Watch | Dutch pilot struggles to maintain control as aircraft’s canopy opens mid-air

The incident occurred during the training session


Imagine this! What would you do if a plane's canopy all of a sudden burst open mid-air? Fear and panic are likely to grip before figuring out how to manage the situation. Such a frightening situation happened with Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan. 

A video shared by the pilot on social media shocked the users. In the video, she struggled to maintain control of her Extra 330LX aircraft. 

The aircraft's canopy, a transparent enclosure that protects the cockpit unexpectedly opened mid-air. The incident occurred a couple of years ago when Melkumjan was on her second aerobatic training flight. 

In the video, she toiled to keep her eyes open against the wind. However, she applied all her skills to land the two-seater safely. 

"It was a challenging experience that could have been avoided if I had made a proper visual check before taking off...The canopy locking pin had never gone into the locked position, and I failed to notice it during my checks" she wrote. 

"Additionally, flying without any eye protection made the flight even more challenging than it already was," she added. 

She explained that the flight was a "distressing experience, filled with noise, breathing difficulties and impaired visibility. 

"It took me nearly 28 hours to fully recover my vision. Aerodynamically, I’ve experienced some buffet and controllability challenges. Probably the most difficult part was to keep the power in, thus trading my vision and breathing for kinetic energy," said Melkumjan. 

Sharing the footage, Melkumjan urged all her fellow pilots to be safe. “I hope that my story serves as a cautionary tale and that you will learn from my mistakes,” she said. 

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