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Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

(OP)
OK, maybe not a failure per se, though in fact the fact that the pilot did not eject, as the system is supposed to, is a failure as is the apparent very lackadaisical attitude to safety, briefing and installation into the aircraft.

But at least the guy survived in one place without a heart attack, which at a reported heart rate of 140 BEFORE the incident is quite a miracle.

There are a number of reports on this but the one below is a bit more "technical". Apparently the heart rate was recorded on his watch and wasn't known to the flight crew before hand. I can't find a link to the actual report itself so if anyone can find it please add it in, although it will be in French of course....

https://theaviationist.com/2020/04/09/report-relea...

I'm sure it would be on many an engineers bucket list which is not easy to satisfy unless you have "contacts".

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Thankfully the pilot ejection seat did fail or this would have been a highly fueled lawn dart looking for a school or hospital or apartment complex.

I worked with a guy who occupied a rear seat on the recon version of Phantoms; they did not set the front seat to go with the rear, but vice versa. He mentioned that it was his opinion that the pilot could be as brave as they wanted, but if things were heading south the navigator was going to use their own best judgement.

My guess is this plane was a trainer and wired the other way, such that if an instructor in the rear seat decided it was time to leave that their opinion on leaving meant everyone needed to get out.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

(OP)
3D - If you read the reports and the one linked within it it is noted that the rear seat ejection on its own ruptured some device which should have also ejected the pilot and when he landed he got out of the aircraft very quickly as he knew the seat was "live". It lost both canopies apparently, but not the pilot itself, but yes without a pilot heaven only knows where it would have landed.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

I know that. What the report I've seen don't say is why the seats are set up that way.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

(OP)
Neither do I but that's the French for you.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

(OP)
For anyone who can read French or has a good on line translation - official report

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6836894-FR...

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Remind me not to fly with any French outfits, military or otherwise. The number of mistakes is astounding.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

I imagine the philosophy behind "command ejection from the rear" has something to do with "in case of front-seater incapacitation from bird-strike" about it. That, and the fact that in tandem training aircraft, the instructor sits behind the student.

The fact that the pilot stayed with the jet is worthy of a "engineering failures" discussion all of its own. If the report that the selector valve body burst is correct, then I'd like to think that the Witchfinder General has taken up long-term lodgings in the Denham area. All the MB seats since about the Mk 9 rely on hot gas from pyrotechnic cartridges being piped around the place to signal every part of the sequence, so you really don't want to hear stories of pipework or valves bursting.

For those wondering why the passenger's hands were on the firing handle in the first place, the answer is simple (and has less to do with male biology than you might imagine). The urge to hold onto something is irresistible and there's very little else down there to grab. It's usually followed by a moment of abject horror as you slowly disentangle your hands and move them primly onto your knees.

A.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

"Don't be nervous.
Just hold onto that handle and you will be fine." grin

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

(OP)
That's kind of what I think this figure is saying from the report. There is a selector switch and then the red line is the one which malfunctioned.

But the pilot must have been bricking it knowing that all the time he was literally sitting on a ticking bomb that could have gone off at any time and ending up with an out of control aircraft. As said in the report "he exited the airplane rapidly", once he got it on the ground.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

You for sure don't want to eject with wheels on the ground!

“What I told you was true ... from a certain point of view.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Return of the Jedi"

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Oh. Its much easier to play "poulette" with the seats wired like that.

“What I told you was true ... from a certain point of view.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Return of the Jedi"

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

IRStuff, That's not really true. Even with the old ballistic seats, you could bank on reaching the ground at the end of the first swing under a fully developed canopy if you ejected off the runway - provided you had a minimum of 90 knots forward movement at the start of the sequence.

With a rocket seat (anything made in about the last fifty years), the envelope extends all the way to zero forward speed, zero altitude (hence the term zero-zero seat) - provided that the aircraft is the right way up and you have zero sink rate. Granted, it doesn't leave you a lot of time to steer the parachute away from whatever it was you were trying to leave behind.

Things that come closer to guaranteeing death are sitting on a seat when it goes off inside the hangar, or sitting on it without being strapped in.

A.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Zero-zero seats have been available for a long time. There is the same danger as any other launch condition - the high g-loading doing spinal damage. More horrific are the rare instances where the plane is headed down, the seat ejects, and then the updraft from the crash fire draws the parachute into the ground circulation from the flames, either torching the pilot or setting melting the parachute and dropping the pilot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRZllj8WS2g
https://youtu.be/k4fPSfXiL0g?t=63

The first test on this is not a zero-zero seat. Ooof. The second one is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1cnvJO1TF8

This is listed as the seat in the accident aircraft: http://www.safran-martin-baker.com/smbf_web/UK/eje...

There's that convenient handle right in the middle for the grabbing.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

First job out of college was a civilian job with the US Navy at Pacific Missile Test Center at Pt Mugu Naval Air Station. Got qualified and several times rode back seat in a TA-7. The pilots (flew with two of them) would switch the ejection seats into a mode where the back seat would eject by it self but the front seat would eject both. But with any training, ejection would be done by grabbing the handles above your head and pulling down, not by the other method. I guess that in those types of situations I was always more interested in getting to the contents of the flight suit pocket I’d been told was where the zip-lock bags were to be put. Had to replenish the zip-lock supply after many flights, never heard a single comment about carrying a used one off the plane.

You’ve never really flown until you’ve had the g-suit caressing your legs while you weigh a half ton or more.

I was talking about this with some others this afternoon and concluded that the only thing worse than ejecting would be failing to eject when you should have.

Great experience, would not care to repeat it 35+ years later.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

Quote (3DDave)


... More horrific are the rare instances where the plane is headed down, the seat ejects, and then the updraft from the crash fire draws the parachute into the ground circulation from the flames, either torching the pilot or setting melting the parachute and dropping the pilot.

Isn't there some warning out there about not ejecting over the target?

--
JHG

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

^ That exact thing happened to one of the F14 prototypes.

RE: Passenger accidentally ejects from fighter

I seem to recall that during the 70's the pentagon was concerned that pilots were ejecting too soon ( vietnam) , and so they proceeded to revise the canopy strength to cause most ejections to lead to severe leg damage to the pilot and navigator. This did lead to feweer ejections.

They tested the strength of the canopy by firing a ( frozen) turkey at the canopy to simulate a bird strike, and did not admit until 2000 that ehy used frozen turkeys.

I recall that even in the mid '80s this was still an issue , as when Jesse jackson visited Iraq to negotiate the return of the navigator ,, the pilot had died during ejection due to amputation of both legs during ejection.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

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