IDF Recovers Glass Canopy that Detached from F-15 During Training Flight
Pictured Above: Aerobatic display of the F-15I fighter jet named as Ra'am, Hebrew for Thunder, during the IAF (Israeli army Air Force) flight course 166 graduation ceremony in the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev Desert on June 23, 2013. Photo by Ofer Zidon/Flash90.
(JNS) The glass canopy of an Israeli F-15 fighter jet that detached without warning during a training exercise at 30,000 feet was recovered by the Israel Defense Forces near Hebron on Monday night.
IDF officials issued praise for the pilot and navigator for landing the plane safely at a nearby airport, despite the sudden effects of high winds, frigid air and tremendous noise resulting from the loss of the covering.
According to reports, the airmen briefly panicked before radioing the nearest control tower, whose operators helped them make it to the airport.
All F-15 fighters were grounded pending further investigations.
Transcripts of the incident indicate that the officers screamed when the canopy opened, but began to calm down and work together to land the plane, breathing oxygen through their masks and operating in a temperature of -49 degrees Farenheit.
They managed to reassure each other and maintain contact with the control-tower operator in Nevatim before touching down.
The IDF said the flyers “acted with calm, professionalism and expertise in handling the unusual problem, and brought the plane to a safe landing at the Nevatim Air Force Base.”