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August 30, 2007


You fearful fliers will not want to click on this.

We just hope that all the passengers on that plane had their cell phones turned off, as they can interfere with a plane's delicate navigational electronics.


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Thanks. I really needed to see this right before my parents take their flight to New Hampshire..... I'm never flying again.


Luckily, though, they don't know how to use their cell phones, and leave them off most of the time anyway.

Apparently, no plane has fallen down in the US because of lightning bolts in 40 years,

Sounds like we're due.

Who's flying today?

Damm kids and their gameboys...

ah, that's not'in. My sister once got bitten by a moose!

Why is it I think all the meals were served REAL HOT on that flight?

Paging Ben Franklin to the white courtesy phone... .

Highly snorkable line from the article's comments section:

In situations like this, do emergency replacement underpants drop from the overhead compartment? -Robman84

Dad was a pilot. He said that whole "electronic devices can interfere with navigation" spiel is mostly BS. There's a very very small chance of it happening.


*snork* @ cg!

and YIPES!!!

Bumble, I like the part where they tell you that once the doors are closed cell phones must be turned off. Like all those electronic signals are being confined by closed doors ....

If I turn on my phone and we get navigated to, say, the Bahamas, can I stay there?

FINALLY! Cooked sushi.

I've heard stewardesses flight attendants say that smokers are welcome to step out onto the wing when they need to smoke. Smoking is bad enough for your health without the lightning!

Well, I'm off to the airport. Sigh.

Um, good luck with that, Layzee.


Have a safe flight, Layzee!!


Well . . . this ought to keep me awake on my flight to Pittsburgh tonight.


Just so I got this straight...

100 bazillion volts hittin' a plane = safe

More than 3 ounces of toothpaste on a plane = unsafe


Gratuitous technical thang: Lighting striking a plane in the air is usually safe because the aluminum skin works as a Faraday cage. The charge is distributed over the skin and inside it's all at the same electrical potential. They probably can't receive radio during the strike though.

HOly $h!t!

Right you are, Pogo. Any electronics working through an external antenna (navigation and communication mostly) are affected during the billionth of a second the lightning is passing by the particular antenna. So, if the aircrew is sending a Mayday call during the strike, it might not get out. Also, if the plane is navigating using GPS, all bets are off during the strike.

BTW: This is one of the major reasons aircraft don't use GPS. It is too easy to screw up the GPS signal. Most planes use INS (inertial navigation systems) that are set on the ground at the terminal and update themselves based on internal calculations and frequent updates from ground-based navigation aids.

Been struck a couple times. Didn't appreciate the light show either time.

And for the rest of ther flight all the passengers were wondering why they all looked like Albert Einstein and could do nothing with their unruly hair.

kibby~ I always cracked up when they used to explain how to open the emergency doors. Part of the flight attendant's speech for dad's airline used to be "throw the exit out." I kid you not. They've since revised it; they don't tell you how to open the exit anymore. They just tell you to read the little picture-story cards provided. I miss the old speeches. They were highly amusing.

Oops. Name change post.

This actually happened to me about a month ago.

I was in the cockpit.

The bolt hit about two feet in front of my face.

It was the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life.

Worth noting, though: while the skin of the airplane acts as a Faraday cage and protects the stuff inside it, stuff on the outside (like radio antennas) is most definitely NOT protected. One of our two primary communications antennas was blown clean in half (the other half is somewhere in Cuban waters northeast of Havana) and the other one was split down the trailing edge and all burned inside.


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