Jon Willem Vanbragt

Tie Club # 1552

“On January 29, 2005, I was making my first night trap in the fleet onboard USS Kitty Hawk as a brand new “nugget” pilot in a F/A-18F Super Hornet. On the trap, the #3 arresting cable parted and I felt the jet buck forward and accelerate as I saw the lights of the edge of the landing area passing under my nose gear at 48 knots: Even as an inexperienced Lieutenant Junior Grade, I knew it was time to eject. The SJU-17A (Mk 14) NACES ejection seat saved my life that night, despite ejecting on the ragged edge of the published envelope. Three days later, I strapped back into another F/A-18F and flew again with total confidence, that should the worst happen again, I could implicitly trust the NACES ejection seat to keep me alive, safe and sound”

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