767 lightning strike inspection

On average, every commercial aircraft is struck by lightning once or twice a year. After the aircraft lands, an inspection must always be performed to assess the state of the aircraft prior to return to service. The Boeing 767 is no exception and here you will learn the ins and outs of lightning strike inspections performed on this aircraft type.  

The development of the Boeing 767 began in 1972 as the successor to the Boeing 707. During its development, it was codenamed 7X7 and the new widebody aircraft was officially launched on July 14th, 1978. The first Boeing 767 entered service with United Airlines in September 1982, having seen a strong market demand over the years.  

How often is a Boeing 767 hit by lightning?

Over the years Boeing has delivered a total of 1,181 aircraft to more than 70 airlines all over the world. Since 2012 there is significant interest in the Boeing 767 as a freighter and this assured production for the coming years.

The Boeing 767 is struck once or twice a year by lightning and given the global fleet in the world, this results in 1,000 to 2,000 lightning strikes per year.

Picture Boeing 767-300 Landing

Are there any incidents with a Boeing 767 caused by lightning strikes?

Picture Boeing 767 ANA damaged radome due to lightning strike

Despite the frequency of lightning strikes, no major aircraft incidents have occurred for the Boeing 767.

In 2015 an All Nippon Airlines Boeing 767 was hit by a bolt of lightning. As a result, Flight ANA/NH303 from Chubu Centrair to Naha was forced to return to Chubu half an hour after taking off due to the oil system malfunction caused by a lightning strike. The post-lightning strike inspection showed that a part of the left flap was peeled off by a bolt of lightning. 

How many man-hours does it take to perform a lightning strike inspection on a Boeing 767?

After the aircraft is struck by lightning, the aircraft is grounded and thoroughly inspected for damage such as pits and burn marks by aircraft maintenance engineers to guarantee its airworthiness before the next flight. The inspection alone requires 2 licensed aircraft maintenance engineers and 10 hours to complete. The total man-hours for a Boeing 767 lightning strike inspection is 20 hours.

To assess the status of the aircraft, the aircraft maintenance engineers will move from station to station, from stringer to stringer, using additional equipment to inspect the top of the fuselage and the tail. The tail is 16 meters high and not easy to reach while the aircraft elevators and stabilizers are blocking the man lifter equipment. Often during the inspection, additional damage can be caused.

Picture Qantas Boeing 767 Radome inspection engineers

How does a drone fit in the aircraft lightning strike inspection process of a Boeing 767?

Picture showing Mainblades drone at Boeing aircraft

The use of drones for aircraft inspections brings game-changing results for the aviation industry and particularly Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) companies and organizations. All aspects of the inspection procedure, from drone flight to report generation, are automated, allowing the ground team to easily analyze and report the status of an aircraft.
In the event of a lightning strike, using a drone to perform aircraft inspection on the Boeing 767 can decrease the inspection time by 60%. A drone can speed up the entire process of the General Visual Inspection (GVI) during a lightning strike inspection, which can now be performed in minutes (60 minutes) instead of hours (10 hours). Our drone will safely fly around the aircraft and capture high-resolution pictures, allowing aircraft maintenance engineers to make a much faster damage assessment.

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767 lightning strike inspection