Hornet Demo Pilot Hit By Lightning UPDATE: Status & video of first flight since.
July 25, Whitecourt, Alberta 3 pm.
Exclusive video of Captain Adam 'Manik' Runge's first flight since yesterday's lightning strike. Today's weather at Whitecourt was wet and very windy but no lightning!
July 25, Whitecourt, Alberta. 11:00 am.
Just spoke with Captain Runge who said, "The flight surgeon and I are confident that there are no adverse effects from the strike. Im cleared to continue my normal routine. The jet has been thoroughly inspected and is ready to fly in this weekend's activities." Good news for him and the Hometown Heroes Air Show.
Photos: Captain Runge at this morning's briefing getting a new helmet from the Canadian Forces Skyhawks Parachute Team & The RCAF 90th Anniversary Demonstration Team CF-18 Hornet at Whitecourt.
July 24. Whitecourt, Alberta.
CF-18 Demonstration Team Pilot Captain Adam 'Manik' Runge said, "it was like someone hit my helmet with a hammer", describing what it was like to be hit by lightning while flying the Hornet today. He told me upon my arrival here in Whitecourt, Alberta, “a clearly defined bolt stretched from the clouds towards the aircraft and hit around the cockpit area, making a crackling sound and giving me a tingling sensation". He was about 10 minutes away from the airport when the strike occurred. The storm cell that moved through the region brought a lot of rain, hail the size of golf balls and plenty of lightning. Captain Runge did not declare an emergency and although the jet did lose power for a moment, he was able to land safely. During dinner this evening Adam told me he feels fine and that the Demonstration Hornet will be inspected again before the rehearsal tomorrow for this weekend's Hometown Heroes Air Show.
Although it is not uncommon for an aircraft to be hit by lightning and Captain Runge isn't the first Hornet driver to take a strike the story is getting a lot of press.
Photo Credit: CF-18 Demonstration Team.