Monday, July 20, 2015

Pilot lauded for heroics

NEW ORLEANS, La. – A pilot with the Navy Reserve's Strike Fighter Squadron 204 was awarded the Air Medal earlier this month for a frightening incident that occurred last year over the Gulf of Mexico. It was July 18, 2014 that Navy Cmdr. Abaxes "Chili" Williams' F/A-18s out of Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base was hit by lightning while he was flying at 23,000 feet. He's had planes hit by lightning before, but this time he felt it and struggled for 25 minutes to wear off the effect and control the fighter until he could return to the Belle Chasse base. The award he received early this month was for saving the $70 million jet, his life and the lives of those on the ground. (Source: Times-Picayune 07/17/15)