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Mid-Air Canopy Catastrophe: Narine’s New Heroic Triumph!

The Incident Unfolds

The thrill of aerobatic flying comes with its fair share of risks, and no one knows this better than Dutch pilot Narine Melkumjan. During her second-ever aerobatic training flight in an Extra 330LX aircraft, she faced an unexpected and terrifying challenge that tested her mettle and flying skills to the limit.

Midway through the flight, Melkumjan experienced a heart-stopping moment when the aircraft’s canopy suddenly burst open. The protective barrier shattered, exposing her to the full force of the wind and the elements at thousands of feet in the air. The video footage of this incident, shared on social media, captures the nail-biting moments that followed as she struggled to regain control and land the plane safely.

Via Narine Melkumjan Instagram

The Mid-Air Crisis

It was supposed to be a routine training flight, but as any seasoned pilot will tell you, the sky is unpredictable. One minute you’re performing a flawless loop, and the next, you’re grappling with a life-threatening emergency. For Melkumjan, the latter scenario became a harsh reality.

The footage shows her immediate reaction to the canopy’s explosion. With the wind beating against her face and the noise level soaring, she fought to keep her eyes open and maintain a firm grip on the controls. The cockpit, usually a place of focus and precision, had transformed into a chaotic whirlwind of wind and noise.

“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 later wrote. Her words convey the sheer physical and mental toll that the incident took on her.

The Battle for Control

In those critical moments, every decision counts. Melkumjan knew she had to stay calm and focused, despite the overwhelming circumstances. “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,” she explained.

Her coach, communicating through the radio, became a lifeline of sorts. Despite the deafening noise, one clear message cut through: “Just keep flying.” This simple yet powerful directive helped Melkumjan center her efforts on what mattered most – maintaining control of the aircraft and preparing for a safe landing.

The Root Cause

After the ordeal, Melkumjan took a reflective look at what went wrong. The canopy locking pin had not gone into the locked position, an oversight that could have been caught with a thorough pre-flight check. “The canopy locking pin had never gone into the locked position and I failed to notice it during my checks,” she admitted.

This incident served as a harsh reminder of the importance of pre-flight checks. Melkumjan also noted that her recent recovery from COVID-19 may have affected her physical condition, making the already challenging flight even more demanding. “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,” she said.

A Lesson for All Pilots

Melkumjan’s experience is a cautionary tale for all pilots, underscoring the importance of meticulous pre-flight inspections and being physically prepared for the demands of flying. She shared her story not just to recount her ordeal but to educate and warn others in the aviation community.

Her social media posts, filled with videos of her flying adventures, now included this sobering episode. “Additionally, flying without any eye protection made the flight even more challenging than it already was,” she added, highlighting another key lesson for her fellow aviators.

The Aftermath

The video of Melkumjan’s mid-air crisis quickly garnered attention online, with viewers marveling at her composure and skill. Despite the terrifying circumstances, she managed to execute a successful landing, a testament to her training and quick thinking.

“Despite all the chaos, my training kicked in. I focused on what I needed to do to get the plane back on the ground safely,” she said. Her ability to remain calm under extreme pressure turned what could have been a tragic accident into a story of survival and triumph.

The Praise and Recognition

Melkumjan’s actions earned her widespread praise from both aviation enthusiasts and fellow pilots. Her ability to manage such a critical situation with poise and professionalism did not go unnoticed. Many hailed her as a hero, a sentiment echoed across social media platforms.

“Seeing what Narine went through and how she handled it is nothing short of inspiring,” commented one aviation fan. “She showed incredible bravery and skill. It’s a reminder of the dangers pilots face and the importance of staying calm and focused.”

A New Perspective

For Melkumjan, the incident provided a new perspective on flying and safety. It reinforced the importance of preparation and the need to always be ready for the unexpected. “This experience has changed the way I approach every flight,” she said. “I’ve learned the hard way that you can never be too careful. Every check, every precaution is essential.”

Her ordeal also highlighted the importance of physical readiness. Flying demands not just mental acuity but also physical endurance. Melkumjan now advocates for pilots to ensure they are in peak physical condition before taking to the skies, especially after recovering from an illness.

The Path Forward

Melkumjan continues to share her passion for flying with her followers, but now with an added emphasis on safety and preparedness. She hopes her experience will serve as a valuable lesson for others and prevent similar incidents from occurring.

Via Narine Melkumjan Instagram

“I want to use my platform to educate and inspire,” she said. “Flying is an incredible experience, but it comes with risks. My goal is to make sure other pilots learn from my mistake and take every precaution to stay safe.”


Narine Melkumjan’s mid-air crisis and successful landing is a story of courage, skill, and resilience. It serves as a powerful reminder of the unpredictability of flying and the importance of preparation and training. For Melkumjan, it was a harrowing experience that tested her limits but ultimately made her a better pilot.

Her story continues to inspire and educate, reinforcing the idea that in the world of aviation, preparation and presence of mind are paramount. Melkumjan’s journey, marked by this dramatic incident, underscores the thrill and danger of aerobatic flying, and the unwavering spirit of those who take to the skies.