U.S. National Guard pilot, Capt. Brett DeVries has landed a badly-damaged A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft on the runway at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center on July 20 with a stuck landing gear and without a canopy.
The canopy had blown off the aircraft 25 minutes before and the pilot’s main radio stopped working. The aircraft was assigned to the 107th Fighter Squadron from Selfridge Air National Guard Base.The incident happened during a routine training flight from Selfridge to the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.
The incident happened during a routine training flight from Selfridge to the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.
The aircraft was one of four A-10s headed to Grayling to drop dummy bombs and make several strafing passes with the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger Gatling-style gun that protrudes from the nose of the A-10. During a strafing pass, DeVries’ gun malfunctioned and simultaneously the canopy of his aircraft blew off.
The A-10 is still at Alpena where it is being repaired and will return to the flying inventory at Selfridge.
The Alpena Center shares the runway with the Alpena County Airport in northeast Michigan. It is believed to be the first time in the roughly 40-year history of the A-10 that a pilot had to land with no canopy and with the landing gear up. While the aircraft sustained heavy damage, the pilot, his wingman and all the people on the ground were unharmed.