Re: Lightning strike while fuel-dumping

From:         Pete Mellor <pm@csr.city.ac.uk>
Date:         06 Jul 94 00:52:21 
References:   1
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Sethu Rathinam <rathinam@ins.infonet.net> writes on 28 Jun 94:- 

> If lightning strikes the airliner while it is dumping fuel (in
> flight), what will happen?  

In a letter to (I think) the Guardian "Notes and Queries" column 
a year or two ago, someone mentioned an accident in (what was then) 
East Germany, in which an airliner circling on the stack in hot 
weather dumped fuel, and then circled again through the resulting 
cloud of vapour. This had not fallen or dispersed due to the peculiar 
weather conditions, and the engines ignited it, causing a fireball 
which downed the 'plane, killing all on board. 

Is such an accident scenario feasible, or is it another urban myth? 

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, 
City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB 
Tel: +44 (71) 477-8422, Fax.: +44 (71) 477-8585, 
E-mail (JANET): p.mellor@csr.city.ac.uk 
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