Mark Creighton

I was in the Royal Air Force from 2007 to 2018, during that time I worked in both the Harrier and the Tornado Seat Bays at RAF Marham.

From 2009 to 2010 I worked on the Mk12 Seats for our Harrier GR9, I hadn’t been there long but I remember the pilot from the famous Kandahar Harrier Ejection, his GR9 was on fire on the runway and he ejected, it’s a famous picture that I have seen at Martin-Baker (during a site visit) and in various Harrier sites in the RAF. He was very grateful to the guys in the seat bay and had bought a case of lager as a thank you, he was proudly wearing his Ejection tie and was very grateful to the often-unsung hard work that goes in “behind the scenes.”

Whilst I was deployed with 13 Tornado Sqn in Kandahar the Harrier fleet was grounded as part of the defence review. Upon my return to the UK I was redeployed to the Tornado Ejection seat bay working on the Mk10s.

I worked on the Mk10s from 2010 to 2018 as a technician, supervisor and deputy team manager. I saw many Armourers come and go and was always impressed by their dedication, knowledge and attention to quality. I remember overseeing the modification/replacement of the top latch spring after the unfortunate incident with the accidental ejection of a Hawk pilot. This required us to assist the Squadrons at Marham with their seats, and to recall, modify and rapidly get seats out to operational aircraft supporting Op Herrick and Shader.

Attached is a picture of me from a few years ago doing a strap change on the HPRU of a Mk10 Seat for a Tornado GR4 based at Marham.

I left the Royal Air Force in 2018 which coincided with the birth of my daughter, I don’t regret the decision to leave the military but I do often miss the comradery and hugely entertaining personalities from my Seat bay days.

My leaving present from the guys was a small piece of a Mk10 Martin-Baker seat, they were a huge part of my RAF career and I would be proud to display a Martin-Baker coin next to it with pride of place in our living room.

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