Weather Whys

How often does lightning hit planes?

I see where the plane carrying the new president of France was hit by lightning. How often does lightning hit airplanes?

It does often, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University.

“The best government estimates are that lightning strikes commercial airplanes several times a year,” McRoberts explains. “Most pilots are told to avoid thunderstorms and to try and fly around them, but lightning still hits planes often.

 

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