Home / Funny / Viral / Talented Pilot Lands Her Plane After Canopy Opens And Shatters Mid Air


Although many people are afraid of flying, composer and pilot Narine Melkumjan's fear reached a completely new level. Her Extra 330LX monoplane's glass canopy unexpectedly flew open and broke during an aerobatic training flight, leaving her vulnerable to the strong winds. Melkumjan remembers the flight as being "a distressing experience, filled with noise, breathing difficulties, and impaired visibility." "It took me almost two days to get my vision back to normal." She posted a terrifying video of the incident to social media, showing the moment the canopy suddenly broke apart and swung open as she started to roll like a barrel. She was forced to make a fast landing, and she struggled to keep control of the aircraft.

Melkumjan acknowledges, "It was probably the hardest part to keep the power in, trading my breathing and vision for kinetic energy." "Just keep flying," was the message I heard loud and clear, even though it was hard to hear my coach over the radio because of all the noise.

Thankfully, Melkumjan maintained her composure and made a safe landing, but the upsetting event provided a harsh reminder of how important comprehensive pre-flight inspections are.

Melkumjan acknowledged that the day of the flight she wasn't in optimal physical condition. She stated on Instagram, "I also made the mistake of attending the training camp immediately after recovering from COVID, without giving my body enough time to fully regain strength." "In addition, the flight was even more difficult than it had to be because I was flying without eye protection."

A few years after the incident, Melkumjan made the decision to release the flight footage in the hopes that other pilots would be guided by her mistakes. "I hope my story serves as a cautionary tale if you are a pilot watching this," she says. "I apologize for the delay in sharing this video footage. Putting my vulnerabilities in the public eye is difficult. But I've come to see how crucial it is to be open about our failings and the lessons we pick up along the way.

Melkumjan calls herself the "flying pianist" because she writes her own music inspired by her experiences in the air in addition to being a talented pianist. 

She explained, “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.” 

Article Tags: Viral Mid Air Canopy Pilot

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