It is 31 years ago since I needed to use your Mk7a seat on 7th January 1986 flying a Phantom FGR2 on a low level practice intercept over the highest point of the Pennine mountains in Yorkshire. Flying at a speed of 600mph+ when the nose of my jet simply dived towards the ground without my input! Slowly and gently easing the control column rearward started a high ‘8g’ pitch up to 50 degrees and then a violent nose dive to 30 degrees nose down.
I remember under negative ‘g’ seeing outside my canopy full of ground and rocks and NO sky! The controls had malfunctioned, I ejected immediately and saw my body leave the stricken jet which skimmed under my feet to explode in front of me (converted to 400 bags of dust).Thankfully, the seat worked at 250feet/600mph and after 20 seconds on the parachute landed on the ground. Yes, still the lowest and fastest survivable ejection in the history of the RAF. My navigator and myself have a lot to be grateful for and I would like to thank Martin Baker Company for saving my life and that of Flt Lt Steve Williams! And yes, I did go back to flying Phantoms and also Tornado F3’s.
Thank you once again.
Ian Ferguson Flt Lt RAF Retd