Sunday, April 12, 2015

Near crash case after lightning strikes an airplane

There was last December that an airplane was near to crash after an lightning strike.

According to the media, it was the Loganair flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh Airport, carrying 30 passengers. The aircraft was struck by lightning in the process of landing.

The problem occurred then. The pilots misunderstood that autopilot system was crippled by the lightning. Therefore, their command to abandon the landing was canceled again and again by the autopilot. It was only 1,100 feet height when they regained the control and the plane started to climb again.

The Telegraph: Pilot averted disaster with seconds to spare after plane hit by lightning

The result was that the airplane itself was almost immune to lightning. However, the crews made a mistake in the recognition of the damage from the lightning. It might nearly led a disaster.

Being struck by lightning is rare, but not an impossible incident for an airplane. Since aircraft is easy to connect electricity, lightning is likely to penetrate it in a thunderstorm. Of course, pilots are keen to avoid thunderstorm or other risky atmosphere. However, the route is strictly determined in the landing process regardless of the intention of the pilots. Considering that, the present incident can be rather typical.

The other day, I saw Detective Conan: Magician of the Silver Sky, an animation movie. In this work, the airplane in which Conan and his friends were met similar accident. The lightning strike caused sequential collision against the control tower, causing a quite serious situation. In this film, autopilot as well as radio contact system was damaged. Actually, the airplane is much less vulnerable to lightning.

According to the media, the airline company has introduced this kind of situation into the pilot training programs. After the accident of  Germanwings, similar reports are likely to be focused, overrepresenting the accidents. Notwithstanding current situation, airplane is the most safe transportation. I believe the knowledge and technique of the professionals in this industry.

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