In aircraft, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft (usually military) in an emergency. In most designs, the seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.
The concept of an ejectable escape crew capsule has also been tried. Once clear of the aircraft, the ejection seat deploys a parachute. Ejection seats are common on certain types of military aircraft.
The last thing a fighter pilot wants to do is eject, and it’s not just because they’re abandoning the ship to a fiery demise. The turbulent process of ejecting puts pilots at serious risk of injury.
Once those rockets fire under the seat, they blow a person up and out of the cockpit with enough force to seriously bruise both shoulders on the harness straps and possibly break collarbones.
And you better tuck in your knees and elbows, because if anything hits the side of the cockpit on the way out, it’s coming off.
If the pilot needs to warn you that you’re going to have to eject in the near future, he will use the word “eject,” as in, “Hey, get ready, we are going to have to eject in about 30 seconds.
” If things go horribly wrong and you need to blow out of the ship immediately, the command is, “bailout! bailout! bailout!”
Each pilot, co-pilot, or weapons systems officer wears a large parachute and harness that buckles into the seat of their aircraft.
When you pull one or both of the two levers positioned on the sides of the seat, charges fire to blow the aircraft canopy and then rocket boosters under your ass take the whole seat, with you in it, up and out of the jet.
Within seconds you should be floating over the falling aircraft with a parachute canopy fluttering over your head.
In newer two-seat jets, the ejection seats are synchronized so activating one triggers the other. But in the older T-38, each person needs to take care of himself or herself.
The co-pilot sitting in the rear seat needs to go first—otherwise, the rockets from the pilot’s seat will burn the person sitting behind.
After you fly out, the seat itself falls away. The chute automatically deploys if you are at low enough altitude, and if all goes well, you should float to the ground at a speed that won’t kill you.