Airplanes can be struck by lightning?


In this issue, I would like to answer a question about whether airplanes flying in a typhoon have any problem with being hit by lightning!

Why it doesn’t matter if your plane gets hit by lightning.

Sometimes airplanes are struck by lightning while flying through clouds or rain. Lightning has a voltage of about 1 billion volts, so many people are concerned that if an airplane is struck by lightning, it could lead to a major accident, such as a crash or death of passengers.

In practice, however, lightning strikes airplanes rarely result in accidents such as crashes or passenger deaths. That’s because airplanes are designed to be safely flown by lightning.

There are two main reasons why airplanes are safe when struck by lightning

1. Epidermal effects.

Airplanes are made of duralumin, a metal such as aluminum.
Metals are good conductors of electricity.
So when lightning strikes an airplane, the current will flow over the surface of the plane and not be transmitted inside.
This phenomenon is called the “epidermal effect”.

The skin effect causes the electric current from lightning to flow over a very thin section of the plane’s surface, with little or no effect on passengers or equipment inside.

2. Lightning protection system

Airplanes are equipped with lightning protection systems to avoid lightning. This system is designed to induce electricity from thunderclouds and release the charge generated from static electricity from the plane before lightning strikes the plane.

Mainly that system is “Static Discharger” A black bar-shaped object called a “static discharger” is equipped on the left, right and tail wing tips, so look for it next time.


In the unlikely event that an aircraft is struck by lightning, it is equipped with a lightning protection system to prevent significant damage to the aircraft. This system consists of conductive cables to release the current caused by lightning and devices to absorb the shock caused by lightning.

These systems ensure that even when an airplane is struck by lightning, it rarely results in an accident, such as a crash or the death of a passenger.

Of course, being struck by lightning can cause damage to the exterior of the airplane, such as scratches or scorch marks. But these damages do not affect the safety of the plane.

It is also possible, though not frequent, that the plane’s electronics may malfunction as a result of being struck by lightning. In this case, there is still no safety issue with the airplane, as it is usually fixed after a basic reboot.

Thus, airplanes are designed to be flown safely by lightning. Therefore, when flying an airplane, there is little need to worry that the plane will crash if struck by lightning.

Summary of airplanes can be hit by lightning

How was it?

In the first place, I’d like you to know that pilots use weather radar, which probes the intensity of raindrop movement, to avoid clouds that are likely to be hit by lightning .

However, knowing that there would be no problem in the unlikely event of a lightning strike would lower the hurdle for those who fly.

If you have a friend who doesn’t like to fly, let him know!

We have compiled other articles about airplanes, so please read them if you are interested in any of them.

Why stopped airplanes are noisy