By lex, on April 26th, 2006
Jut-jawed USAF pilot plays cameo role in “Pimp my ride” *
A fire crew had to cut open the canopy of a US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter with chainsaws on 10 April to free the pilot, who had been trapped inside for 5h.
The Raptor stealth fighter, heralded as the most technologically-advanced fighter in the world, entered service in January after 19 years of development. Each jet costs around $134 million per unit.
The canopy became stuck in the down and locked position and could not be opened manually after the pilot cycled the mechanism several times, following a pre-flight warning that the canopy was unlocked.
Bummer, I guess. But probably less embarrassing than the poor guy who got to star in this movie.
(And thanks to alert reader Jason for the tip).
Similar thing happened to the visiting XO of an adversary squadron when I was down in Key West – he and his baggage were stuck in a two-seat TF-16N in the broiling summer sun for a cuppla, before he threatened to blow the lid off. We towed him into the hangar, where – it being in the shade – it was only 90 degrees. A bad day to be them.
We eventually had to cut them out too, but managed to do so through the skin of the jet, reaching a failed lock-down mechanism. Turned out to be much cheaper than blowing the canopy. Even on a jet that only cost $9mil
* 07-13-2018 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.