“On March 25, 1969, my navigator, Mike Hinnebusch, and I were flying an air combat training mission in F-4C 64-0898 over East Anglia, United Kingdom. During a negative-G manoeuvre, a loose electrical plug jammed the pitch control bell-crank full forward and the aircraft went into a vertical high-speed dive. With the control stick jammed, the altimeter spinning through 5000 feet and the airspeed screaming through 550 knots, I shouted “Punch out Mike” as I initiated the ejection and gasped a prayer of “Please God!” We both made it albeit with extensive flail injuries. My chute opened at 500 feet AGL, an estimated half-second before the F-4 impacted beneath me supersonic at 650 knots making a fifty foot crater with parts down as far 75 feet.
By the grace of God and the craftsmanship of Martin-Baker, I lived to fly again for which my wife, Lura, our four children (two of them USAF pilots) and 10 grandchildren are eternally grateful!
Many thanks to all the Martin-Baker Team, past and present!”
Col Mineau sadly passed away on Monday 12th September 2022. Martin-Baker offer our sincere condolences to the family at this time.