Well when you've got a storm on the flight path, any number of things can go wrong if you don't go over the storm, around the storm, or just turn back. Sadly modern does not mean failure resistant. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Generally Airbus doesn't use a fail-safe design approach to its aircraft. It uses a safe-life approach.
Design philosophies aside, my dad is Boeing engineer of over 30 years and a was a certified pilot. The first cardinal rule he was taught about flying in the presence of a thunderstorm was, stay the f*** out of it. Multiple lightning strikes can cause major problems to your fly by wire systems. Not to mention that in an age where you're seeing more and more composites being used in aircraft, lightning strikes can really damage a structure. Lightning aside, there's also the chance of flying through hale. Perhaps whats even worse is if you're flying straight and level, and suddenly pass into an updraft of winds of say 100mph, that can rip the wings right off the plane. The thing is you can design the hell out of something but it will still have its limits. So who knows, really.
"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Last edited by Akula2ssn : 06-05-2009 at 09:42 PM.