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Briefing October 2012 Issue

Briefing: October 2012

Yet another reason to avoid thunderstorms?

Scientific American published an article last August that many pilots probably missed, but might find worrisome. The article titled “Deadly Rays from Clouds” reveals that thunderstorms might routinely emit gamma rays. Early tests flying around (and slightly inside) thunderstorms detected gamma rays almost continuously at low levels, but they pointed out that a direct blast by the high-energy events that also happen could give passengers and crew of an aircraft a “lifetime’s natural radiation dose in a fraction of a second.” They concluded that this wasn’t a big deal because pilots avoid thunderstorms anyway. Uh, right.

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