Alex Pickering

I worked in the ejection seat bay at RAF Leuchars around 1990-1992. At the time Phantoms and Tornados where still flying at Leuchars and so the seat bay was split into two departments. I worked in the MK 10 side with my shiny white dustcoat, whilst the Phantom guys had on their old brown ones. Just one small change of many that occurred with the introduction of the Tornado to the RAF.

Previous to being an ejection seat maintainer I had worked on several different aircraft weapons systems, explosive storage, missile servicing and small arms. I had been part of teams fitting and removing ejection seats from Jaguar and harrier aircraft but had never been a maintainer.

I had always thought that working in the seat bay was like the pinnacle for armourers and that the department was a bit more technical than other departments, and it wasn´t until I went to work there that I realised that it was indeed the most technically challenging. Working to fine tolerances and such regular vital/independent checks, although not unique, was much more common than on other jobs I had done.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short time as a Martin Baker ejection seat maintainer and it certainly improved my technical skills.

I would be very proud to receive one of your “Maintainer” pins. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of my time in the seat bay as we didn’t normally take photos at work in those days.

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