I hate it when that happens.

Fortunately the utility belt that was provided for him contained shark repellant.
A civilian passenger in an air force display plane accidentally activated the ejector seat while reaching for something to steady himself during a mid-air manoeuvre. It is thought he activated the ejector seat after lurching forward during an aerobatic manoeuvre and accidentally pulling on the black and yellow emergency handle between his legs.
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11 Responses:

  1. vordark says:

    That happening to me out of nowhere...the words "total bowel failure" just wouldn't do my reaction justice.

  2. chaobell says:

    When I was in the Air Force, I worked on airplanes. This sometimes required us to get up in the cockpit. Pretty much the first thing they told us: DO NOT EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GRAB, PULL, YANK, OR OTHERWISE MANHANDLE ANYTHING WITH BLACK AND YELLOW STRIPES EVEN IF THE SEAT IS NOT ARMED AND EVEN IF THE SAFETY PIN IS IN PLACE LIKE IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE.

    Much like you're told to assume any gun you handle is loaded, you are taught to assume any ejector seat you put your ass in is armed and ready to fling said ass over the horizon if you tug on the wrong bit. Everyone who ever sticks any bodily part in a cockpit gets the same lecture.

    Unfortunately, that handle is positioned in a logical place where an oh-shit handle might go, so I can kind of see how a guy might reflexively grab on to it despite all that.

  3. waider says:

    So I don't have the relevant domain knowledge about where such a thing might be located[1], but when I saw this story elsewhere there was some suggestion that it would have required wilful activity on the passenger's part of a type he'd been specifically instructed not to engage in before getting into the plane, and that he'd perhaps had a Father Ted[2] moment.

    [1] I have been known to make grabbing gestures for such a lever under my chair during meetings at which the humour / doom level has exceeded bearable limits, but that's probably based on watching Iron Eagle or some such as a kid.

    [2] Specifically the bit with the red button in the airplane. And it's a Dougal moment, but handwave.