Despite what you think, you won't have flown through a thunderstorm.

Even though air regulations require pilots to remain at least 20 miles from storms, many anxious flyers will  still claim that they have flown in, or through a thunderstorm. This false belief is a major cause of a fear of flying and is one of the reasons that fearful flyers don't want to fly to hot destinations!


During the day, the air is heated by the ground and rises. This air mass continues to rise until it is as cool as the surrounding air; when it reaches this level the moisture in the air is released and forms a cloud.

Curiously though under some circumstances the cloud can actually stay warmer than the surrounding air and so it continues to rise. When this happens a thunderstorm can occur.

A thunderstorm starts as an ordinary fluffy cloud but continues to develop rather than reaching a steady state at a lower height. The circumstances … the weather radar in the cockpit will show the presence of thunderstorm activity from a distance … which means that the pilots have at least … minutes to plan navigating around them. Pilots will inform … and pilots will always inform … of any thunderstorm activity.

When lightning strikes an aircraft the plane acts like a Faraday’s Cage … Lightning does not affect the …. Remember:

  • Your aircraft will not be flown through a thunderstorm.
  • Lightning is not a danger to aircraft.
  • It is likely to be turbulent in the vicinity of a thunderstorm.
  • There’s more help about thunderstorms and turbulence on Premium
(Thunderstorms CD Set Disc 2 Track 10).

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