Lightning

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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solrey
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by solrey » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:31 pm

drethon, thanks for that CNN article!
As several ships trawled the crash site in the Atlantic, Brazil's defense minister said a 20-kilometer (12-mile) oil slick near where the plane, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, went down indicated it probably did not break up until it hit the water.
If true, that would rule out an in-flight explosion as the cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told reporters.
Here's the report that pretty much confirms the lightning strike theory, imo anyways:
However, both pilots of an Air Comet flight from Lima to Lisbon sent a written report on the bright flash they said they saw to Air France, Airbus and the Spanish civil aviation authority, the airline told CNN.

"Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds," the captain wrote.
Also:
The aircraft's computer system did send about four minutes of automated messages indicating a loss of cabin pressure and an electrical failure, officials have said.
Some investigators have noted that the plane flew through a severe lightning storm. Foul play has not been ruled out.
They couldn't have seen AF447 itself on a stormy night from ,probably, several miles away, but a lightning strike could easily be seen as an intense flash of white light. The fact that a descending trajectory which broke up in six seconds immediately following the intense white flash tells me that an engine was struck, which without the ability to control and compensate due to simultaneous electrical failure, would produce immediate and extreme yaw, roll and wing 'stall'. Those jet engines drive strong electric generators so they are more likely to attract lightning. An explosion (foul play or mechanical failure) would have produced more like an orange fireball or flame I would think. The description of the flash "which broke up in six seconds" could be residual discharge from all the energy absorbed by the plane, or pieces of vaporized/plasmaized engine cowling or internal engine components. That engine may have been ultimately destroyed, but the rest of the plane could easily remain intact.

If it was indeed a lightning strike, maybe the aerospace industry will finally take that possibility more seriously in the future and figure out a way to deal with it/avoid those conditions and provide warnings.
“Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
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Anaconda
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by Anaconda » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:11 pm

(AP) -- "...Nelson Jobim, Brazil's defense minister, said the debris discovered so far was spread over a wide area, with 140 miles seperating pieces of wreckage."
Plane wreckage was found Wednesday far from the debris found Tuesday.

This suggests the aircraft broke up at altitude.

But in no way does this discount a megalightning strike of the aircraft.

Positive lightning can be as much as six times more powerful than negative lightning and last ten times as long.

flyingcloud
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by flyingcloud » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:37 pm

Brazilian air force says debris was not from Air France crash
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/ ... index.html
On Wednesday, searchers recovered two debris fields and had identified the wreckage, including an airplane seat and an orange float as coming from Flight 447. Officials now say that none of the debris recovered is from the missing plane.
Investigators have not yet determined what caused the plane to crash. The flight data recorders have not been recovered, and the plane's crew did not send any messages indicating problems before the plane disappeared.

A Spanish pilot said he saw an "intense flash" in the area where Flight 447 came down off the coast of Brazil, while a Brazilian minister appeared to rule out a midair explosion.
However, both pilots of an Air Comet flight from Lima, Peru, to Lisbon, Portugal, sent a written report on the bright flash they said they saw to Air France, Airbus and the Spanish civil aviation authority, the airline told CNN.

"Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds," the captain wrote.
Last edited by flyingcloud on Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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solrey
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by solrey » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:39 pm

In those conditions of stormy, mid-atlantic waters, a debris field of a few square miles can grow a few hundred square miles each day. Studies of the contents of shipping containers lost overboard during storms on Pacific shipping routes have documented that kind of rapid spread of debris. So a wide debris field of several hundred square miles, even two or three days after impact, is not unlikely.

That doesn't rule out some breakup as it was tumbling out of control, but it probably didn't travel more than twenty horizontal miles as it was descending at an average rate of somewhere around at least 6,000 ft. per minute from 35,000 ft. at probably no more than 250 mph average ground speed, dropping from a cruise speed of 520, shortly after it started tumbling out of control. Basically it took the trajectory of a bell curve that ends abruptly before flattening out at the bottom. Actually the detailed emergency transmission data of the final signal indicates that cabin pressure dropped to the 10,000 ft. level, which is the cutoff between a pressurized/non-pressurized environment. If the cabin had broken apart, I would expect a depressurization alarm much sooner than 4 minutes from the initial event. From 35,000 to 10,000 is 25,000 ft. in 4 minutes for an average rate of decent of 6,250 ft/min. Probably closer to 8,000 - 10,000 ft./minute at the end. Impact probably occurred ~1 minute after the final automatic transmission.

Absolutely horrifying way to leave this world.
“Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
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Anaconda
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by Anaconda » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:50 pm

I'll acknowledge my comments can be 'wordy' and I need to be more concise :mrgreen:

So, I was reviewing my response to redeye and thinking how could my idea be presented in a more concise manner or easier to conceptualize in the mind's eye.

I think I have an idea:

In explaining the electric current flow between the ionosphere and the Earth's surface, think of a long "hot dog balloon" stretching between them. This "hot dog balloon" begins to bulge in the middle when water vapor (a weak plasma) is agitated by thermal convection and electric charge builds, this also increases the conductive ability of the insulator, the atmosphere, in the region of the water vapor, which increases the electric current flow into those clouds from the ionosphere. This causes the middle of the "balloon" to expand even more with electrically charged particles, pretty soon there is enough charged particles, so that the water vapor, itself, is partially ionized as well. The expanded section of the "balloon", thus, expands even more. This expanded segment of the "balloon" acts as a temporary storage container for electrical energy, but because electrical systems are inherently unstable, particlularly clouds, at some critical point, the electric "pressure" breaks down the insulator between the cloud and the ground and an electric discharge ('arc' mode) is emitted to the ground, lightning, eventually the expanded segment of the balloon discharges, or dissipates most of the stored electrical energy in that particular set of clouds and the "balloon" segment deflates back to the same diameter as the rest of the "balloon".

So much for being concise :|

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neilwilkes
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by neilwilkes » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:40 am

solrey wrote: I'm a licensed aircraft mechanic, the university where I earned my license and Aerospace Technology degree from had an excellent electrical theory course. My instructors emphasized concern over lightning being an oft overlooked issue in the aerospace industry. Even though all planes have static discharge 'wicks' on the trailing edges of wings and control surfaces, an aluminum plane is still a conductor moving through a strong EM field (in the case of lightning storms), whether it dissipates static charge from friction or not.


As far as composites, the A330-200 is made of some composites (control surfaces/flaps/spoilers and some minor components, I believe) but mostly advanced alloys and aluminum. I don't think structural failure due to composites is relevant to this model of Airbus.
Ten minutes later, a cascade of problems began: Automatic messages indicate the autopilot had disengaged, a key computer system switched to alternative power, and controls needed to keep the plane stable had been damaged. An alarm sounded indicating the deterioration of flight systems.

Three minutes after that, more automatic messages reported the failure of systems to monitor air speed, altitude and direction. Control of the main flight computer and wing spoilers failed as well.

The last automatic message, at 11:14 p.m., signaled loss of cabin pressure and complete electrical failure — catastrophic events in a plane that was likely already plunging toward the ocean.

“This clearly looks like the story of the airplane coming apart,” the airline industry official told The Associated Press. . . ."
What that tells me is that it was catastrophic electric failure, not catastrophic structural damage.
Those planes are all controlled electronically, it's called 'fly-by-wire'. All control surface inputs are sent electrically from the cockpit controls out to actuator motors that move the ailerons, rudder, elevator, flaps and spoilers. Cabin pressurization comes from piping some of the pressurized air in the compressor section of the engines into the cabin.

My theory of events are:
A powerful, catastrophic lightning strike caused the initial systems failures, loss of radio (inferred by lack of pilot communication at this time) and switching to alternate power. At this point the plane was probably operating on battery power only, which lasted about three or four minutes at which point all electronic systems stopped functioning, the engines quit running, which resulted in loss of cabin pressure, then battery power was completely drained resulting in total electrical failure. The plane then went into an uncontrolled, high speed, angled dive into the ocean. If there were any mid-air structural failures, they would have happened during that dive.

I read this morning that they found a debris field in a strip about 5km long. If the plane had broken apart in mid-air at 35,000 ft. and 520 mph, I would expect the debris field to cover a much larger area. The runways for commercial jets are somewhere between 3km and 4km long, or ~12,000 ft. So the debris field was maybe twice as long as what would be covered in a normal, controlled landing. Considering ocean currents were probably spreading the debris from the time of impact to the time of discovery, it seems to me that the plane was intact when it hit the water, then broke up on impact.

We may be seeing, once again in a variety of disciplines, a refusal of the 'mainstream experts' to take electricity into account.

If this is indeed the case - and it is the second time one of these A330 have been involved in an incident like this, although happily the first one only led to a plummet of 1,000 feet & serious injury to passengers instead of total catastrophe - then why is this fleet of aircraft not grounded - immediately.
When our Concorde sucked up debris from the runway into it's engines at Paris, the whole fleet was grounded as a direct result & the aircraft never recovered from this.

Yet the Airbus is still flying.......
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redeye
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by redeye » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:14 am

If this is indeed the case - and it is the second time one of these A330 have been involved in an incident like this, although happily the first one only led to a plummet of 1,000 feet & serious injury to passengers instead of total catastrophe - then why is this fleet of aircraft not grounded - immediately.
Concorde was running at a loss. Any doubt placed on the reliability of the A330 could deliver a fatal blow to an industry already reeling.

Cheers!
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solrey
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by solrey » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:26 pm

I've been following a thread on the Professional Pilots Rumor Network website and found this interesting account of an electric discharge incident. I think for EU theory, this is an interesting story in and of itself.
Here is the account, in response to a statement about an apparent sudden rise of the Total Air Temperature experienced by AF447. (TAT = Static Air Temperature + heating due to friction/compression of air flowing over the airframe.)
what I find unreal is the temps to go from -46 to -18c in fell swoop
It is not as unreal as it sounds. Last year on an A340, while flying through what was probably the remains of previous days CBs, we had some spectacular St. Elmos fire. The whole airframe was glowing, lightning coming out of the radom etc. Also the TAT increased dramatically, from -30 to almost 0° within approx. 5 minutes. I was sure this was caused by the electric discharges heating up the TAT probe, but nevertheless the upper and lower limits on the the speedtape came uncomfortably close.

As we did not want to find out what would happen if the apparent temperature pushed us out of the envelope (overspeed and stall protections at the same time?), we were about to start an immediate descent when we suddenly left the area and the TAT fell back to -30° within seconds.

There was nothing on the wx-radar and the turbulences were only light to moderate.

I would not completely rule out something like this happened to AF447, but I think it is very unlikely and other theories seem more plausible.
Add that to this report regarding AF447...
"Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds," the captain wrote.
...and reports of intense lightning storms by other pilots that flew through that area, plus an earthquake in that vicinity the previous day, seems to increase the likelihood of an electric discharge being a factor in the accident.

Maybe high altitude aircraft should be equipped with EMF sensors/antennas incorporated into their weather radar system. All they have for protection from lightning, at this point, are "static discharge wicks" that haven't really changed much since the first aluminum airplanes were produced decades ago.

They have found some debris that is confirmed as coming from AF447 (as opposed to the false alarm of the flotsam they found a few days ago). They might actually have a slight chance of finding the FDR and CVR.
I just hope the cause, whatever it was, is discovered so that similar accidents can be avoided in the future.
“Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
Nikola Tesla

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GaryN
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by GaryN » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:02 pm

Without sensors to detect how far into the atmosphere solar
magnetic activity impinges, much of the action is invisible. After
the Air France flight event, I looked at the solar weather, and
sure enough there was a magnetic disturbance, sunspot 1019 coming
into view:

http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php ... &view=view

Images on 3 May:

http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php ... &view=view

The sunspot is gone today, but a nice sprite image:

http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php ... &year=2009

New radar system detects 'Waves':

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/06/0 ... waves.html

The University of Leicester:

http://www2.le.ac.uk/ebulletin/news/pre ... 1082015364

Made me wonder how long these Asperatus clouds (http://thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/v ... f=4&t=1915)
have been around, and if they could become more prominent as the earths magnetic field continues to weaken.
In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. -Buckminster Fuller

Jaythree
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Re: Did lightning cause the crash of AF447?

Unread post by Jaythree » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:44 am

Commercial aircraft experience lightning strikes regularly and are designed to dissipate charge through the aluminum skin...not to say this couldn't have been a factor. A more likely scenario is proposed by investigators...an inoperative pitot sensor, perhaps iced up, with consequent loss of accurate airspeed data to the autopilot and manual control systems. At higher altitude, the range of safe airspeeds decreases due to the sparser atmosphere (the pitot tube is actually a quite simple ram air inlet that detects the pressure of incoming air molecules, so the sparser the molecules, the lower the indicated pressure). In the SR-71 high altitude "spy plane," the range between aerodynamic stall and "never exceed" speeds is only about 50 mph (amazing for an airplane traveling at several times the speed of sound) and is called "coffin corner." The combination of severe turbulence in a thunderstorm and excessive speed could easily result in a loss of structural integrity in the plane.

Regarding lightning, most will already have heard of the encouraging the work of Joseph Dwyer of the University of Florida's Electrical Engineering School. His recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research proposes that lightning is the result of a triggering effect by the entry into the atmosphere of high energy particles (muons) from space. Without the added energy, it has proven impossible to understand how cloud charges alone could reach thresholds sufficient to bridge air gaps. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 135304.htm for a brief summary. This seems encouraging support for EU theory.

Lastly, I think that the empathy displayed in this thread for the passengers and crew is testimony to the generous heart of this forum.

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MrAmsterdam
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Lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation

Unread post by MrAmsterdam » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:24 am

Hello all,

an hypothesis being checked; are lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation?

then laboratory experiment would be the CLOUD-project at CERN, correct?

The field experiment would be;

Monte Carlo simulations of air showers in atmospheric electric fields

S. Buitinka, T. Huegeb, H. Falckea, D. Heckb and J. Kuijpersa

Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands

bInstitut für Kernphysik, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany

Received 19 February 2009;
revised 14 September 2009;
accepted 20 October 2009.
Available online 5 November 2009.

Abstract

The development of cosmic ray air showers can be influenced by atmospheric electric fields. Under fair weather conditions these fields are small, but the strong fields inside thunderstorms can have a significant effect on the electromagnetic component of a shower. Understanding this effect is particularly important for radio detection of air showers, since the radio emission is produced by the shower electrons and positrons. We perform Monte Carlo simulations to calculate the effects of different electric field configurations on the shower development. We find that the electric field becomes important for values of the order of 1 kV/cm. Not only can the energy distribution of electrons and positrons change significantly for such field strengths, it is also possible that runaway electron breakdown occurs at high altitudes, which is an important effect in lightning initiation.

Keywords: Cosmic rays; Extensive air showers; Atmospheric electricity; Radiation by moving charges; Computer modeling and simulation

article link;
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_o ... 8831a29148

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is another brief summary of the article on the Radboud Universty Nijmegen - website

Original article in dutch; http://www.ru.nl/wetenschapsagenda/huid ... he_inslag/

translated by google in english;
http://translate.google.com/translate?j ... auto&tl=en
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Schoolkids helping out;

For several years Dutch high-schools have been participating in a study of cosmic rays.

http://www.hisparc.nl/introduction-en.php
Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -Nikola Tesla -1934

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The Great Dog
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Re: Lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation

Unread post by The Great Dog » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:14 am

Don't forget Henrik Svensmark's Danish pack:

The Cloud Mystery

TGD
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jjohnson
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Re: Lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation

Unread post by jjohnson » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:06 pm

Recently we were discussing whether terrestrial lightning can cause cosmic rays, and now this topic conjectures whether cosmic rays may be causing lightning by electron runaway effects at high altitudes. Sort of looks like the old chick and egg question.

I am not so sure I would consider Monte Carlo simulations to be field experiments, although they can be a good tool for searching through the probabilities of various scenarios under a variety of assumed conditions. No model is better than the information put into it, so not only the physical conditions but the theory of how everything interacts need to be good for the model to validate (or disprove) the theory. Should be interesting to see what results are announced.

Great Dog, nice link. The book looks very interesting. $igh...

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The Great Dog
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Re: Lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation

Unread post by The Great Dog » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:37 pm

Watch The Cloud Mystery on Youtube: nix dukets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKoUwttE0BA

They bark in Danish but have subtitles.

TGD
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The Great Dog
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Re: Lightning and clouds caused by cosmic radiation

Unread post by The Great Dog » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:02 pm

Svensmark is conducting an experiment to confirm his ion/cloud cover hypothesis:

Svensmark's SKY Experiment

TGD
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