MC> I was looking at my small coil in operation the other day
MC> (driven by a 15kv 30mA neon and beer bottle salt water
MC> capacitors) and I got to wandering what the effect of
MC> actually getting a shock from the tank circuit would be. Has
MC> there ever been a documented case of someone being electro-
MC> cuted from the tank circuit of a Tesla coil?
It happened here three years ago. I live in St. Louis, Missouri,
USA, home of McDonnell Douglas aircraft manufacturers.
They had a graduate student (intern) working in their aeronautics
lab. They had a Tesla type coil oscillator in the lab and were
using it to test model airframes against the effects of lightning
strikes. They would load test equipment, sensors, avionics, etc..
into a scale airframe suspended from an insulator, turn off the
lights, zap it with a few sparks, and then turn the lights back
The intern got too close to the oscillator tank circuit in the
dark. He either brushed up against a hot tank circuit connector
with his leg, or a spark left the circuit and struck him in the
leg while he was standing too close.
Either way he was dead before he hit the floor. One of the two
full time McDonnell Douglas employees in the room with him was
certified in CPR and had taken his re-certification only 6 weeks
before this incident. CPR was started moments after the intern
received the shock, paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, and he
was in the hospital inside of 20 minutes. Dead on arrival, nobody
in charge of his CPR or transport reported any signs of heart