RE: Ignition system trouble shooting
I've had 2 close calls with lightning.
Long, long,....long ago, when technology was still quite low tech, I was changing an engine on a (full size) B707, with the help of a mobile crane, in the open tarmac. It was not really raining heavily, just drizzling, with a very dark overcast sky. A few of us were standing on the engine stand, with the crane cable attached to the engine stand, and pointed straight into the sky. This steel engine stand supports the engine with the crane once the engine mount bolts are disconnected.
Suddenly all of us felt an electric shock, and we all jumped off the engine stand, actually we fell off. Apparently, a small bolt of lightning had hit the top of the crane, and fortunately I think most of the electric current went thru the aircraft instead of us, since we did not really have a direct connection with any earth. We did not suffer any after effects from the jolt. Then it was "down tools" till the storm blew over.
I used to live in a 25 storey flat (apartment block) on the top floor. Whenever there was a thunderstorm I just loved to stand at my window and watch the rain and lightning flashing all over.
Just above my head, a bit to one side, at the extreme top corner of the flat was a lightning conductor rod. Suddenly, there was a loud noise, similar to the sound that electric arc welding makes, and a whole shower of sparks fell in front of me. It appeared that lightning had struck the lightning conductor rod. Needless to say, I hurriedly closed the window and went deep into the safety of my room.
Strange thing is, on both occasions, I did not remember hearing the thunder itself. Just a sound similar to that made by a big spark.
It has been said that Singapore is one of the most lightning struck places in the world. Not sure how true that is.
Be careful when there is lightning activity around. Lightning can strike up to 5 or more KM away from where the thundercloud is. I always stop flying the moment I spot a lightning bolt anywhere in the sky, no matter how far away it looks or how clear my part of the sky is.