Footage of a rare event began making the rounds on social media, showing the moment an F-18 fighter jet was struck by lightning. Not only does the clip clearly show the bolt of electricity coursing through the air, but the camera also captures the pilot’s reaction, showing how even a fighter pilot can’t control their instincts all of the time.
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The short video features a Kuwaiti pilot who, according to a report by USA Today, goes by the handle Viper.
As the lightning hits, the pilot recoils, unable to fight the urge to take cover.
After the strike, a mark can be seen on the canopy glass. The aircraft itself was otherwise undamaged and remained fully operational.
Viper sent the clip to Jack Barquist, a San Diego area certified pathologists assistant who also holds a private pilot’s license.
Barquist shared the footage on Facebook and Instagram. On Instagram, the video was viewed over 85,000 times. On Facebook, in less than 24 hours, it received more than 94,000 views.
During an interview, Barquist stated that he only has “limited” information about the clip, adding, “What a crazy video and the odds of a strike like that.”
Most of the social media commenters posted messages conveying their surprise after viewing the clip, labeling the incident an “oh s***” moment. Some even hoped that the pilot “wore his brown pants” during the flight.
Other social media users asserted that the aircraft is capable of handling lightning strikes without any serious repercussions, aside from the minor damage to the canopy.