What happens when lightening strikes an airplane?
According to Edward J Rupke, senior engineer at Lighting Technologies, Inc., not much. (Image courtesy of Edward J. Rupke and borrowed from Scientific American.com.)
Although passengers and crew may see a flash and hear a loud noise if lightning strikes their plane, nothing serious should happen because of the careful lightning protection engineered into the aircraft and its sensitive components.
I have been asked that question many times and, though I have never heard anything to make me worry much about it, I did not know the details of the answer. You can read the full article at Scientific American. Ask the Experts: Physics: What happens when lightning strikes an airplane?