WATCH: Dutch Pilot Skilfully Lands Plane After Canopy Bursts Open Mid-Flight

A female Dutch pilot, Narine Melkumjan, showed incredible skill and composure when she successfully landed her small plane after the canopy shattered mid-flight.

On the weekend, Melkumjan took to social media to share “distressing” footage from an incident during her second-ever aerobatic training flight several years ago. In her Extra 330LX aircraft, the canopy suddenly burst open and shattered, leaving her struggling to maintain control in a chaotic environment.

“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,” Melkumjan wrote alongside the four-minute clip. She talked about the difficulty of managing aerodynamic buffeting and control problems, saying that the most challenging aspect was holding on to the power, which hindered her breathing and eyesight in favor of kinetic energy.

“Although it was difficult to hear what my coach was saying on the radio due to all the noise, one thing I’ve heard loud and clear was ‘just keep flying,’” Melkumjan recounted.

Melkumjan acknowledged that appropriate pre-flight testing could have prevented the ordeal. “The canopy locking pin had never gone into the locked position, and I failed to notice it during my checks,” she said. She also thought back on the error of attending the training camp immediately following her recovery from COVID-19 without giving her body enough time to recover fully.

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

Her love of aviation is evident in her social media accounts, full of her flying adventures. Melkumjan wants to use this recent experience as a “cautionary tale” for other pilots, highlighting the significance of careful testing and planning before every flight.

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