A pilot shared a video of her training days when while flying her plane’s canopy burst open mid-air which led to massive discomfort, causing breathing difficulties and impaired visibility.
Narine Melkumjan said she shared the video in the hope that her story serves as a cautionary tale to budding pilots and that they can learn from her mistakes.
“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.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 wrote on X.
She said the incident occurred after she failed to notice that the canopy locking pin had never gone to the locking position.
“The canopy locking pin had never gone into the locked position, and I failed to notice it during my checks. I also made the mistake of going to the training camp right after recovering from COVID, without allowing my body enough time to fully regain strength. Additionally, flying without any eye protection made the flight even more challenging than it already was,” the pilot added.

Melkumjan said after touching the ground it took her nearly 28 hours to “fully recover her vision”, adding that the most difficult part was “trading her vision and breathing for kinetic energy”.
“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. Aerodynamically, I’ve experienced some buffet and controllability challenges. Probably the most difficult part was to keep the power in, thus trading my vision and breathing for kinetic energy,” Melkumjan said.
The pilot said the only thing she heard loud and clear was her coach’s “just keep flying” instruction.
“Although due to all the noise it was difficult to hear what my coach was saying on the radio, one thing I’ve heard loud and clear “just keep flying”. 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 said.