Simon Griffiths

I first started my close relationship with Martin Baker ejection seats in 1986 on the Harrier OCU until 2007 on 41Sqn (R) OEU. Those magic words, Loose article reported. You look, you look again, you go upside down, you look again. No, still can’t find it. Walk in to rects control and drop the bomb. Sorry can’t find it, so it’s canopy off seat out… Back come the words are you sure..

Like a clip from Dirty Harry, ‘Do you feel lucky Chief’, at that one point the conversation changes. If we can’t find it it’s either not there or it’s hiding.. Seat pull. At the point Armourers will dangle for hours upside-down but if that fails, we just resign ourselves to at least a pan pull or a full seat pull. Never in over 15 years on harriers or another 7 years on Tornados (GR4 & F3) or a single Jag would myself or any of the other armourers left until we either found the LA or pulled the seat so everyone has a look ready for an inverted flight and another pull. While armourers like myself may put bombs on or bombs off, seat work is the one thing where no corners are cut. If isn’t right or you ain’t happy, you do it again, you look again, check again. You make sure that there is one thing on the whole aircraft the ‘driver’ can rely on is the black and yellow handle. 40 thousand and nothing on the clock but Smiths they pull, they leave… Job done. I am proud to say that I along with many of my fellow armourers that saving lives was and still is one of our greatest achievements Hopefully they never have to do it, but if they do, your seat will work, they get a tie, and we get to see them again. Thank you from a former maintainer

A retired RAF Armourer. Proud to have worked on the only thing on the aircraft no one wants to use but if they do it works. First time.

Simon Griffiths

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