Martin Kendrick

My name is Martin Kendrick and I have been in the Royal Air Force for almost 12 years as an ‘Armourer’. My first posting after trade training was to 12(B) Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth, working on Tornado GR4, which used the Mk10 Ejection Seat.

Within a few weeks of being on the squadron I was sent to the Weapon Training Cell to attend the ‘Seat Course’. Completion of this allowed me to be part of a team to arm/disarm, remove/fit seats, canopies and associated components. The biggest lesson to take away from the course is that the work we complete will impact the aircrews last chance of survival. If you would not sit in the seat after you and your colleagues have changed components then why would the aircrew? A massive responsibility but also rewarding work.

One story I remember is during EX RED FLAG at Nellis AFB, a swarm of bees decided to make their new home in the aircraft! As the canopy was up they quickly filled the cockpit, covering the seats and instruments. The decision was made to close the canopy and wait for the heat to kill them. The next day we did a front and rear seat pan removal and hoovered out hundreds of bees! Certainly not the usual Loose Article Check.

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