Mark Sutton

Just a wee story of my career with Ejection Seats and their associated equipment.

I retired from the RAF as a Weapons Technician in 2005 after a 25yr career, having worked on the Hunter Mk4, Buccaneer Mk6, Jaguar Mk9 and Tornado Mk10 Ejections Seats.

During my service at RAF Lossiemouth I spent time as a maintainer in the Ejection Seat Bay on the Mk4, Mk6 and Mk-9 seats in the late 80`s and early 90`s which was part of Armament Engineering Squadron.

During my 2 years in the bay, I serviced, rebuilt, tested and refitted many seats and their components during this time, along with the many stage and vitals checks required to complete the servicing of the seats, I also carried out many Ejection seat briefings to aircrew and engineering ground crew.

I remember one event when I was on call during my time in the bay, I and another member of the bay were called out to remove and test various components from a set of Canberra seats as part of an crash investigation, the aircraft had crashed on a small hilltop near RAF Kinloss on take-off, but sadly a member of the 2 man crew did not survive.

In 1991 I moved from the Ejection Seat Bay onto 208 Sqn, removing, installing and carrying out vitals checks on the Mk4 (Hunter) and Mk6 (Buccaneer) Seats, along with carrying out work the infamous canopy jettison equipment of the Buccaneer, this was until the Buccaneers retired in 1994, with the last Buccaneer I worked on being retired into the Ulster Aviation Society museum, which was the aircraft’s shortest flight, and had to as part of a team remove the Ejection seats/Canopy Jettison, Survival equipment and explosives, prior to its permanent display in the museum

My next foray with Ejection Seats was again at RAF Lossiemouth on 14 Sqn with the Mk-10 seat, removing, installing and completing vital and independent checks.

Being a maintainer of ejection seats and associated equipment was just a small part of my service, but I can proudly say that I worked as part of a great team and trade in my 25yr RAF career.

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