This week has been a bad weather week. There have been terrible storms that stopped planes flying in and out of Denver. An Air Canada plane was hit by lightning, causing it to return to its departure airport in Toronto instead of flying to Philadelphia due to the terrible weather.
It is quite unusual for a plane to be returned to its departure airport because of lightning. 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 traveler, a plane you have been on may have been struck by lightning while you were inside. Planes are actually designed to absorb 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 lightning. Their body is made of aluminum, which conducts electricity around the shell of the aircraft 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 lightning may be frightening, it is not usually a concern when you are in the sky.
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No inbound traffic landing at Dallas Fort Worth due to thunderstorms in the area. (?Bruce Ned) pic.twitter.com/RBHMM3uiRn
— Flight Alerts (@FlightAlerts_)
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