What is it like when your plane is struck by a lightning.
I was just about to land in Copenhagen Airport two months ago on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Copenhagen, when I suddenly heard a big bang that sounded exactly like if someone detonated a bomb in the aircraft. Luckily for me I just happened to look out of the window when it came and I saw a big flashlight on the tip of the wing and I had already been told that a lightning strike sounds like a bomb going off, so I did not panic, but I had to spend a few seconds calming down the two guys next to me, one an old man and the other guy a very strongly build bodybuilder type, who was shaking with fear for several minutes.
How did it feel when the lightning struck the plane?
It gave a big massive bang that sounded like a giant firecracker going off, but the plane did not move or shake more than it already did. We had a fair bit of turbulence when it happened as we were going through the clouds, but the lightning did not make the plane shake more and the cabin crew just calmly said that it was a lightning strike and they get these quite often and they are harmless.
So is it dangerous when a plane is struck by a lightning?
A lightning strike is hardly ever dangerous for a big passenger plane. They happen daily around the world and every commercial airplane is roughly struck by a lightning once a year, but it’s very rare that any damage is done to the plane when it happens and it’s more than 40 years ago that there was last recorded a plane crash with a big passenger plane due to a lightning strike. It’s different with smaller private jets who must steer clear of lightning storms as it can be dangerous to them. But a lightning on a large plane just tend to travel on the outside of the body of the plane and leave the plane by the tail. The airplanes are build so that they can withstand these strikes and I have asked several pilots about lightning strikes and they mostly tell me that it’s something you don’t really bother about, but you have to report it so that the mechanics on the ground can check if any damage was done to the plane, but it’s unusual that it happens and when it happens the damage tends to be minor damages that are not posing any immediate danger.