Tag Archives: airplane engine overhaul

What Happens When Lightning Hits an Airplane? Does it Mean an Airplane Engine Overhaul?

It is estimated that every airplane in the United States commercial fleet will be struck by lightning more than once each year, although smaller, commuter type planes do not experience as many strikes because they are smaller and generally able to avoid clouds with potential lightning.  Although there have been instances of damage to aircraft due to lightning strikes, rarely does a strike necessitate an airplane engine overhaul.


In 1967, lightning sparked a catastrophic fuel tank explosion in a commercial airline.  Additional safety techniques have been added since then and aircraft are subjected to numerous sets of lightning certification tests during the design phase, further reducing the chances that a plane will need an airplane engine overhaul after a strike.  There have been small, commuter plane crashes that have been linked to lightning strikes, but few commercial incidents.

Passenger Risk

Most aircraft are made of aluminum, which is a good electrical conductor. Yet, in most cases where airplanes are struck by lightning during flight, passengers and the plane have survived without significant damage or injury.  However, there have been incidents when a plane sitting on a runway has been struck by lightning and passengers suffered minor injuries due to the strike.

airplanestruckbylightening-150x150What Happens?

When lightning strikes a plane during flight, it usually attaches to the nose or wing tip of the plane.  As the plane flies through the lightning flash, the electricity reattaches to the fuselage, and then travels through the exterior structure of the aircraft, exiting through another extremity such as the tail.  Lights may flicker or there may be short-lived interference with instruments.  In addition, passengers may notice some problems with headsets or other computer-operated equipment while the plane travels through the electrical charge.

New designs and better protection techniques have improved the way that airplanes can handle lightning strikes.  More protection for the fuel system and added skins on the plane better protect passengers and eliminate the need for airplane engine overhaul.  If you need any further information contact Covington Aircraft for any airplane engine overhaul needs!

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You Regularly Schedule an Airplane Engine Overhaul, but How Often Should You Clean Your Aircraft?

aircraft-cleaningMuch like your car, cleaning your aircraft is important to avoiding corrosion and damage.  Like an airplane engine overhaul can add new life to your engine, cleaning can add new life to the body of your aircraft.  Most commercial airlines wash their aircraft once a month, but smaller, commuter aircraft can go a bit longer between washings.


One reason to regularly clean your aircraft is due to the climate aircraft regularly travel through.  Aircraft are regularly exposed to an environment very similar to a marine environment, sea water and salt air.  Because air at higher altitudes is moisture laden, it is more detrimental to aircraft than air closer to the ground is to a vehicle.  This means that cleaning an aircraft regularly is as important as washing your car regularly.

Foreign Material

The biggest threat to corrosion on an aircraft is contamination, soil, atmospheric dust, oil, grease, exhaust, spilled battery acids and caustic solutions that can accumulate on the aircraft over time.  By scheduling regular cleanings of the aircraft, you can reduce the risk of corrosion and extend the life of the aircraft—almost as much as an airplane engine overhaul can extend the life of the aircraft engine.

By scheduling regular cleanings of the aircraft, you can extend the life of the plane and protect the exterior of the plane from corrosion and damage.  Removing foreign material from the plane is a controllable factor which affects the onset and spread of corrosion and extends the life of an aircraft.  For more information on airplane engine overhaul and aircraft maintenance, feel free to contact us.