A high-speed escape from death

Aviation-conscious readers may recall the crash of a Canadian CF-18 Hornet fighter at Lethbridge, Alberta, in July 2010.  The pilot ejected only about 100 feet above the ground, and survived.

Reader ‘Sandy19’ sent me an e-mail today containing some wonderful photographs of the crash and the pilot’s escape, for which my grateful thanks.  In the light of my recent article about ejection seats, I found them very interesting.  Here they are, in sequence, reduced in size to fit this blog.

In the last three pictures, the ejection seat can be seen falling to earth after separating from the pilot, who’s descending under his parachute canopy.  Here’s a brief video report where the pilot describes the sequence of events.  It includes film of the crash.

I don’t think narrow escapes come much narrower than that!



  1. Spent some time supervising Egress shop when I was active duty.

    A very impressive set of individuals. They worked in an absolute "zero failure" environment, and they worked to standards so meticulous and precise they would drive your average engineer around the bend.

    They knew that when the pilot pulled those handles, it was his last chance. It had to work. Perfectly. Every time.

  2. A near-duplicate of the MiG-29 crash at the Paris airshow a while ago, except for no obvious gout of flame from the #2 engine. Modern ejection seats are truly marvelous!

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