Danger, Ejection Seat!!!
Excerpt from a U.S. Navy training booklet:
The last aircraft has just landed and taxied to the forward section of the flight deck. The flight deck literally comes alive with hundreds of men intent on completing an assigned task within a minimum amount of time; namely, fueling crews, catapult crews, maintenance men, plane captains, flight crews, trouble-shooters, and flight-deck control personnel.
The noise level is deafening as the engines of the tow tractors groan under the load of an aircraft during respotting of the deck.
Maintenance men are performing a high-power turnup on two "birds" just aft of the island, and the screams from the engines exceed all of the other noises.
Suddenly, a loud explosion shatters the air,and an object...no! Two objects are airborne in the area above the A-7's [Corsair II]. What! Is one of those objects a man, or is it just a bundle of cleaning rags?
Gravity pulls the objects back to the flight deck,and two distinct sounds are heard: a metallic clang, clunk, clunk, and a sound much like the sound of a water- melon being dropped on cement.
Now,we can identify at least one of the objects. It is an ejection seat of an A-7. The other object appears to be a man--a badly misshapen man. Both of his arms and one leg are broken. His nose is bloody, but he seems unconcerned about his condition. He is DEAD!
A premature death can be your fate if you do not understand the operation of the equipment that you are maintaining or are utilizing.
Good advice--and not just for operations involving aircraft. It could just as easily apply to chain saws, powerboats or automobiles or...well, you name it.
But what of the pioneers who braved unknown dangers, always inherent in test flying, to test the greatest life-saving invention for aviators since the parachute: the ejection seat?
With this question in mind--and with tongue firmly in cheek--we salute two fearless test pilots, as they experience the thrill and exhiliration of the first actuation of an experimental, dual rail, open-cockpit ejection mechanism. Exploring the unknown has never been this fun! Scroll down...