the carbon fibre body.
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Male 8,302
> And takes it!

Well of course it frakking takes it! Its a plane, it isn`t GROUNDED so electricity can`t harm it. Duuuh.
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Male 40
the Chuck Norris of planes...not even a massive bolt of lightning can faze it lol
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Male 227
it had a fire fart haha
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Male 15,832
[quote]Would a car made of carbon fiber protect you against a lightning strike in the same way?[/quote]
No. The protection comes from being inside a conductive shell that can divert the current around you. A nonconductive shell is basically like sitting outside in a plastic lawn chair with your feet up. You are insulated from the ground by the tires, so you`re somewhat better off than if you were standing on the ground, but not much. I also wouldn`t put much faith in a ragtop, even if it had a metal frame.
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Female 3,828
Guess thats why they make you circle the airport until thunderstorms are over. Pain in the ass, but id rather not risk it.

its cool that the plane is ok, and amazing that we have the technology to prevent accidents happening.
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Female 26
As I recall, the E field within a conducting shell is constant. Basically, the electricity travels around the outside. The same holds true with a car. I believe it is Gauss`s Law.
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Male 12,365
Which reminds me of a question I never found the answer to. Maybe someone here will know.

Would a car made of carbon fibre protect you against a lightning strike in the same way?

What about a car with a fabric roof up? I`m thinking it would most likely strike the structure the roof attaches too and flow around the body of the car, but I`m not sure.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Not surprising. Since the plane isn`t grounded, the electricity passes right through.[/quote]

The electricity is punching through as much as two miles of air with such power involved that it annihilates a column of air on the way down. The distance between the plane and the ground is a trifle to a lightning bolt, so the plane is grounded in that sense.

The strike will have flowed around the outside surface of the plane, following the path of least resistance. You`re safe from lightning if you`re inside a box of conductive material. Plane, train, car, whatever.

The main risk was to the plane`s electronics, but not much even then. A car`s electronics can survive the car being struck repeatedly and a plane`s are better protected.
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Male 7
yeah the plane acts as a conductor and the electricity passes only on the surface so the people inside are perfectly ok. Same principle behind your car being the safest place in a lightning storm, the car acts like a cage and the electricity only passes on the surface.
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Male 571
Not surprising. Since the plane isn`t grounded, the electricity passes right through.
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Male 347
@Shokz--Gamma radiation from a lightning bolt?

Nonsense!
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Male 117
Sure they`re built for it, but when struck by lightning even like that you can be exposed to pretty high levels of gamma radiation which isn`t exactly all that good for you :/
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Male 592
chuck norris was on the plane, he woulda flown himself but he cant get any air to go under his arms. every time he does he knocks it out =/
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Male 70
That cloud didn`t strike the plane, the plane struck the cloud with lightening. That`s one bad ass plane.
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Male 3,296
yeah planes are built for that, and have you ever been in a car struck by a lightning bolt?? yeah nothing happens either
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Male 5,194
I`m never getting on a plane again.
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Male 965
Another one escapes the wrath of Zeus.
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Male 69
"NO... it is not a faraday cage, the paint is conductive, then there is a discharge rod out the back. Planes are 100% safe from lightning strikes."

that put a smile on my face:)
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Male 10,440
[quote] airplanes are designed to handle lightning and static buildup... It would take a monster of a lighting bolt for anyone to notice the plane was struck. [/quote]

More like planes are immune to lightning entirely.
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Male 487
"that was pretty sick, im glad it nothing happened though"

airplanes are designed to handle lightning and static buildup... It would take a monster of a lighting bolt for anyone to notice the plane was struck.
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Male 25,417
Wow, thats insane!
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Male 1,451
So as mcfudge just said: It`s not faraday`s cage, it`s `insert exactly what faraday`s cage is`
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Male 537
NO... it is not a faraday cage, the paint is conductive, then there is a discharge rod out the back. Planes are 100% safe from lightning strikes.
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Male 7,817
that was pretty sick, im glad it nothing happened though.
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Male 2,690
Awesome
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Male 15,510
That is why you have to keep your cellphone turned off
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Male 148
actually, mrtwidget, there`s a much simpler explanation to this...its called a Faraday`s cage
the lightening will only travel AROUND the surface of the aeroplane
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Male 2,004
why where they filming planes?
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Male 591
MrTwidget is right. These things are designed to withstand lightning strikes.
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Male 129
that one bolt was from the God of the Airline Unions..dont mess with his children!!
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Male 210
@Dante: With or without wings, electricity takes the path of least resistance. So if you could perch yourself on top of an electrical wire like a bird, the electricity would not enter your body because (a) you`re not grounded and (b) there is less resistance for it to keep going through the wire. A similar principle applies with planes, where the conductive exterior of the plane is the path of least resistance, so none of the internal components or passengers are exposed to any electrical current. The worst thing that could happen is, as someone else said, a momentary disruption in lighting or instruments which is probably caused by the magnetism associated with such a high-voltage event. I thought birds on wires was 4th grade science class...
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Male 17,512
MrTwidget: There have been a few jet engine flame outs as well as circuit breaker issues, But usually nothing major. I believe the most damage ever done ,From lightning to a plane, Was while the plane was still on the tarmac.
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Male 10,855
@vilem
indeed
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Male 394
All planes get struck by lightning several times a year, it may of had even happened to you and you may not of had even noticed!
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Male 2,440
I automatically thought of this. xD
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Male 372
Shocking
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Male 85
but the plane wasnt earthed so the shock wouldnt have affected them any way. am i right? cus other wise ive got it wrong and am going to fail my GCSE`s
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Male 600
The electronics inside won`t get damaged. Outer metal layers acts as a Faraday cage.
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Male 451
Wow, talk about luck catching that on camera unintentionally. too cool.
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Female 61
sirrix, so you`re saying as long as i have wings taped to my back, i can`t be electrocuted? Time for an experiment...
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Male 795
Although passengers and crew may see a flash and hear a loud noise if lightning strikes their plane, nothing serious should happen because of the careful lightning protection engineered into the aircraft and its sensitive components. Initially, the lightning will attach to an extremity such as the nose or wing tip. The airplane then flies through the lightning flash, which reattaches itself to the fuselage at other locations while the airplane is in the electric "circuit" between the cloud regions of opposite polarity. The current will travel through the conductive exterior skin and structures of the aircraft and exit off some other extremity, such as the tail. Pilots occasionally report temporary flickering of lights or short-lived interference with instruments.

scientificamerican.com
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Male 286
@ dracokain

It could have been he was filming the incoming storm and just got the plane as something to watch while filming the storm. There is a lot of people who try to catch lighting on moving and still film with 35 mm or digital SLR cameras. It makes some pretty cool photos.
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Male 1,929
If you`re suprised by this then you`re either under 16 (fair enough) or you need to think more (just generally. It helps.).
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Male 12,138
"Mmm, smells good, they must be serving bacon for the in-flight meal!"

"Bad news honey. That`s not bacon you smell. That`s the pilot"
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Female 57
An airborne plane, that is.
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Female 57
due to the fact that they aren`t grounded, a plane is the safest place you can be during a lightening storm.
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Male 4,807
I always had a habit of counting after seeing lighting... so....6 Km away by my estimation.
Very cool vid.
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Male 2,549
"Who the hell sits outside and video tapes planes?"

Plane spotters?
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Male 774
WTH? Shouldn`t it have blown up?
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Male 210
Planes get struck by lightning all the time - they are not grounded so it is extremely unlikely that any damage would occur. Basically, the lightning conducts around the frame of the plane and continues down to Earth. Same general principle that prevents birds from being electrocuted on overhead wires.
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Male 290
I find myself counting seconds between a lightning strike and the subsequent thunder. I do it almost compulsively.
In this case the lightning took place roughly 4.6km (2.9m) from the camera.
Not that it matters...
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Male 774
WTH? Shouldn`t it have blown up?
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Male 266
who the hell sits outside and video tapes planes
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Male 519
lol I wonder if the plane landed or crashed
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Male 107
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