When you are flying at 30,000 feet, the worst thing to happen is not your canopy falling off of the jet. However, it still is an unpleasant experience and can be disastrous as well. The incident didn’t matter to the crew of an Israeli Air Force F-15.
The two-person crew had to face the relentless wind and freezing temperatures once the cockpit’s canopy detached during the flight. They were exposed to the harsh elements but were able to land the jet at a nearby military airfield. This is the third time in the history that an F-15 cockpit’s canopy detached during the flight. Luckily, in all three instances; the aircrew was able to land the plane without an accident safely.
This particular incident took place on 2nd January and involved a two-seat F-15. The F-15 took off from Tel Nof Airfield in central Israel. The aircraft was able to ascend quickly to 30,000 feet with a southerly heading. Soon enough, the crew heard a loud noise followed by the cockpit’s canopy disappearing. Once the canopy fell to Earth, the two pilots were left exposed to harsh winds, deafening noise, and turbulence. The loss of canopy also subjugated the pilots to well below zero temperatures of .45 degrees Celsius.
An audio recording of the incident involving F-15 was posted online. In the audio, you can hear the aircrew discussing the routine matters when one of them says, ‘the canopy is breaking.’ This is followed by shouting and the sound of gushing wind. The pilot radios ground control, saying, ‘coming in for a lnading at the nearest base without a canopy. Please confirm.’
The pilot and the navigator had to shout for confirming that none of them was hurt. Once the discussion is over, they slow down the plane to 200mph and prepare to land at a nearby Nevatim Air Base. The F-15 landed while making use of arresting cables. The arresting cables are used for slowing down a plane during emergency landing.
The Israeli Air Force has ordered to ground all F-15 aircraft pending the results of an investigation to figure out the root cause.