Watch: What Pilot Does After Plane's Canopy Bursts Open Mid-Air

Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan faced a dangerous situation during her aerobatic training flight when her aircraft's canopy unexpectedly opened mid-air.

Watch: What Pilot Does After Plane's Canopy Bursts Open Mid-Air

Narine Melkumjan was on her second aerobatic training flight.

Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan faced a frightening situation when her aircraft's canopy unexpectedly opened mid-air. A video she shared on social media showed the terrifying moment Melkumjan grappled to maintain control of her Extra 330LX aircraft.

Melkumjan, on her second aerobatic training flight a couple of years ago, appeared visibly distraught in the clip, toiling to keep her eyes open against the wind. After the canopy, a transparent enclosure that protects the cockpit of an aircraft, unexpectedly burst open, she applied all her skills to land the two-seater safely.

Reflecting on the ordeal, Melkumjan acknowledged that the experience could have been avoided had she conducted proper pre-flight checks.

She admitted that the canopy locking pin was not properly secured before takeoff.

“I also made the mistake of going to the training camp right after recovering from COVID, without allowing my body enough time to fully regain strength. Additionally, flying without any eye protection made the flight even more challenging than it already was,” she wrote in a lengthy post on X. 

She said she experienced some “buffet and controllability challenges,” revealing the “most difficult part was to keep the power in, thus trading my vision and breathing for kinetic energy.”

Amid the chaos, communication with her coach became almost impossible due to the noise, yet she distinctly remembered the crucial advice – "Just keep flying."

She described the distressing aftermath, including the overwhelming noise, difficulties breathing and impaired visibility that followed.

"It took me nearly 28 hours to fully recover my vision," Melkumjan revealed. 

Melkumjan, known for her frequent posts of flying videos on social media, revealed that sharing the footage of her dramatic flight served as a "cautionary tale" for other pilots and that she regretted not sharing it sooner.

“If you are a pilot watching this, I hope that my story serves as a cautionary tale and that you will learn from my mistakes,” she wrote.

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