Captain David “Mad Dog” B Gray

Tie Club # 1552

I am 84 years young and will be celebrating my 57th wedding anniversary with my lovely wife. I was blessed with two children and wonderful grandchildren. I had a successful 10 year career in the Army and 30 years as a commercial pilot. I have your Martin-Baker ejection seat to thank for it!

In January of 1964; I was a flight instructor at Ft. Rucker, Alabama flying the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk. It was an orientation flight which required aerobatic maneuvers to complete. Coming out of a loop passing through 7,000 feet in a vertical dive my controls reversed and the aircraft started tucking under with speed climbing through 300 plus knots. Nothing seemed to worked. My altimeter was winding through 4,000 feet, it was time to eject! I gave my student the command to eject, eject, eject! He froze and would not respond. Valuable time was lost. By that time we had no altitude and no time to blow the canopy. I ejected through the canopy. The next thing I remember was hanging beneath the parachute with half of my flight suit gone from the high speed ejection. I had a collapsed esophagus, dislocated shoulder, and deep hole in my leg but I was alive!

My student ejected after me. I saw his chute open and collapse three seconds later. He used the secondary eject handle. His injuries were more extensive than mine but he made it out alive.

Thank you Team Martin-Baker for your ejection seat and many more years of my life!

Has a Martin-Baker Ejection Seat saved your life?

Get in contact and send us your story today