Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience as a maintainer with you.
I was a qualified Armament Technician in the South African Air Force (SAAF) from 1987 to 2015. The SAAF rotated armourers between sections to keep a high level of experience in the armament trade. I had the privilege to be an Ejection Seat Maintainer over the period 1995 – 2005. I maintained JMk6 and MkB10L1&2 for the Cheetah C and D fleet of the SAAF. In 2000 we received a 2nd line maintenance course for the MkB10L1&2 from Martin-Baker at the section.
We were responsible for the removal and installation of the seats at the Aircraft Servicing Unit. This was done by hand and was sometimes back breaking work. We maintained the JMk6 on a yearly, 3 yearly and 7 yearly basis. The MkB10L’s we serviced 2 and 6 yearly.
During my period in the section, the SAAF had 3 successful ejections from Cheetah C aircraft using the older JMk6 seats.
Before and after my time as a Maintainer, I removed and installed seats at squadron level. After 2009, I was privileged to be hands-on with the Gripen seat.
Of all my armament work in the SAAF, my most memorable experiences were at the Ejection Seat Section.