Ejected on retirement

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,608
Location
Memphis, TN
I remember sitting in a F4 cockpit when I was 10-12 at an Air Guard open house. The pilot said I could get in but not touch any of the yellow handles, because it would launch. About six of them in there. There are no safeties.

Years ago something similar happened in a small museum. Might have been a F86. No one ever took the rockets out; then they found out all the donated planes from the US military were live. A friend, I worked with, was in the Navy at the time and a ejection seat specialists. He unarmed all the planes in the US Naval museum. Navy never considered some kid could climb up and yank on a handle.
 

Aerowerx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
5,485
Location
Marion, Ohio
Many years ago the USAF donated a F-86 to the Columbus Technical College (as it was then called) aviation maintenance program.

It was towed down the street in the middle of the night. from KCMH to the school, which at the time was located in the middle of Columbus, and left it in the parking lot.

Some neighborhood kids managed to get into it and were playing with all the knobs.

They found out later that there were still rounds in the cannons. Fortunately the kids never figured out how to arm the cannons.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,308
Location
Fresno, California
I wonder why both seats didn’t eject? It sounds like the French Air Force was a bit lackadaisical about their preflight procedures... are they also lacking in their maintenance procedures?
 

Angusnofangus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
413
Location
Victoria, Canada
I remember sitting in a F4 cockpit when I was 10-12 at an Air Guard open house. The pilot said I could get in but not touch any of the yellow handles, because it would launch. About six of them in there. There are no safeties.
Having been in the cockpit of an F-4 many times (check my avatar) I recall that there are seven safety pins in the seat. The only time those pins are pulled is when the pilot is actually seated and strapped in. Those pins are put back in before he gets out. I'm guessing that the pilot in your experience was just being extra cautious.
 

Angusnofangus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
413
Location
Victoria, Canada
They found out later that there were still rounds in the cannons. Fortunately the kids never figured out how to arm the cannons.
While it was extremely negligent of the AF to not remove the ammo, it would take having power on the airplane in order to fire the guns. Even then, guns wouldn't be fireable without hitting a ground over-ride switch, usually in the nosegear well
 

Angusnofangus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
413
Location
Victoria, Canada
I wonder why both seats didn’t eject? It sounds like the French Air Force was a bit lackadaisical about their preflight procedures... are they also lacking in their maintenance procedures?
I don't know about the particular airplane, but can tell you that F-4's, and presumably all tandem cockpit airplanes with ejection seats, the guy in back always goes first, and he can go singlely. However, if the pilot elects to eject, they will both go, the GIB first.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,308
Location
Fresno, California
I don't know about the particular airplane, but can tell you that F-4's, and presumably all tandem cockpit airplanes with ejection seats, the guy in back always goes first, and he can go singlely. However, if the pilot elects to eject, they will both go, the GIB first.
That’s the way I think most are set up, but the article stated that the pilot seat was supposed to eject too, but didn’t. Probably a typical journalistic inaccuracy.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,608
Location
Memphis, TN
I always wonder. Hopefully so. The pilot would have to have them. It was a small C130 base. Just an open house. Of course I was 10 ish 45 ish years ago. I was pretty close on guessing though.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,892
Location
USA.
I always wonder. Hopefully so. The pilot would have to have them. It was a small C130 base. Just an open house. Of course I was 10 ish 45 ish years ago. I was pretty close on guessing though.
MY, you are young. About the same age of my youngest son. My socks are older than that. :)
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
1,371
Location
Canada
That accidental ejection was the result of a comedy of errors.
First off, the flight was a surprise retirement gift, so the passenger only got his medical check 4 hours before the flight. The doctor advised against negative G maneuvers, but no-one told the pilot. Briefings were rushed.
The passenger dressed himself and strapped himself in without (standard ground crew) assistance. His seat-belts were loose.
When the pilot did a gentle ( negative 0.6 G) push-over - at the top of climb - the passenger drifted towards the ceiling and instinctively grabbed ANY handle.
Luckily, the passenger survived with only a broken bone.

After accident investigation revealed a defective circuit connecting the rear seat with the pilot’s seat. Only that defect prevented the pilot from ejecting and he was able to land on a runway with no further damage to the airplane.
Talk about lucking out!
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
1,371
Location
Canada
... Even then guns wouldn't be fireable without hitting a ground over-ride switch, usually in the nosegear well
Good point about the weight-on-wheels switch.
When I was learning how to “wrench” on CF-18 fighter jets, they repeated an RCAF legend about a depressed maintainer who decided to commit suicide by ejecting from a parked fighter jet. He sat in six different fighters and pulled all the ejection andles. Since none of them fired, he reported six defective ejection seats to his sargeant!

While earlier RCAF ejection seats might have had multiple safety pins, CF-18 only has one safety pin, through the yellow loop, between the pilot’s thighs.
 

Heliano

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
74
Location
Campinas, SP, Brazil
The mentioned incidents are the result of several mistakes. First of all, as Angusnofangus mentioned, pins MUST be in at all times except when there is a pilot already strapped in the seat intending to fly the aircraft, and it is the mechanic assisting him who removes the pins; second: if an aircraft is not airworthy or not flying anymore, the explosive cartritges (or rockets) MUST be removed and stored, if not discarded. Third: to occupy a seat in a flight, especially during aerobatics, the occupant MUST go through extensive training. Having somebody during aerobatics with no previous experience in such maneuvers, and no previous training in ejection seat is VERY risky. That is my previous experience in the 80's and 90's flying ejection seat-equipped aircraft.
 

cvairwerks

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
202
Location
North Texas
The front seat on the accident bird failed to fire due to a DTL line rupture, which failed to fire the 1st initiator of the front seat. Lots of stuff happens when a handle is pulled.

ACES2 and US16E seats have 2 safety pins when installed in the aircraft. Egress systems do not take ham handed or sloppy maintenance well.
 

jarnicoton

Member
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
24
Location
Clugnat, France
Why they don't offer a Rafale flight to sixty-five but more airminded people like me !
As a French taxpayer I prefer the connection between the two seats failed !
The town Saint-Dizier is not unknown to me ; there was forty-two years ago a professionnal woodworker and homebuilder who prepared for me all the necessary wood for a never-flown prototype.
 

Aerowerx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
5,485
Location
Marion, Ohio
Yeah, tell me about it! Unfortunately, rides in fighters tend to go to local politicians, celebrities, and media types, not taxpayers who would appreciate and understand it...
IIRC the Russian Air Force was, at one time, offering rides in MIGs. I don't know if they still are. The price $20,000 comes to mind, but don't take my word for it. It was the only way their pilots could afford to get their flight time in.
 

Twodeaddogs

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
873
Location
Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
There is a story of an RAF mechanic surviving the inadvertant ejection of a seat from a two-seat Hunter. They had to slide the seat up the rails to get at something that had fallen under the seat. This event was unofficial as the dropped tool would get them into serious trouble if not found. This was the older Martin-Baker with a face hood, activated/pulled by the overhead handles. So, the two lads had disconnected the seat, pushed it a few inches up the rails and the guy in the cockpit was reaching around underneath for whatever was dropped, when he heard a shout from the guy on top. He was crouching across from the other seat and leaned back and looked up in time to see his mate dive away and saw the face hood drop down and heard the mechanical activation of the seat (clockwork in the older seats and quite audible at a distance. There was a violent sequence of bangs as the big canopy blew off and the seat shot up and struck the hangar roof and then fell down into the crowded hangar.
When the rest of the lads came running, they expected to find the corpse of the mech in the cockpit. To their amazement, a very blackened mech pulled himself upright, looking like a cartoon character with his hair scorched, eyebrows gone and raccoon eyes. When he was quizzed about the event later, he said that when he saw the hood falling, he instinctively wedged himself as far back as he could get and closed his eyes and didnt move until the banging stopped. His injuries were found to be minor. I'd imagine he had a few choice words with his mate later, though.
 
2
Top