Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich
Has any RV ever had this problem? I never heard of it - but perhaps you have some data I don’t. If so, I’m sure many would like to know.
I’ve used ADS-B weather when IFR to circumnavigate many thunder bumpers along the East Coast. Never had a problem.
Having flown our RV-10 and previous RV-4 through lots of IFR over the years I have the following personal experiences.
In the RV-4 once while navigating under cumulous clouds around heavy rain, I started feeling the hair on my neck stand up towards the canopy. When moving my arm around the cockpit I noticed the hair on my arm standing strait out toward the canopy. I really don't care to have my muscles artificially stimulated by static electricity so I did not experiment with touching things to find the voltage differential.
Several times again in the RV-4 when flying through snow for a while, had the same experience.
In the RV-10 the only time I thought maybe
there was evidence of static electricity, Had been flying in light rain and clouds IFR for about 1.5-2 hrs solid, near the end of the flight I became aware of a noise that had been periodically happening I am guessing every 8-15 minuets. The sound was a snap like you hear when a plastic water bottle collapses when changing altitude. The part that caught my attention was the last time I heard it right near the end of that flight, at the same time of the "snap" from the corner of my peripheral vision I saw what appeared to be a spark jump from the steel bar that connects the dash to the fiberglass cabin top. The spark basically appeared to jump between the bar and the windscreen. I wanted to see it again for confirmation but was on the approach to landing and slowing down.
I did not observe any adverse effects on the navigation or communication radios.
Based on this, I don't think static wicks are necessary at normal RV- speeds.