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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Yikes!!! Reply with quote

Allison Milan was on a routine flight from Vancouver to Powell River aboard Pacific Coastal Airlines when her aircraft hit a rough patch of weather.

"It was really up and down, up and down, ... it started to hail, really bad weather," she said.

"All of a sudden, [in] the cabin this brilliant orange flash and a boom!"

Lightning had struck the plane. But Milan says she and the other eight passengers on board had no idea what had happened.

Her first thought: they had blown an engine.

"Because it was just such a powerful boom! And then shaking and then brilliant light. The whole cabin, you couldn't see, it was just orange everything was orange."

Everyone on board sat in stunned silence, she recalls.

"We were all just looking at each other with really wide eyes ... whispering, 'What was that?'"

With the lights of the city already visible between the clouds, she says they were on the last moments of their short 25-minute flight.

"We were so close to landing that I was just praying we were going to make it safe."

Allison Milan says she flies out of Powell River, B.C., 30 to 40 times a year but has never been on a flight that was struck by lightning.

Shortly after, the pilot made an announcement, she said.

"The pilot came on and said: 'Don't worry folks. We've been hit by lightning ... but everything's going to be OK. We're going to get you home safe. We're going to land this plane.'"

After the flight landed with no other abnormalities, Milan says she grabbed her luggage and "high-tailed" it home to hug her two young children.

"You just never know when it's your time ... It just snapped me to life."

She says she was grateful to the crew member and pilot who both remained calm throughout the whole ordeal.

In addition to being etched in Milan's memory, the lightning strike also left a physical mark on the plane: a pencil eraser-sized hole towards the tail, said Pacific Coastal Airlines spokesperson Kevin Boothroyd.

'More common than you think'

Aviation consultant and veteran pilot Ken Beleshko says lightning strikes are more common than most people think.

In his 50 year career, one of his most memorable incidents was during takeoff when his aircraft, a Boeing 747, was hit by lightning twice.

"You could actually feel the lightning in your feet on the floor of the aircraft. It was quite the substantial shudder," he said.

They lost inertial navigation, which was required to fly over the Atlantic, so he said they had to turn back around. During a second attempt, they were hit again by the same weather system.

Most modern planes are built to withstand lightning strikes, he said.

In most cases, he says the worst damage is to electronic navigation and communication systems but there are usually enough backup plans for a pilot to safely continue flying.

Planes, such as the Beechcraft 1900C which Milan was on, also have a lightning static discharge system which helps to disperse the high voltage energy away from the plane.

Furthermore, he adds, fuel tanks are sealed well to prevent residual oil that could spark mid-flight.

The marks or holes left behind are usually just cosmetic damage.

It would be far more dangerous, he says, to be hit by lightning while on the ground.

In this case, Boothroyd says after the hole was patched up and an "exhaustive" check of the plane, it was "certified as safe" and back in action again Wednesday morning. Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

"beware the granite overcast"

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Location: NE WI/UP of MI

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Now that's what you call getting ya bell rung and seeing sparks and colors. Glad there all ok and a excellent article explaining the situation and reason's of AC survival from a Lighting hit. I like the tail logo Very Happy Last time I got my bell rung like this was aboard a Cubana AN148 a few years ago about 1 hour out from MUCU.
Ret. USCG Capt. P3DV4 and XP11, USCG Res/ WI 127th/176th FS CRBN/Tactical HOT Pilot. Assigned Canadian US Border UP of MI, Protector of French/British/Republic of Canada La Baye, WI, US.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Shocked Shocked
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