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Old 06-14-2016, 03:26 PM   #15
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Aircraft are electrically grounded when parked in order to equalize the potential between the aircraft and the re-fueling truck (which is also grounded both to the surface of the aircraft AND the earth) to avoid static sparks when refueling.
Aircraft have "static wicks" installed on trailing edges to dissipate static which builds during flight, but the potential for accident/injury can exist once parked unless grounded. The practice has nothing to do with lightning hazards.

Standing near/beneath ANY solitary object during a thunderstorm is hazardous due to lightning strikes, especially in wide-open spaces like airport ramps and fields. The aircraft was likely an attractant to the lightning, whether grounded or not. A person INSIDE the aircraft would have been well protected.

Yes, aircraft struck by lightning usually suffer damage in the form of perforations, avionics damage, spalling-damage of bearings/bushings, and also magnetizing of crankshafts, rotating-shafts (turbines, etc.) and chipped-propeller blades. I've personally been flying aircraft which have been so damaged,... but everyone inside was completely uninjured, some of my pax were unaware until informed.
LMAF, I read your post and the first thought was "Isn't that what I just said."
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:52 PM   #16
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In my first month on our full-timing trial run I sat through a storm at an rv park in Pacifica CA (outside of SF, on a bluff overlooking the ocean). 60+MPH gusts.

The bad part was, it all started about 4am while I was asleep. I had a dream that a flood came down through the park and was carrying the Airstream towards the bluff. I jumped up and started to remove the screen for the emergency window to get out. While doing that, the window started shrinking until it was too small to fit through, but I could see through it and the Airstream was hanging over the edge of the bluff, water gushing over the edge all around me. That's when I woke up, and realized the storm had started. Felt like I was in a crazy wind tunnel or something, it was definitely rocking, not in a good way.

A couple months later we returned to the park and my wife got to experience storm 2.0 in the same location, same or worse winds.

For those storms, people in smaller trailers were definitely leaving. I think if I ever see a forecast for something worse than that I'd try to get out of the storm path.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:50 AM   #17
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I know I'm late to this thread but I travel with a 2.5' copper rod, I have a length of welding cable with eyelets and I bolt it to the trailer then pound the rod into the ground (grass/dirt) so I'm grounded especially when boondocking and using a generator. This was advice from an electrician friend of mine.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:27 PM   #18
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LMAF, I read your post and the first thought was "Isn't that what I just said."
I interpreted your comment to mean that aircraft are grounded in order to avoid lightning. My comment is ...no, that's not why they are grounded. The reason they are grounded is to avoid sparks at the refueling point. The fuel truck is grounded to the airplane, and both are grounded to earth in order to avoid refueling fire hazard...not for lightning protection.

Aircraft within hangars are also usually grounded for the same reason, as they hold a lot of fuel and a simple spark from opening a fuel cap can destroy every aircraft/vehicle/hangar/person/etc nearby.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:31 AM   #19
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I interpreted your comment to mean that aircraft are grounded in order to avoid lightning. My comment is ...no, that's not why they are grounded. The reason they are grounded is to avoid sparks at the refueling point. The fuel truck is grounded to the airplane, and both are grounded to earth in order to avoid refueling fire hazard...not for lightning protection.

Aircraft within hangars are also usually grounded for the same reason, as they hold a lot of fuel and a simple spark from opening a fuel cap can destroy every aircraft/vehicle/hangar/person/etc nearby.
Since you went back an quoted my old post I will respond. After 22 years of Naval Aviation experiance I am well aware of the reasons for grounding aircraft but thank you for making the reasons clear for folks that might not know the reasons.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:06 PM   #20
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Since you went back an quoted my old post I will respond. After 22 years of Naval Aviation experiance I am well aware of the reasons for grounding aircraft but thank you for making the reasons clear for folks that might not know the reasons.
Aye, Aye, Sir!
(And then, I'll bet you know what a Navy Pilot's real job is.)
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