Scare as Kenya Airforce Fighter Jet Part Falls From Sky

  • Major Brian`Snake’ Crum, the F-16 fighter jet pilot ensures that retired General of the Kenya Defense Forces, Julius Waweru Karangi is well prepared and ready for take-off in July 2014. File Ministry of Defence- Kenya
  • Residents of Matanya village, Nanyuki, Laikipia County were left in a state of bewilderment following a bizarre incident on Monday, December 9.

    A huge piece of glass moulded in the shape of a canopy with bits of electrical wiring attached fell from the sky.

    According to a report by Citizen Digital, the stunned residents convened at the scene but before they could touch the foreign object, Kenya Airforce soldiers arrived on a pick-up truck mounted with a high caliber machine gun.

    Clad in their camouflage gear and balaclavas, the military officials from the Rapid Deployment Squadron (RDS) unit, quickly took possession of the object -which they identified as a rear canopy of one of their fighter jets.

    Kenya Air Force officials after they retrieved a cockpit fighter jet canopy that fell from the skies. December 9, 2016.
    Kenya Air Force officials after they retrieved a cockpit fighter jet canopy that fell from the skies in Nanyuki's Matanya area on Monday, December 9.

    A dive into the world of fighter jet pilots revealed that such instances happen quite often, especially during drills whereby the pilot simulates a scenario in which he is forced to bail out of the jet.

    "Yes, the canopy is the first thing that comes off once a pilot pulls the loop handle on the seat at knee level," a source from the KDF who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke on condition of anonymity, disclosed.

    He went on to explain that pulling the emergency bail out handle fires the ejection gun for 0.2 seconds, starting the ejection at 50-55 feet per second. 

    Simultaneously the aircraft’s glass canopy either shatters, is blown off, or the seat breaks through it, depending on the aircraft model.  

    Straps tighten around the pilots' arms and legs and an emergency oxygen supply is released. Then a drogue parachute at the back of the 214-pound seat opens. At the same time two small panels about 16 inches long and 8 inches wide open up on either side of the seat to keep it straight. And all of this happens in 1.35 seconds.

    The ejectee suffers from 18 Gs (gravitional force) - that is about 20 times your bodyweight pushing down on you, an enormous amount of force that would cause anyone to pass out if it were sustained. 

    Details of the condition of the pilot responsible for the ejected canopy were not immediately available at the time of going to press. 

    The Kenya Airforce fighter jet canopy that fell from the skies, December 9, 2019.
    The Kenya Airforce fighter jet canopy that fell from the skies on Monday, December 9, 2019.