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Eject At 1000 Feet

by John M. White |

On March 23rd two Red Arrows flight demonstration Hawk jet aircraft collided in midair 1,000 feet in the air when one pilot ejected from the aircraft while the other pilot landed safely in his aircraft. The damaged aircraft crashed on Kastelli Air Base on the Island of Crete in Greece. The pilot of the crippled aircraft landed safely, and after investigation at a local airport was reported to be suffering from only a dislocated shoulder plus his bruised ego at losing an airplane. The rest of the flight of 9 Red Arrow Hawk jets landed safely at another airport some 22 miles away. The team was performing pre-season practice at the time of the accident.
Piloting fast jet aircraft is a dangerous business, and each year the military loses aircraft during training accidents. But for these precision aero demonstration teams accidents are extremely rare.   These pilots are the best of the best when they are invited to join the team.   Red Arrows Midair Collision   Inevitably the pilots will feel the accident was their fault, and in this case these two pilots where the synchro pair - they are the ones who point their aircraft at each other and fly so close together that it looks like they are going to collide. To qualify the pilots have some 10 years experience flying fighter aircraft, and they train intensively until all the maneuvers are second nature and instinctive. Normally to eject from a fast moving jet is not a pleasant experience because it is designed to save the pilot's life, not give him a pleasant ride down to terra firma. The British Defence Department will send an inspection team to determine the exact cause of this accident. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 There are two critical points in every aerial flight—its beginning and its end. — Alexander Graham Bell, 1906.

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