The Collings Foundations ME-262 White One, Swalbe en route from Tucson, Ariz., to Houston suffered damage to its canopy during takeoff from Midland International Airport on Tuesday morning.
The pilot, Frank Romaglia, of Phoenix, and co-pilot, Joe Schiel of Palm Springs, Calif., had stopped in Midland to refuel, said Rob Collings, the foundation’s executive director. “The rear canopy hadn’t been latched properly, and the canopy came off,” he told the Reporter-Telegram on Tuesday. Collings said it was an oversight on the part of the co-pilot “caused by his closing the canopy early due to wind and cold temperatures while securing himself in the aircraft. “Due to the latch not being secured the canopy did depart the aircraft on takeoff,” he said in an email statement. “The pilot in command aborted the takeoff and the aircraft never left the ground.” Collings said the damage to the aircraft is minimal. “There are just scrapes to the canopy. We will do an inspection of the canopy. It’s really no big deal at all,” he said.
Gravity always wins!