64-Year-Old Falls out of Jet After Pressing Eject!
SAINT-DIZIER, FRANCE — A pensioner who was given a surprise flight in an $80 million fighter jet as a retirement present was flung out at 2,500 ft after accidentally pressing the ejector button.
The astonishing — what reads like a dark comedy — news story comes to us from France at an airbase in Saint-Dizier, eastern France back on March 20th, 2019.
A new report of investigations has told how the 64-year-old French defense manufacturer had been surprised by employees at his firm, who had organized a joyride in a Dassault Rafale B jet for him as a treat after obtaining special ministerial approval.
But his friends didn't know him as well as they thought, as the unnamed man not only had no experience flying in a fighter jet, he also had no desire to rip through the sound barrier.
But, not wanting to be rude, he reluctantly stepped up and entered the cockpit; investigators say that his smartwatch recorded his heart rate racing at 136-142 times a minute, they also noted that "his heart was in full tachycardia" a condition that makes your heart beat more than 100 times per minute.
As quickly as his heart was racing, they were taking off, piloted by a French veteran military pilot with more than 2,000 hours of flight time experience.
As the pilot leveled off and the plane was subjected to a negative gravitational load factor, which can create the feeling of being upside down, the passenger reached for something to hold onto, but inadvertently grabbed the ejector handle.
And yes, he was flung from the cockpit.
But, in his panic on entering the cockpit, the man hadn't actually secured his helmet, which meant that it also flew off into infinity and beyond.
As the pensioner hurtled towards the ground from 2,500 ft, his parachute deployed and he landed in a field, sustaining minor injuries that required him to be taken to a hospital.
The report calls on the French Airforce and the Defence Ministry to review its procedures for allowing civilians on military flights.
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