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Old 11-02-2009, 12:26 AM   #1
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Default Don't pull that f*cking handle!

AKA "Emergency Eject" means "EMERGENCY"



BANG! And passenger was gone

Joyrider accidentally ejects from SAAF aerobatic aircraft



Oct 31, 2009 9:26 PM | By ROGER MAKINGS



A South African Air Force Silver Falcons aircraft like the one involved in the ejection


The civilian passenger was expecting the ride of a lifetime when he strapped himself into the back seat of a South African Air Force Silver Falcons aircraft.

But after the aircraft took off, he got more than he bargained for - way more.

Although confirmed details are thin, it is probable that during an aerobatic manoeuvre, the passenger tried to steady himself by grabbing the black and yellow striped handle between his legs.

And that's when the ride really began.

The ejection sequence started with the firing of the three cartridges in the Martin Baker-built seat. The seat lifted about 45cm off the floor and this activated the two rockets.

Passenger and seat smashed through the Perspex canopy of the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II and, pulling about 20G, was 100ft out of the aircraft in two seconds flat.

The bewildered, and probably terrified, former occupant, whose identity has not been revealed, would have found himself floating in the crisp afternoon air of the Western Cape's Langebaanweg, probably watching as his equally stunned pilot, Captain Gerhard Lourens, circled to make sure his erstwhile passenger was okay.

In confirming Wednesday's incident, the SAAF said a board of inquiry had been established.

"Much of the information has yet to be tested, but it is confirmed that a civilian passenger unintentionally ejected from a Silver Falcons Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Astra during a general flying sortie out of Langebaanweg Air Force Base this week.

"The passenger was recovered (by helicopter) unharmed, and returned to Langebaanweg. The aircraft landed safely."

The spokesman said the flight had been cleared and all procedures adhered to "prior to the passenger boarding the aircraft", making it unlikely charges would follow.

A retired SAAF instructor pilot said yesterday the passenger could consider himself extremely lucky to have survived the ejection with barely a scratch.

"We train for this and if you don't get it right, and are not in the correct ejection posture, you can sustain severe spinal cord injuries or even worse."

He said it was not possible that the seat fired of its own accord. There were too many safety features built into the system.

"All it takes is for the firing handle (the rubbery black and yellow striped loop) to be pulled up about 2.5cm and you're on your way out."

He said the ejection would have been dramatic. "You get one almighty kick under the backside and then you're gone.

"The seat separates from the pilot automatically and the chute opens. This is in case the pilot is incapacitated during the ejection."

He added that the passenger would have received a thorough briefing on the ejection sequence and warned that the "loop" between his legs was not to be touched unless the pilot called "eject, eject, eject" during the flight.

Such a briefing is done routinely, even when two qualified pilots are involved in the flight.

It is likely the rear cockpit was extensively damaged by the firing of the cartridges and rockets during the ejection.

The Silver Falcons are the SAAF's aerobatic team that perform precision formation and aerobatics displays at airshows around the country. The five pilots are all serving instructors at Central Flying School, Langebaanweg.

As one observer put it: "What a trip. That guy took off in an Astra, came down in a parachute, and landed back at base in a helicopter. Not bad for a for a single flip."

BANG! And passenger was gone - Times LIVE

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:27 AM   #2
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oops...

10 chars

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:31 AM   #3
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Well when I was younger if someone (aside from my Dad, I enjoyed being able to walk without limping) told me not to do something you could basically just consider it done. Totally not his fault...

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:21 AM   #4
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I bet that dude had the biggest racing streaks in his drawers.

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
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I bet that dude had the biggest racing streaks in his drawers.
A.K.A. skidmarks in his skivvies.....
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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That would pucker anyone's brown eye...

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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Not much scares me. I'm not bragging when I say I've seen and done enough that it takes quite a bit to kick my adrenaline in.

If this happened to me, I would sooo s**t myself. I don't mean a little. I mean that 10 pounds of undigested red meat we're supposed to have in our colon somewhere? I'd find it and it would be out. Those 4 pennies I swallowed as a kid? $1.35 now, with the interest.

Terrifying enough if you knew it was coming. But to be tooling along, and then whoops!, nah. I'd definitely s**t myself. Several times.

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:17 PM   #8
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I'm thinking they would've needed more than a 9mm to get me on that helicopter after all that jazz. I will agree on the drawer soilage, as well; i'd have been a serious salad shooter.

Is that a propellor on that plane?

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #9
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Honestly. My first moment would have been SHEAR terror! Absolute terror.

Then, if I could get past the "How much money did I just blow" worries, I would have been loving the ride on the way down.

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Old 11-03-2009, 02:12 AM   #10
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Is that a propellor on that plane?

Indeed it is orangello

Any acrobatic aircraft I've seen are prop-driven. And I know bugger-all about planes so I'm guessing that's standard
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