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Des

The Flight (Almost) Of A Lifetime

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Posted (edited)

Something to laugh about perhaps as it appears other than slight injuries it was only peoples pride that was really hurt.

 

The Times has a story today about the release of an Accident Report involving an AdlA Rafale B flying from St. Dizier at an unspecified date where a retiring 65 year old executive from an arms firm was given a flight in the Rafale arranged by his colleagues and the French Ministry of Defence.      Seemingly he had no great interest in military aviation but did not want to disappoint his colleagues  , only had four hours notice of the flight , was not properly briefed on what to expect and neither was the pilot warned of the age and nervousness of his passenger.     In addition his flying suit was not properly fitted , his helmet and oxygen mask left unfastened and his seat straps not tightened.

 

The aircraft made a performance take-off with the passenger subjected to High G and his smart watch pulse recording reaching maximum , the aircraft reached the top its climb and the pilot put the nose down into a vertical dive , passenger experienced weightlessness and began to rise out of the seat because of the loose straps so he grabbed hold of a convenient yellow and black handle to stay in his seat . . . . .  briefly.

 

Surprisingly and despite immediately losing his helmet on ejection he only suffered very minor injuries and made a safe parachute descent , perhaps not so surprisingly considering the catalogue of errors that led to this the command ejection system on the Rafale also failed (fortunately) leaving the pilot (who had also suffered minor injuries from the back seat departing) still in the aircraft and able to make a very swift but very nervous landing back at St. Dizier expecting to be ejected at any second.

 

The French Ministry of Defence it seems are now rethinking their guidelines for VIP flights in military aircraft.

Edited by Des

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And I thought I was having a bad day. It makes you wonder if his colleagues actually liked him :whistle:

All joking aside, it must have been a pretty poor pre flight briefing by the pilot though. At the end of the day, his passenger's safety was his ultimate responsibility. Glad everyone survived though.

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     Sorry about the laughing Emoji but with such a comedy of errors I couldn't help it. That and picturing the poor pilot with his pucker factor at 11 for the remainder of the flight was just too much. Im happy to hear that both people survived with minor injuries. I also really hope that the crew that set the poor guy in the backseat got the reprimand they deserve. They should have done a way better job on everything, from fitting equipment to explaining the cockpit do’s and dont’s. 
 

Dennis 

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1 hour ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

 That and picturing the poor pilot with his pucker factor at 11 for the remainder of the flight 
 

Dennis 

 

Just imagine the passenger's pucker! I'm surprised he got a good separation from the seat after ejection.

 

 

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Just imagine the passenger's pucker! I'm surprised he got a good separation from the seat after ejection.

 

I bet he had a soft, squidgy landing.

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27 minutes ago, cngaero said:

I bet he had a soft, squidgy landing.

 

The usual after-effect after the pucker subsides.

 

 

Chris

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Posted (edited)

I'm sorry, but there's a number of aspects of this story that simply don't make any sense....

 

The man lost his flight-helmet during the ejection? He would not have very minor issues - he would almost certainly be dead. Not properly strapped in to his bang-seat? Death would be the most likely outcome, by a long margin. Failing that, the immediate removal of both his arms (and then death, due to loss of blood on the way down).

 

Ejections are extremely violent events, which can result in serious injuries to pilots that are properly equipped and fully-restrained by their harness.

 

Also, no-one had a spare 30 seconds to talk him through the ejection-procedure? Sounds very unlikely indeed. I can't believe that anyone in the French aviation industry would be this cavalier with safety protocols, even if this was all done on an informal, "in-house" basis. 

 

This whole story smacks of a minor incident being greatly exaggerated as it "passes along the line".

 

Having said that, if this is even half-true, it will lead to the end of the pilot's career and any executive-managers involved with the flight.

 

Chris.   

 

PS: I've seen how newspapers print untruths with my own eyes. When a small aircraft crashed at a Mildenhall Airshow many years ago, that-great-campaigner-for-truth "The Sun" reported that it had crashed very close to a fuel-dump and it could have been a disaster. The only fact the Sun got right was that the airframe crashed. The rest was utter, utter HOGWASH. Tragically, this crash cost the lives of both men on-board. 

 

 

Edited by spruecutter96
Amending information.

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Can't believe he got away with this alive, yet Goose died. 😭

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, spruecutter96 said:

I'm sorry, but there's a number of aspects of this story that simply don't make any sense....

 

..... The man lost his flight-helmet during the ejection? He would not have very minor issues - he would almost certainly be dead. Not properly strapped in to his bang-seat? Death would be the most likely outcome, by a long margin. Failing that, the immediate removal of both his arms (and then death, due to loss of blood on the way down) .....

 

..... Also, no-one had a spare 30 seconds to talk him through the ejection-procedure? Sounds very unlikely indeed. I can't believe that anyone in the French aviation industry would be this cavalier with safety protocols .....

 

.... This whole story smacks of a minor incident being greatly exaggerated as it "passes along the line".

 

It would seem that the facts and the investigation board do not agree with your assessment , link to one of several reports - https://theaviationist.com/2020/04/09/report-released-on-french-rafale-passengers-accidental-ejection-reveals-both-human-and-technical-failures/  -  even includes images of the ejectee and Rafale in the same frame as well as the damaged aircraft back on the ground.      One difference that is cleared up here is that the negative gee was experienced as the aircraft levelled off not in a dive and also mention that the passenger's injuries were from his landing not the ejection itself.

Edited by Des

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