Can planes withstand lightning? Russian pilot says it may have contributed to deadly plane crash – National


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The pilot of a airplane that crash-landed and burst into flames Sunday night at a Moscow airport mentioned the airplane was hit by lighting, however consultants say planes are designed to face up to lightning strikes.

The airplane, a Sukhoi SSJ100 from the Russian airline Aeroflot, took off from Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday night however circled inside minutes to make an emergency touchdown.

Video reveals the airplane touchdown onerous on the runway because the again of the plane bursts into flames.

READ MORE: Russia says it received’t floor Sukhoi Superjet airplane regardless of deadly crash-landing

Consultants are trying to find the rationale for the onerous touchdown and the hearth, which left 41 individuals lifeless.

Pilot Denis Yevdokimov instructed Zvezda TV and the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper “due to lightning, we had a lack of radio communication” in the course of the quick flight.

He additionally mentioned the airplane’s digital flight system failed due to the lightning strike.

WATCH: Passengers escape utilizing emergency slide as Russian airplane burns on runway

Flight attendant Tatiana Kasatnika mentioned in a video posted on YouTube that “we took off, bought right into a cloud, there was sturdy hail and, at that second, there was a pop and a few type of flash, like electrical energy.”

Storms have been passing by the Moscow space when the airplane made its emergency touchdown.

Planes are designed to have the ability to face up to lightning

Aviation knowledgeable Wayne McNeal, president of aviation consulting firm McNeal & Associates, says most planes are constructed to face up to a lightning strike.

“It often hits the nostril (of the airplane), and the nostril cone itself, after they make them, is designed to take that lightning strike,” McNeal mentioned.

Based on an article from the Flight Security Basis, lightning strikes airplanes as soon as each 1,000 flight hours on common — or, extra succinctly, a minimum of as soon as per airplane per yr.

Conventionally, planes with an outer layer constructed from aluminum would conduct electrical energy effectively — and would permit for lightning to circulate alongside the outside of the airplane and depart by one other level.

Different planes, such because the Sukhoi plane, are constructed from composite supplies, McNeal defined.

Whereas composite supplies should not a very good conductor of electrical energy, an trade commonplace is to mix the composite with a wire or metallic mesh that will permit electrical energy to circulate.

McNeal mentioned the lightning strike may briefly have an effect on communications as a result of it’s a “staticky type of factor” however that it shouldn’t have knocked out the programs fully.

IN PHOTOS: Aircraft on hearth at Moscow airport

Trying into different explanations

Investigators are trying to find the reason for the crash.

Russia’s fundamental investigative physique mentioned each the airplane’s knowledge and voice flight recorders have been recovered from the charred wreckage.

Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko was additionally quoted by Russian information companies on Monday as saying that investigators have been wanting into three fundamental potentialities behind the reason for the catastrophe: inexperienced pilots, gear failure and dangerous climate.

“What I heard, it was a heavy touchdown, the place they bounced on (the runway). That might generate some friction on the touchdown gear and (expose), say, hydraulic fluid … that might catch on hearth,” McNeal mentioned.

WATCH: Russian passenger airplane lands in Moscow lined in flames

The airplane reportedly didn’t jettison gas earlier than the touchdown, which is frequent process.

The SSJ100 airplane, additionally known as the Superjet, has had earlier points ever because it was put into service in 2011.

A Mexican airline, Interjet, grounded Superjets in December 2016 and Russia’s aviation authority ordered inspection of all Superjets within the nation in 2017 due to issues with rear stabilizers within the tail.

—With recordsdata from the Related Press

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