A veteran pilot answers questions on air travel and safety during the monsoon

A veteran pilot answers questions on air travel and safety during the monsoon

The monsoon rains bring in mixed news from across the country. While they bring much-needed respite from the sweltering heat and joy for farmers, incidents like lightning strikes and floods are common, leading to a loss of lives. Monsoon is also one of the most challenging times for air operations and with the help of Hamish Maxwell, senior vice president, flight operations, Vistara, we try to decode how safe air travel is during the monsoon season. The monsoon season in India lasts from early June to October and some parts of the country receive heavy to very heavy rain during this period. Here are answers to some of the questions that concern a traveller during this season: How do aircraft handle lightning strikes? The fuselage of most aircraft in service today is constructed primarily of aluminium, which is an excellent conductor of electricity. Electrical current from a lightning strike is thus able to flow around the fuselage without ever penetrating into the cabin. Newer generation aircraft, such as the B787, have a metal mesh or foil incorporated into the carbon …
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