Snowstorms and electrical charges

Date:         01 Feb 99 02:37:14 
From:         procida@cardiff.ac.uk (D.M. Procida)
Organization: Posted through the Joint Cardiff Computing Service, Wales, UK
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This was posted in alt.folklore.urban:

>>...  If you sandblast a metal object which is insulated from ground,
>>expect that object to become electrified. Very cold, "dry," blowing
>>snow would be expected to electrify the surface of any  object which
>>was composed of a non-ice material.
>
>I read a story in a flying magazine in which this happened to a
>medium-sized airplane carrying passengers.  It was descending through
>a snowstorm, and after a few minutes of powdery snow blowing over it,
>ZAP! there was a lightning discharge, knocking out the electrical
>system and stunning the pilots.  Fortunately, they recovered after a
>few seconds, took the plane back up above the snowstorm and figured
>out what happened.  The moral of the story was "Don't fly through dry
>powdery snow."

Does anyone know more about this particular incident or the phenomenon
in general?

Daniele Procida
--

The Awkward Moments                  http://www.moments.freeserve.co.uk/