A whole bunch of go-arounds turned the JFK airspace into a tangled web of flight paths
Shortly after noon today at New York’s JFK airport, a powerful thunderstorm cell with cloud tops of 40,000 feet passed over the field and subsequently turned the NY airspace into a tangled mess.
Lightning struck the field a first time, taking down the airport’s runway visual range (RVR) equipment, which is used to measure exactly how far a pilot in the center of the runway is able to see the center line markings. Lightning strikes happen and equipment failures occur all the time, butmoments later, lightning struck yet again, this time taking out the ILS glide slope for runway 4R, the active runway. At that moment, several international heavies were on final approach, forcing missed approaches and go-arounds.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner wing inside the Boeing factory.
Jon Ostrower on his FlightBlogger site posted a story late last night on how thousands of improperly coated fasteners inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s wing need to be replaced to help protect against lightning strikes.
The FAA requires that all joints and fasteners not produce sparks around fuel after a lightening strike. Since the majority of the aircraft is made of composites, it is vunerable to arcing from one metal part to another. Boeing flies their test fleet of Boeing 787s with special anti-static additives. When the first Dreamliner, ZA001, was hit with lightening, it received no damage. 35 Boeing 787’s that have already been built which will require the re-work, which will take weeks per Dreamliner.
Check out Ostrower’s story for more information.