Lightning Strikes Commercial Aircraft


Lightning strikes a Copa Airlines (a Continental affiliate) airplane at the gate on May 12, 2011. You'll need to watch it several times to see all of the action; It's only about 10 seconds duration. Three key things/areas to watch. first watch the tail of the aircraft as the lightning bolt hits the vertical stabilizer, do not blink, it happens that fast. Next, watch the nose of the aircraft where ground crew walk up to and under the nose of the airplane, then quickly retreat. Then, look just to your left of the nose gear. That brown square on the ground is a metal plate embedded in the concrete, with an access cover in it. The lightning strike exits the airplane onto the metal plate, which sends the access cover flying through the air toward the tug on the far left.

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