The Truth About Flying Helicopters During Thunderstorms

January 22, 2018 Leave your thoughts

Most people are aware of the dangers that can be associated with thunderstorms. In addition to the potential damage to homes and structures caused by heavy rain and forceful winds, lightning strikes can cause serious injury or even death. While most people are usually able to safely weather a thunderstorm from the safety of their home or another building, there are other scenarios that can leave people seriously vulnerable to lightning. While flying in an airplane or helicopter, thunderstorms become serious threats that can have tragic implications. Some people may underestimate the danger of thunderstorms when it comes to helicopter tours in Montana, but seasoned professionals understand the risks and may delay or halt flights accordingly.

The dangers of lightning strikes

Even though being struck by lightning while you are on the ground is an incredibly unlikely scenario, the risk of lightning strikes affecting aircrafts is much greater. In fact, a helicopter that is passing through a harsh storm can actually promote the development of lightning. This is because helicopters generate negative electrical charges which ignite into lightning when the craft comes into contact with an area of clouds that carry a positive charge.

Because unforeseen lightning storms are an occurrence that many helicopter pilots will have to contend with at one point or another, it’s common for helicopters to be constructed with thunderstorm safety in mind. In many cases, helicopters designed to withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions can still land safely after being struck by lightning. Although many crews and passengers will be able to achieve a safe return to the ground, the aircraft itself may sustain costly damage that must be repaired before it can take flight again. Some lightning-related damage to major helicopter components can run into the millions of dollars in replacement and repair costs.

Avoiding lightning damage

Even though pilots can’t control the weather, there are certain steps that experienced pilots can take to prevent lightning-related damage and ensure the safety of everyone on board. One of the best ways to avoid being caught off guard by lightning strikes is to understand how thunderstorms behave and how they can impact aircraft. For one thing, it’s important that pilots recognize that lightning can strike aircraft well outside the confines of thunderstorm clouds. Additionally, things like hail and heavy winds can also lead to damage and unsafe conditions.

For these reasons, seasoned pilots have the ability to evaluate and monitor weather patterns closely and determine whether it is safe to fly on any given day. They also understand the importance of safely landing an aircraft if weather becomes threatening. The best way to keep yourself safe during helicopter tours in Montana is to ensure that you hire the best pilots available.

Learn more about helicopter tours in Montana

When you are looking for a provider of helicopter tours in Montana, your first priority should be finding a trustworthy and seasoned pilot. At Rocky Mountain Rotors, we understand how important it is for our pilots to be properly trained and experienced, which is why we are proud to ensure certification and accreditation. Explore our website to find out more about the tours and charters that we have to offer, and schedule your adventure today!

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