Do planes get hit by lightning?

Published on August 26th, 2011
Do planes get hit by lightning?

Ever wondered if airplanes get struck by lightning? Well, the truth is they do – but they’re built to handle it!

According to an article on, the average commercial airliner gets hit by lightning a little more than once a year.

Did you know that sometimes the plane itself triggers the lightning by flying through charged clouds, resulting in static discharge off the aircraft?

Careful engineering protects an aircraft against a super strong volt bolt of electricity.

The article says that most plane bodies are made of aluminium, which conducts electricity around the shell of the plane without letting it in. Electronics and navigation equipment are grounded and protected from electrical surges. Fuel tanks are tested to ensure they can withstand a lightning strike without allowing dangerous sparks. Remember the ‘Big black box‘?

Despite the precautionary measures that are in place, flying through a thunderstorm sure is no fun at all! Have you ever flown through one?

Pic credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE

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