Originally Posted by dwaynerz
Ejection seats in military aircraft - they can save a pilots life in flight or kill/main a person on the ground.
Ejection seats are supposed to be pinned or safied when the aircraft is on ground and no maintenance is being performed on them. This is specified in every maintenance manual and checklist of any military aircraft that is equipped with them. Sounds reasonable and a good practice.
But not everyone always follows the rules. I once saw a maintenance person ejected from a B47 when he was sitting in the Aircraft Commanders seat and somehow either didn't make sure the seat was pinned in the safe configuration
( the pins fit into certain places in the seat and prevent movement of firing components and the pins have red streamers affixed to them that say "Remove Before Flight" ) or some freak mechanical malfunction occurred.
This person was killed on impact with the concrete flight line when the seat fell to the ramp.
On the B47 the pilot and copilot sit under a large plexiglass canopy that is ejected from the aircraft before the seats are ejected. The canopy was also ejected and fell on the ramp, but no one on the ground was hit by it.
I didn't witness this from the start, but its something I'll never forget.