“I ejected at ~24,000 feet from my Mirage IIIc with a Martin-Baker JM6 seat, after a mid-air collision at a closing speed of Mach 2.4. The collision had severed my left wing and engine and I was free-falling to earth in the cockpit and right wing, which was on fire. I pulled the lower lever and ejected but fainted after my vertebrae crushed (I was slumped forward at ignition which, although unavoidable, was a bad idea).
When I came to I realized that I was plummeting to earth with no parachute. I desperately began searching for the emergency handle, but had recently moved from A4’s and couldn’t remember where it was positioned.
At ~14,000 feet the parachute automatically opened. Despite the pain in my spine, at some stage during the 10 minute descent, I thanked Martin-Baker for saving my life.”