The average commercial airliner gets hit by lightning a little more than once a year, according to Lightning Technologies Inc. If you are a frequent traveller, a plane you have been on may have been struck by lightening while you were inside. In fact, planes are actually designed to absorb the lightning strikes.
Why doesn’t getting hit with a 30-million volt bolt of electricity break an aircraft?
Planes are carefully engineered to cope with lightening. Their body is made of aluminium, which conducts electricity around the shell of the plane without it damaging anything or getting inside. Electronics and navigation equipment are grounded and protected from electrical surges. Fuel tanks are also tested to ensure they can withstand a lightning strike without allowing dangerous sparks.
While lightening may be frightening, it is not a real concern when you are in the sky.
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