An Emirates A380-800 jet was struck by lightning as it flew over Brisbane Airport in Australia, and the moment was captured on video.
Nearly 90% of lightning strikes to planes are triggered when the aircraft flies into “a heavily charged area clouds,” according to the Flight Safety Foundation. “Aircraft lighting strikes occur frequently,” the Foundation says, “although they are rarely associated with accidents.”
Commercial planes usually fly above the weather, so encounter lightning most often during landing and takeoff. They are once per year on average, Professor Manu Haddad of Cardiff University’s Morgan Botti Laboratory told The Guardian in 2012.
“It is routine for an aircraft to land as soon as possible after a strike, but this is a precautionary measure,” Haddad said. “Lightning is extremely hot — up to 30,000C. The typical damage is a scorch mark where the point of contact was, usually a wing-tip. The plane’s electronics are well shielded these days.”
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