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What really happens when lightning strikes a plane — and the clever features that reduce the risk of damage

  • Lighting may have struck the Russian Aeroflot plane that burst into flames on Sunday, killing 41 of the 78 passengers and crew aboard.
  • Over 7,000 US planes are struck by lightning every year.
  • Typically, lighting isn’t a concern during flight because airplanes are engineered to withstand a strike. 
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Although the idea of your next flight being struck by lightning may be terrifying, it’s actually pretty common. Every airplane is struck by lightning about once a year. The lights may flicker, but thanks to some smart engineering, the danger is low.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on November 23, 2016. 

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