USAF F-22A Canopy Traps Pilot for Five Hours

canopy3.jpgIt appears as though the US Air Force has two options available to them when the canopy of an F-22A traps its pilot inside. When this happens, the USAF opts for the safest and cheapest rescue as shown here. They cut the canopy with a chainsaw. In this case, the pilot was saved after being trapped inside for five hours. 

The photo at left is part of POGO, a Project On Government Oversight, coverage of what POGO claims is a PowerPoint briefing obtained from the USAF, April 10th, 2006. The presentation is not available online, nor is it clear whether this is training footage or an actual event. In either case, it is clear that jammed canopies can be costly.

This rescue is reported to have cost the Air Force $182,205. One reader comments that the other option would have been to eject the pilot. But even though the F-22A’s seat is designed for zero altitude and zero airspeed ejections, it is more expensive and dangerous to rescue the pilot that way.