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Terrifying moment pilot's canopy suddenly opens mid-flight

Terrifying moment pilot's canopy suddenly opens mid-flight

Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan was mid-air when the plane's canopy opened and shattered

A pilot has issued an important warning after the canopy of the plane she was flying came crashing open mid-flight.

Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan was flying a Extra 330LX, which has a top speed of over 410 km/h, when tragedy struck.

Mid-flight, the plane's canopy flew open and shattered, leaving Narine vulnerable to the elements.

The moment was caught on camera as Narine, who wasn't wearing any head or eyewear, tried to work out what to do.

By means of a miracle, she was able to safely land the aircraft and has now issued a grave warning to other pilots.

While the ordeal happened a couple of years ago, Narine has only just shared her experience on social media.

Alongside the terrifying video, Narine penned on Instagram: "A couple of years ago during my second aerobatic training flight of that day, on a very hot summer day, the canopy of the Extra 330LX that I was flying opened in flight and shattered."

The canopy flew open after Narine took a turn. (narinemelkumjan/Instagram)
The canopy flew open after Narine took a turn. (narinemelkumjan/Instagram)

She continued: "As you can see from the video, 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."

Narine went on to explain that she was still recovering from COVID at the time and in hindsight realised she had not given herself enough time to 'fully regain strength' again.

"The flight was a distressing experience, filled with noise, breathing difficulties, and impaired visibility," she continued. "It took me nearly 28 hours to fully recover my vision. Aerodynamically, I’ve experienced some buffeting and controllability challenges. Probably the most difficult part was to keep the power in, thus trading my vision and breathing for kinetic energy."

It took Narine 28 hours to fully regain her vision after the ordeal. (narinemelkumjan/Instagram)
It took Narine 28 hours to fully regain her vision after the ordeal. (narinemelkumjan/Instagram)

As to why she's only just sharing the video now, Narine said that she hopes that others will learn from her mistakes.

"I have come to realize how important it is to be transparent about our shortcomings and the lessons we learn along the way," said the pilot.

People have since applauded Narine for sharing the clip and reassured her that 'everybody makes mistakes'.

"Don’t beat yourself up," wrote one. "EVERY ONE OF US who flies have made mistakes big and small alike."

A second said: "Thanks for your humility and lesson in life not just flying."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@narinemelkumjan

Topics: Social Media