Thu, Dec 07, 2006
Crew Lands Stricken Aircraft Despite Widespread Damage
A Fokker 100 (photo of type
below) hit by lightning last December near Darwin Australia
suffered more extensive damage than the crew suspected.
According to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau report, the
aircraft was on its way to Darwin from Indonesia with 14 pax and 5
ATC directed the crew to hold about 50 NM south of Darwin and
wait for a thunderstorm to clear away from the airport. As the
aircraft circled at 16,000 AGL in IMC it was struck by lightning.
The crew reported they were between six and eight miles from the
nearest storm cell.
A fluid low warning light for the number two hydraulic system
illuminated 20 minutes later. With their attention now on the
system, the crew noticed the number one system quantity also
The pilot was given priority handling and headed immediately for
the airport. By the time the crew got the jet on the ground, the
number one hydraulic system warning light had also illuminated.
Aside from the fluid quantity indications, the crew didn't
notice anything out of the ordinary and landed the aircraft
A post-flight inspection revealed two fluid return lines and a
hydraulic union damaged by the lighting strike. They also found two
large holes in the fuselage along with some 90 other damage zones
on the fuselage, landing gear doors, and wing and elevator trailing
A later inspection found melting damage to the elevator control
The report says the operator repaired the aircraft it was
subsequently returned to service.
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