Chilly ride: Israeli jet fighter loses canopy at high altitude
An Israeli Air Force F-15 “Baz” fighter aircraft was forced to an emergency landing after losing its canopy at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9 kilometers) during a training flight, on January 2, 2019.
Despite being unprotected from high winds and extreme cold (-45°C), the two pilots equipped with oxygen masks managed to land uneventfully at Nevatim Air Base, in the south of Israel. After medical examination, they were both reported in good condition. The head of the Air Force, General Amikam Norkin announced that the fleet of F-15s would be grounded, pending an investigation.
The Israeli Defense Forces published the audio footage of the incident, where the two distressed pilots can be heard.
As for the glass canopy, it was retrieved on January 7, 2019, near the city of Hebron, according to a military source quoted by The Jewish Press.
Israel acquired its first F-15s, nicknamed “Baz”, in 1976. Another version, the F-15I “Ra’am” was developed in the 90s as a long-range ground attack aircraft. Until the arrival of the F-35 in 2017, they were the backbone of the Israeli Air Force.
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