An Israeli Air Force fighter jet suffered a serious malfunction midair recently, when the canopy detached during flight, leaving pilot and navigator exposed to extreme cold and heavy winds.
The incident occurred while an IAF F-15 air superiority fighter was flying northeast of Beer Sheva in southern Israel.
The fighter was taking part in a training exercise, and had reached an altitude of roughly 30,000 feet after taking off from Tel Nof airbase.
During the flight, the plane’s canopy suddenly detached, leaving the two-man crew exposed to subzero temperatures and intense turbulence.
Though the crew had initially planned to ditch the aircraft and eject, after two found that they had suffered no injuries, they determined that they would be able to safely conduct an emergency landing of the plane.
The aircrew managed to contact the Nevatim airbase, which was placed on alert as the damaged F-15 initiated an emergency landing.
An IDF spokesperson confirmed the incident, and praised the flight crew’s “professionalism and great skill”.
"During a routine training flight, an F-15 fighter jet had to land after its canopy detached. The plane's crew was in full control throughout the incident, acted with level-headedness, professionalism and great skill in handling the rare malfunction, and landed the plane safely at the Nevatim Air Base."