Another Red Arrows incident

  Al94 15:47 08 Nov 2011

  morddwyd 16:07 08 Nov 2011

Seats are hairy things.

In the early days they killed, often on the ground, more than they saved.

Safety became such a watchword that it is now rare to hear of a ground incident.

Don't know the modern "seeing off" format, but in my day the seat was the last thing to have the safety devices removed before take off, and the first to be refitted on landing (except for rockets - we actually used to have to go out and connect/disconnect those on the end of the runway!).

We can only speculate, of course,but the first thing I would be looking at is were all safety devices in place, and if not why not.

  spuds 16:24 08 Nov 2011

There doesn't appear to be any news as to what caused the other recent Red Arrows incident, except to confirm that the pilot died of multiple injuries.

I wonder if this latest Red Arrows incident might throw further light on the cause of the other?.

  Al94 17:50 08 Nov 2011

Sadly now confirmed that the pilot has died.

  morddwyd 20:39 08 Nov 2011

"As he was bringing his hands back up after fastening his leg restraints, his glove caught on the lower seat firing handle (in those days seats had both upper and lower handles) and pulled it."

And that is why, as I'm sure you will recall, on that particular Mark of seat, and many others, you only took the pins out when all his straps were done up, and you were about to pat him on the head and remove the ladder!

  morddwyd 22:36 08 Nov 2011

Yep, did quite a few shortcuts myself, and have the "digs" and "evidence under caution" in my record to prove it, but can honestly say, hand on heart, I never shortcutted pins.

But of course, I was an armourer, and you always know which bits of your own kit need the most respect!

  flycatcher1 22:59 08 Nov 2011

Fifty Nine years ago we were very frightened of the " Bang Seat" . I know of some aircrew who flew with the Safety Pins still in with the vain hope that they could remove them in case of dire emergencies.

I remember that a seat was operated in a hangar years ago fortunately the technician managed to avoid going with it.

My views on Ejector Seats changed when I was crewed in an aircraft when only the two up front were safely seated.

My sympathy is with the Pilot and his family.

  johndrew 12:13 09 Nov 2011

The Hawk has a Mk 10 zero/zero seat which, theoretically, means a safe ejection stationary on the ground. There is only the seat pan operating handle for normal ejection and under standard procedures the pins fitted to this and the main gun sear would be left in place until after strap in.

From the pictures on TV, it looks as if the main gun fired successfully but whether the canopy cord, drogue gun and rocket pack fired I have no idea. Coming backwards, why the seat initiated is a total unknown, but for it to do so the main gun must have been operated in some way and even if the canopy cord failed the head pack (parachute) at the seat top should have penetrated before the pilot.

I know the canopy strut cable runs close to the main sear, but a plate was fitted with a fairlead/'P' clip to control this many years ago.

Another sad accident for which we shall need to await the findings of the investigation.

  morddwyd 19:21 09 Nov 2011

Which would appear to indicate suspected mechanical defect rather than human or operating error.

  Al94 19:22 09 Nov 2011

More likely a precaution pending investigation.

  morddwyd 07:51 10 Nov 2011


Unlikely to ground several fleets without some sort of suspicion.

Such a blanket ban is normally announced within hours not days, as in the case of the last incident when all Hawks were grounded very quickly.

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