Pilot, plane OK after CF-18 hit by lightning near Whitecourt

The pilot of a CF-18 on its way to an air show in northwestern Alberta landed safely Thursday morning after it was struck by lightning.

WHITECOURT — The pilot of a CF-18 on its way to an air show in northwestern Alberta landed safely Thursday morning after it was struck by lightning.

Whitecourt airport manager William Stewart says the pilot reported the plane’s electronics flashed, but that the jet still flew OK.

“He said the electronics did a flash on him and he had a tingling sensation during the strike, but after that, everything seemed to function as it was supposed to,” Stewart said.

Stewart said local firefighters rushed to the airport as a precaution and were there to greet the fighter jet.

He said the plane landed without incident and the pilot was fine.

“I couldn’t see any visible damage on the aircraft and the pilot gave it a bit of a look-over while I was over by it, and he didn’t seem to see anything. So I’m sure they’ll be giving it a full once-over before it goes out.”

The military said it was still checking on the incident.

Whitecourt is about 175 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

The CF-18 demonstration team is among numerous performers on the bill at the Hometown Heroes air show in Whitecourt. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Skyhawks parachute team will also be there.

“Thankfully, our incidents are few and far between,” Stewart said.

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