|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zfw.artcc|
|Altitude||msl single value : 38000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zfw.artcc|
|Make Model Name||A320|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 210|
flight time total : 10000
flight time type : 6000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
inflight encounter : weather
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : ecam|
other flight crewa
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
At FL380; approximately 40-50 mi east of a line of thunderstorms; deviating in area that had reported deviations in only light chop with light precipitation in cloud tops. No convective activity was painting along our flight path. We had seated the passenger earlier and had advised the purser of potential turbulence despite other's ride reports to the contrary. Throughout this area we had intermittent light chop with only a few moderate bumps. Nearly simultaneously we had flash of lightning with clap of thunder and an unusual 20C-25C rise in outside air temperature to approximately -32 degrees C. Immediately following these meteorological events we had an engine #2 stall ECAM but no unusual engine indications. Egt stayed steady; thrust remained normal and except for the ECAM you would not have guessed there was anything amiss. This ECAM cleared on its own within a few seconds; but was followed by engine #1 and engine #2 EPR mode fault ecams. We selected engine anti-ice on and turned further east to put even more distance between us and the WX to the west. Engine operation was normal except for the EPR mode failures and subsequent lack of autothrottle. Because of the simultaneous nature of these events and the subsequent engine indications; we assumed that we had been struck by lightning and that had caused an electrical anomaly that had tripped the fadec's/eec's EPR modes rather than had an actual engine stall. In any case; the WX passed behind us; the EPR modes were restored; and the flight continued uneventfully to destination. Postflt maintenance follow-up may not find any evidence of lightning strike. It certainly wasn't a classic lightning strike if; in fact; it was a strike at all. The unusual temperature rise at FL380 might have generated some probe icing that triggered these events and the lightning may have been nothing more than a distraction. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter stated the radar was not painting any intense cells and were clear of any visible cloud tops. Experienced a flash of lightning and thunder and a very unusual 20-25 degree outside air temperature rise. Not the usual lightning strike as the noise was not extremely loud and it was doubted that in fact it was a strike. The engine #1 and engine #2 'EPR mode fault' ECAM warnings were restored by deselecting the EPR mode and everything was normal. On the ground; the lightning strike was verified as maintenance found burned discharge spots on the aft cargo door that required burnishing and repainting.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN A319 IN CRUISE AT FL380 40-50 MI FROM A LINE OF TSTMS INCURRED A LIGHTNING STRIKE. HAD ENG #1 AND ENG #2 'EPR MODE FAULT' ECAM WARNINGS.
Narrative: AT FL380; APPROX 40-50 MI E OF A LINE OF TSTMS; DEVIATING IN AREA THAT HAD RPTED DEVS IN ONLY LIGHT CHOP WITH LIGHT PRECIP IN CLOUD TOPS. NO CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY WAS PAINTING ALONG OUR FLT PATH. WE HAD SEATED THE PAX EARLIER AND HAD ADVISED THE PURSER OF POTENTIAL TURB DESPITE OTHER'S RIDE RPTS TO THE CONTRARY. THROUGHOUT THIS AREA WE HAD INTERMITTENT LIGHT CHOP WITH ONLY A FEW MODERATE BUMPS. NEARLY SIMULTANEOUSLY WE HAD FLASH OF LIGHTNING WITH CLAP OF THUNDER AND AN UNUSUAL 20C-25C RISE IN OUTSIDE AIR TEMP TO APPROX -32 DEGS C. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THESE METEOROLOGICAL EVENTS WE HAD AN ENG #2 STALL ECAM BUT NO UNUSUAL ENG INDICATIONS. EGT STAYED STEADY; THRUST REMAINED NORMAL AND EXCEPT FOR THE ECAM YOU WOULD NOT HAVE GUESSED THERE WAS ANYTHING AMISS. THIS ECAM CLRED ON ITS OWN WITHIN A FEW SECONDS; BUT WAS FOLLOWED BY ENG #1 AND ENG #2 EPR MODE FAULT ECAMS. WE SELECTED ENG ANTI-ICE ON AND TURNED FURTHER E TO PUT EVEN MORE DISTANCE BTWN US AND THE WX TO THE W. ENG OP WAS NORMAL EXCEPT FOR THE EPR MODE FAILURES AND SUBSEQUENT LACK OF AUTOTHROTTLE. BECAUSE OF THE SIMULTANEOUS NATURE OF THESE EVENTS AND THE SUBSEQUENT ENG INDICATIONS; WE ASSUMED THAT WE HAD BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND THAT HAD CAUSED AN ELECTRICAL ANOMALY THAT HAD TRIPPED THE FADEC'S/EEC'S EPR MODES RATHER THAN HAD AN ACTUAL ENG STALL. IN ANY CASE; THE WX PASSED BEHIND US; THE EPR MODES WERE RESTORED; AND THE FLT CONTINUED UNEVENTFULLY TO DEST. POSTFLT MAINT FOLLOW-UP MAY NOT FIND ANY EVIDENCE OF LIGHTNING STRIKE. IT CERTAINLY WASN'T A CLASSIC LIGHTNING STRIKE IF; IN FACT; IT WAS A STRIKE AT ALL. THE UNUSUAL TEMP RISE AT FL380 MIGHT HAVE GENERATED SOME PROBE ICING THAT TRIGGERED THESE EVENTS AND THE LIGHTNING MAY HAVE BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN A DISTR. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR STATED THE RADAR WAS NOT PAINTING ANY INTENSE CELLS AND WERE CLR OF ANY VISIBLE CLOUD TOPS. EXPERIENCED A FLASH OF LIGHTNING AND THUNDER AND A VERY UNUSUAL 20-25 DEG OUTSIDE AIR TEMP RISE. NOT THE USUAL LIGHTNING STRIKE AS THE NOISE WAS NOT EXTREMELY LOUD AND IT WAS DOUBTED THAT IN FACT IT WAS A STRIKE. THE ENG #1 AND ENG #2 'EPR MODE FAULT' ECAM WARNINGS WERE RESTORED BY DESELECTING THE EPR MODE AND EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL. ON THE GND; THE LIGHTNING STRIKE WAS VERIFIED AS MAINT FOUND BURNED DISCHARGE SPOTS ON THE AFT CARGO DOOR THAT REQUIRED BURNISHING AND REPAINTING.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.