Monday, 31 August 2009

Kopp-Etchells Effect

Hello All,

Sincere apologies for the long lay off. Just a small post to keep the wheels of thought of my avid readers spinning with regards to a mysterious phenomenon I came across through a fellow military blogger currently based in Afghanistan. I am hoping for some interesting feedback.

Apparently this phenomenon occurs on some nights when a helo browns-out during landing or take-off due to static electricity generated by friction of dust and other debris brushing past rotor blades. However, it is still a mystery as to what governs the intensity of the halos and why it occurs only in some nights.

Quite interestingly British or American pilots had no fitting name to this breathtaking halo effect until MilBlogger Michael Yon who was embedded with the British Afghan forces quite recently came up with a handle after two soldiers who had laid their lives in Helmand province; Corporal Benjamin Kopp (American Ranger) and Corporal Joseph Etchells (British).

More images can be found here.