Wild Video Shows Pilot’s Canopy Suddenly Open, Shatter Mid Flight

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Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
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A Dutch pilot shared a video Saturday of her small plane’s canopy suddenly bursting open, shattering mid-flight.

Narine Melkumjan shared the footage Saturday on X, saying the incident took place a few years ago during an aerobic training flight on a hot summer day.

“The canopy of the Extra 330LX that I was flying opened in flight and shattered,” she wrote in the post. “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.”

Melkumjan explained that the protective barrier’s lock pin did not properly lock, and she “failed to notice” while inspecting the aircraft prior to take off.

“The flight was a distressing experience, filled with noise, breathing difficulties, and impaired visibility,” she wrote. “It took me nearly 28 hours to fully recover my vision.”

In the over four-minute clip shared on X, Melkumjan can be seen preparing for take-off at the start. The flight appears to be normal until about two minutes into the video.

As Melkumjan appears to be turning, the canopy above her flies open, shattering in the process. Melkumjan can be seen ducking her head slightly as she continues steering the aircraft. She can be seen trying to keep her eyes open as she’s met with harsh wind.

She can be seen landing safely at the end of the video.

Melkumjan wrote her coach was talking to her on the radio throughout the incident, telling her, “just keep flying.”

She noted that flying without eye protection “made the flight even more challenging than it already was.” (RELATED: Two Dead After Plane Crashes Into Mobile Home Park, Officials Say)

Melkumjan hopes fellow pilots can learn from her mistakes.

“It’s not easy to put my vulnerabilities out there for you all to see. However, I have come to [realize] how important it is to be transparent about our shortcomings and the lessons we learn along the way,” she wrote.

“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 added. “To all my fellow pilots out there, stay safe.”