Air Canada Aircraft Struck By Lightning in Vancouver

Air Canada Aircraft Struck By Lightning in Vancouver
John Taggart from Claydon Banbury, Oxfordshire, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER was struck by lightning after departure from Vancouver bound for London.

The rare event was caught on camera by someone at the airport, which shows the event in question.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Air Canada Flight AC860 Vancouver-London…

Air Canada Aircraft Struck By Lightning in Vancouver
Data provided by
Air Canada Aircraft Struck By Lightning in Vancouver
Credit: Ethan West.

Air Canada flight AC860 is a routine scheduled flight between Vancouver and London Heathrow.

Also, for the incident in question, AC860 was operated by C-FITU.

As per data from, C-FITU is a 16.9 year old Boeing 777-300ER.

The aircraft was delivered to Air Canada back in April 2007.

Furthermore, of the 777-300ER variant, the airline has 19 of them in the fleet, of which 18 are in active service and one is currently parked.

For the 777-300ER variant in the fleet, they hold an average fleet age of 13.7 years.

The Incident In Full View…

Credit: Ethan West.

Air Canada flight AC860 departed Vancouver at 1857 local time on March 4.

As you can see from the video above, you can see that moments after departure, the aircraft is struck by lightning.

Furthermore, data from RadarBox shows that despite this lightning strike, the crew found it safe enough to continue to London Heathrow.

C-FITU landed into Heathrow at 1203 local time the next day.

In some cases, lightning strikes can be serious enough to force a return back to their origin airfield.

However in this case, it is clear that the pilots made the relevant assessments and deemed the flight still safe to operate.


N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overall, this was a very rare event to happen to an aircraft like the Air Canada Boeing 777 from Vancouver to London Heathrow.

The footage is definitely something that creates awe and shock, but aircraft can withstand these strikes.

C-FITU remained on the ground in London Heathrow for around 5-6 hours after arrival, before proceeding on to Toronto.

So, in this case, it shows that any damage experienced on the aircraft was minor from the lightning strike.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 3 Min Read
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