June 4, 2019 5:01 pm

‘Absolutely crazy experience’: Pilot shoots video of Ottawa tornado from above

WATCH: Pilot Jonathan Hilaire was was forced to divert his landing due to tornado threats, but not before he managed to film the storm.


While airborne over Ottawa, a pilot captured video of a large funnel cloud that ripped through the city’s east end on Sunday evening.

Jonathan Hilaire was aboard an Aero L-29 Delfin, a plane used by the Russians during the Cold War, and en route from an air show in Montreal when the funnel cloud formed.

“It was an absolutely crazy experience, one I felt humbled to see,” said Hilaire.

READ MORE: Tornadoes over Ottawa just ‘bad luck’ says Environment Canada

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The pilot is a volunteer with ACM Warbirds of Canada, a group that helps bring specialized aircraft like the one Hilaire was helping pilot to audiences across the country.

Hilaire said they had originally planned to land in Gatineau on Sunday evening, but the storm was too close to the city’s airport, so they were rerouted to Ottawa International Airport.

“We saw a thunderstorm growing and growing,” said Hilaire.

Suddenly, Hilaire said they noticed a tornado forming in the storm clouds to their right.

The pilot had his phone at the ready, and was able to film the tornado, which caused damaged to homes and trees in Orléans.

WATCH: Multiple cellphone videos show tornado touching down near Ottawa

When asked, Hilaire said the pilots weren’t afraid of the tornado. Instead, they were more focused on landing before they ran out of fuel.

It was only when they landed and realized the tornado had moved from the water to the land, Hilaire said, that he became concerned.

“Once I saw the flying debris, I was more worried for the people nearby,” said Hilaire.

As of Tuesday, only one minor injury has been reported as a result of the tornado.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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