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Airmen escape uninjured after lightning strike on Eglin Air Force Base flightline

Two airmen from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida were sent to the hospital but were released without injuries after an indirect lightning strike on the flightline Wednesday night.

The 53rd Wing said in an email that the airmen were assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and they were in the process of clearing the flightline when a nearby indirect lightning strike occurred about 8:20 p.m. One airman was closing an F-35 canopy, and the other was winding up a grounding wire, 53rd spokeswoman Maj. Ashley Conner said.

The airmen were taken to the emergency room at Eglin for observation, Conner said. No aircraft or equipment were damaged.

Conner said that flightlines are cleared when lightning is observed or lightning warnings are issued.

News of the lightning strike was first reported on the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page.

The 34th is at Eglin to take part in the Combat Hammer exercise, which evaluates precision-guided air-to-ground weapons for their reliability, maintainability, suitability and accuracy. The 86th Fighter Weapon Squadron, which is part of Eglin’s 53rd Wing, hosts Combat Hammer at Eglin and Hill four times a year.

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