That was most likely due to the static charge built up on the skin of your aircraft just from airflow. Rotary wing aircraft are particularly susceptible to this issue. Don't they always have you ground the skin before you put fuel in your plane? I'm not a pilot, but I have spent more than a few hours coming and going off of vaious flight lines, usually hauling a ruck.
I had a Medical instrument the was reported to reboot in a Swedish operating room that had very bad static charge issues. We could not duplicate the problem with a local unit, so the aquired the Swedish unit. I could not get it to fail with my sparky stick. The only clue was it happened when it was set for full volume. The volume control was for a anoying vacume level warbler sound. (so I always set it to minimun) I finnaly tried it at full volume. As it turns out the volume control pot set at maximum allowed a spark into the A/D which latched up the CPU, While a low volume setting sent the spark into ground.
Good idea to pull the batteries. Didn't work, though. Not sure what the right way would be to discharge the alleged capacitor. I might try to remove the batteries and then short the DC + and - together. Otherwise, I'll have to take a look inside.
"I've noticed at our local Walmart that as I push some of the carts, I get a static discharge through my hands. It's really uncomfortable. Have other's noticed this same problem?"
Often you will see some versions of shopping carts with a discharge strap or small chain hanging down rubbing the ground. This also seems to be a greater problem with the newer plastic carts than the older metal carts... There has been alot of info about this problem with a specific retailer which you can find by searching: Wal-martshopping cart static electricity shock.
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