Avionics And Systems
How Does An Airplane Fly?
D.B. Cooper, The Parachutist
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In terms of survival training, techniques and knowledge, a hit by a thunder is something that you would definitely like to avoid, for it can be fatal; however, there are a few individuals who seem to be resilient to such violent things and in fact, they even seem to attract thunders, for they get struck up to a dozen times during their lives.
The causes of this are not known, but these folks certainly are quite interesting for scientists. And aircraft get struck too, but the effects in reality are quite different from what you see in the movies: aircraft would seldom fall apart because of lightning, but the problem is that if the aircraft gets hit by thunder all computers, avionics and electronic components may get fried. Instant, catastrophic and brick-like falls from the sky tend to happen only at cinema studios. What is true is that getting hit while flying is an experience not easy to forget: the noise and commotion are second to none.
But in survival terms, such incidents are far from solved once the lighting fades, for as we just mentioned, avionics - i.e. the instruments - may have been fried, and the kind of situations where and when you usually find storms packed with thunders are those in which pilots make the most of their instruments, for there is reduced visibility and they have to rely on the indications of their avionics.
So, if they suddenly loose their instruments, they will be left literally blind in the ski, and as any pilot would tell you, that's the gamble of a lifetime.
Not good... but survivable while up in the air.
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