As 2018 leaves the world to be replaced by 2019, reports from early celebration points like Australia noted that heavy thunderstorms and lightning drenched and delayed, or even cancelled the traditionally held New Years’ fireworks displays. But for a Kuwaiti pilot of an F/A-18 Hornet, the experience was much, much more personal.
The moment when a lightning strike hit an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet was captured on video by a cockpit cam. The jolt has left the pilot visibly shaken and even left markings on the plane’s canopy.
The video posted by a Kuwaiti fighter jet pilot shows his daring experience when the skies scored a direct lightning strike on his plane.
The strike was heard within the cockpit as a loud thump and made the pilot squirm in his seat. The bolt left visible markings on the canopy.
While the pilot has walked away from the freak accident unharmed, the plane has reportedly sustained damage. The extent of it, however, was not immediately known.
Modern planes – both civilian and military – are well prepared for such an unlikely occurrence, designed to withstand a lightning strike without damage to crew, passengers or their own vital systems. An (un)lucky strike on a plane’s soft spot – like a nearly empty fuel tank, full of flammable vapors – can easily result in catastrophe, however.
2019 began its arrival on Planet Earth with celebrations in the Far Eastern countries of Australia and New Zealand, but this year that arrival was heralded by severe thunderstorms following a week of record setting hot weather in the region.
It seems that even the elements point at 2018 as a tumultuous year, which it was, but as this pilot would probably say, there is much to be grateful for.