23:28 GMT16 April 2021
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    Two airmen with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were in the middle of a training session last week when the canopy of their F-15 fighter jet suddenly blew off while the pair were flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet. Audio recordings of the mishap were released on Monday by officials.

    The nearly two-minute-long video initially begins with pilots discussing the altitude at which the plane will be cruising before all hell breaks loose once the canopy comes off. For several seconds, the pair can be heard screaming amid the sounds of strong winds.

    According to the Times of Israel, at the time of the canopy detachment, the pilots were facing outside temperatures of —49 degrees Fahrenheit. It was only due to their oxygen masks that the two airmen were able to breathe.

    ​After regaining his composure, the pilot, solely identified by officials as Captain Y, can be heard on the footage attempting to get the attention of his partner, 1st Lt. R, before calling out to the ground controller.

    "I hear you, do you hear me? I'm taking it in for a landing at the nearest base without a canopy. Confirm that," the pilot tells his partner. After the two establish that they're okay, the control tower operator is contacted to confirm that the fighter jet will be making an "immediate landing" at Nevatim air base near Be'er Sheva.

    Once on the ground, Captain Y and 1st Lt. R were given medical checks by first responders, according to the Jerusalem Post, which reported that neither airman sustained injuries during the incident.

    "It went from 0-100," an unidentified senior officer told the Post. "Imagine you go from the quiet in the canopy to a massive boom and being exposed to all the elements. You have to think, am I injured, is my co-pilot okay?"

    "There are many things the pilots have to deal with within seconds," he stressed.

    An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Israeli officials are currently in contact with the jet's manufacturer, Boeing, to determine what could've caused the canopy to suddenly detach. Until the cause is determined, the IDF's fleet of F-15 jets will be grounded.

    This incident, however, was not a first for the IDF, the Post reported, citing a senior official. That previous mishap took place in 2004, with another F-15 jet losing its canopy.


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    f-15, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Israel
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