On this nightmare flight, the pilot reported a possible lightning strike and declared an emergency. The plane landed safely but this incident begs the question: is lightening actually dangerous if you are in a plane?
FAA Statement on Delta Air Lines flight 2050: pic.twitter.com/zO6gpEZFC0
— The FAA (@FAANews) February 19, 2019
The answer is yes! Certain weather conditions are particularly dangerous to planes and may cause them to crash.
The most dangerous condition is a rare type of thunderstorm. Thunderstorms cause many hazards and can reach heights of 35,000 feet, which is cruising level for a plane. Planes can fly through them but they try to avoid them due to turbulence and other more dangerous hazards.
The most dangerous type of thunderstorm is a microburst. It causes a sudden downward current of air that creates really strong winds. If the plane is struck by one of these it might cause the plane to crash.
Planes crashed ion 1975 and 1985 as a result of microbursts in the sky.
Weather forecasting systems are much more accurate now, and pilots try and avoid storms like these. Modern aircraft are also built to withstand storms as well as lightning. That said, if you are a nervous flyer and the forecast is lightening, you may want to delay your flight…
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