What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Schneider?

What's that you're doing, Mr. Schneider?
© Sonja Brüggemann/LH Technik

Robert Schneider, 33,

Avionics Technician

… has been working at Lufthansa Technik in Munich for 14 years

“I am measuring the electrical resistance of a static discharger, a small, but very important component on the trailing edge of the wings. The static discharger looks vaguely like an aerial, and its purpose is to discharge static electricity, which can be caused by friction, for example. You may remember the basic principle from physics classes: The classic experiment involves rubbing a balloon and holding it up to your hair, which then stands on end as if magnetically attracted by the balloon. The main cause of friction in aircraft is the air that rushes past it at high speed. The static charge this creates can disrupt communication and navigation instruments, and it has to be discharged into the environment. We routinely check the static dischargers – each aircraft has several. If their electrical resistance is too low, they will no longer function properly, and so we replace them. This is easily and quickly done with an Allen key.”