Ejection seats have operational/successful employment envelopes just
like an aircraft does. Ya gotta slow down, be in a reasonable attiude,
at a reasonable altitiude, at a resonable airspeed, and more likely a
combination of all of the above. And they vary with the seat type and
The one that always got me was when I asked a Marine Harrier pilot what
he would do if he were trapped in the cockpit after ditching with the
jet sinking...said he'd still eject below the surface, that being the
fastest way out. That'd HAFTA hurt...
Yeah, but I'd think ejecting into water would be like doing a belly-flop
off the high dive...mostly if not definately fatal. Would think you'd
break your neck if you're even slightly out of position.
Here's an account from one guy that did it...and survived:
Well, you're wearing a pressure suit for the long fall and at that
altitude there's a LOT less air molecules to beat you to pulp. Wouldn't
say it would be pretty. As an example look at some of the insane speeds
folks who have done free falls out of balloons at altitude have achieved.
or even some of the SR-71 ejections on record (well this was more of a
Mach 3 break-up but you get the idea)
Keep in mind, ejecting is one of those "here goes nothing" propositions
as the alternative should always be worse.
Pugs (2400 hours, zero ejections)
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