Re: Lightning!

Subject Re: Lightning!
From (Andy Wardley)
Date Thu, 8 Jan 1998 08:55:33 GMT
Newsgroups rec.kites
G. Helms <> wrote:
> What do most kite owners do when it rains, and when there's
> significant cumulus development that is likely to be Tstorms?

David Gomberg laughs in the face of such dangers! When it's not raining, I hear he goes looking for electricity sub-stations to get tangled up in.

Seriously though, I've never heard of anyone getting zapped by lighting from a kite, but then I've never heard of anyone being crushed by a steam roller. I'm sure the threat is real enough.

I read in an outdoor survival book that you can often tell if you're about to be hit by lightning because you feel your hair stand on end and a static-like 'crackle' about yourself. At this point, you should throw yourself flat out on the ground and try to make as much earth contact as possible. Like falling off the top of a building - it's not the fall that kills you [1] but the stop at the end - it's not being hit by the electricity that's dangerous, but it flowing through you. If you can give it a better route to earth (preferably by-passing your squidgy water-based conductive body altogether), then that's a good thing. But as already noted, the surrounding explosion as the air super-heats can make you toast.

There was a kid I was at school with who got hit by lighting twice in the space of a few years. The second time he was crossing a playing field in the school ground and got sparked in view of a dozen or so witnesses. He was absolutely fine, but his raincoat was badly burned. Freaky.



1 ] A parachute instructor once told me that you bounce quite high when you hit the deck sans parachute. He says that's it's usually not the first impact that kills you, but you live to do a couple of bounces which finish you off. Thus, the secret to surviving a main and reserve chute failure is to hit the ground and HOLD ON REALLY TIGHT!