Ejection Tie Club

Here at Martin-Baker, we run an exclusive club that unifies all pilots whose lives we’ve helped save: life membership of the Ejection Tie Club is confined solely to those who have emergency ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker ejection seat, which has thereby saved their life.

To search our collection of Ejectee testimonials please enter information in the below search bar. If you have an Ejection story of your own that you’d like to share with us to be shown on this page, please forward to information@martin-baker.co.uk.

Jack Stone

I’ve just had my 75th birthday and these days I’m more likely to be thinking of improving my golf score than thinking of love – even on Valentine’s Day – but that wasn’t always the case.

Like most young men my Valentine’s Days usually meant thoughts of love – some girl or other I was keen on! But Valentine’s Day in 1972 has very different and very special memories for me, of a very different kind!

Jack Stone 38 Years On

My first love has always been fast-jet flying and I was lucky to be a young man on the RAF’s then very latest jet fighter – the F4 Phantom.  Even better, I had been selected for and was really enjoying the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course, the RAF’s ‘Top Gun’.

On 14 Feb 1972 my pilot and I were conducting an air combat sortie at about 15000 ft above the N Sea.  As we separated from the other 2 aircraft after an engagement, the aircraft suffered a total failure of the powered flying control system – the stick froze and the nose pitched violently up at 9G.

There was no choice and I ejected immediately, followed by my pilot only a split second later.

My seat worked ‘as advertised’ and separated from me automatically at 10,000 ft and the main parachute canopy deployed; now my problem was the cold!  At 15,000 ft in February it was -58°C and it was still freezing at sea level some 15 to 20 mins later when I parachuted into the sea.  I recall looking like a snowman in the descent – covered in rime frost and with frozen fingers!

There was a good ocean swell running but my training helped me get into my life raft fairly easily and with its protection I started to warm up.  I had back pain from the ejection – very common on the older Mk 6 ‘gun’ ejection seats – but I was alive and I knew I’d be rescued quite soon.

I also knew that while I couldn’t see my pilot because of the ocean swell he, too, had successfully ejected, and because we ejected so close together he couldn’t be more than a mile or so from me.  Indeed, he wasn’t and we were both rescued by the same helicopter after a couple of hours.

And Still Happy After 10 More Years!

Because of my injury I never did finish my course, but I was back to full flying after a 3 months and continued to confidently fly fast jets with Martin Baker ejection seats for the next 15 or so years.

Thanks Martin-Baker. Although it was a long time ago, it’s not something you easily forget – especially now I’m 75!

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