lucky escape for harrier pilot

  sunnystaines 08:55 05 Jun 10
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amazing how it just fell from the sky

  Quickbeam 09:11 05 Jun 10

It doesn't say where or when this was.

Will the pilot have his pay docked until he's paid for it...?

  morddwyd 09:22 05 Jun 10

"amazing how it just fell from the sky"

Only takes a bird strike at that altitude.

He did leave it a bit late.

Believe me luck did not have a lot to do with it.

Lot of work and effort goes into keeping a seat and chute on top line.

Had around three or four beers from grateful pilots in my 40 years.

My last job was in charge of seat servicing on Buccaneers (93). Since they had stopped producing spares about twenty years before it got a bit difficult!

  bremner 09:50 05 Jun 10

Kandahar May 2009

  Mike D 09:53 05 Jun 10

Reckon he lost his no claims bonus.

  johndrew 10:30 05 Jun 10

With the rate of descent prior to applying power and then, apparently, throttling back again immediately after, he was very lucky to have been capable of ejecting.

Given the power/weight ratio of the Harrier he may have saved the day by applying full power and rotating the nozzles down - we shall never know - but then there is thinking time so .....

  morddwyd 18:16 05 Jun 10

At least on this occasion the maitenance crew could see that the ejection went as planned.

One of the longest waits you can have is when you have carried out some maintenance on a seat, and on the first trip afterwards the aircraft goes in.

If it is somewhere in the fastnesses of Wales or Scotland it can be a few hours before you hear whether the crew got out OK, and in the meantime people are all trying to be terribly nice to you, without getting too friendly, if you know what I mean.

  karmgord 18:21 05 Jun 10

probably very brave and "stayed with it" so as to ensure it did not crash onto others.
Deffo think he would have spinal injury as although cute deployed it would not have had time to slow decent

  morddwyd 08:33 06 Jun 10

Modern seats are "zero, zero" i.e proper operation with full deployment from zero feet at zero speed.

The spinal injuries suffered by most ejectees are compression injuries cause by the phenomenal acceleration as the cartridge/rocket fires.

These are accentuated when the firing handle between the knees is used, as by its very positioning the shoulders are rounded and the back, so far as the harness will permit, is hunched.

James Martin knew what he was doing when the original design had the firing handle above the head.

This placed the spine, particularly the neck, in the optimum position (apart from supine) for maximum acceleration.

Unfortunately those micro-seconds reaching up instead of down were all too often the difference between life and death.

  sunnystaines 09:00 06 Jun 10

in training do you have a go on an ejector seat, or is the first time during your first emergency ditch situation.

  morddwyd 15:13 06 Jun 10

There are some facilities for using one using compressed air, which simply goes up the rail and stops, and is then let down under control.

The risk of injury is so high, around 90%+, that you could not possibly risk the loss of a front line pilot.

As a matter of interest, ditching is a lot more hazardous than a normal ejection (though ditching technically refers to actually putting the whole aircraft, not just yourself, down on the water), since the normal, and they are normal. back injuries make it very difficult to get into the dinghy.

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