Is it normal ejection procedure to pull the canopy eject handle before ejecting?
What happens if just the seat ejection is activated? Will the canopy auto eject, or will the seat shoot through the canopy?
One thing I found strange about the Top Gun ejection scene was that Goose was released from his seat so soon. I’m certain there are other dubious details as well, but up until Goose crashing into the canopy, it seems plausible. But I thought he’d still be in his seat that soon after ejecting…
But I also read some place that crew have been killed from hitting the canopy in similar circumstances, so I guess it could’ve happened as depicted in the movie.
Normal Procedure was to Pull the Normal Ejection Handle,
The Sequence was timed, Canopy, RIO, Pilot.
The Issue w/ the Flat spin was the Canopy would not clear the RIO Ejection path in the timing of the normal sequence, this was rare, and in the case of a flat spin, the Published procedure was to pop the canopy first to give extra time for it to clear the RIO Ejection Path.
So Normal Circumstances = Pull Ejection Handle, Canopy, Rio, Pilot.
Flat Spin = Pull Canopy Jettison handle, Canopy Goes, Count 1-2, Pull Ejection Handle, Rio, Pilot
However this procedure was not published until after they realized the Timing was a problem in flat spin cases.
In deed it is! From Squadron-mates of mine, way back when, who ejected from their Tomcat just as it was going off the “pointy end of the boat” with something like 80 KIAS - a night cat shot - the launch bar hadn’t been set correctly in the shuttle - it spit out of the shuttle about 1/3 way down the stroke)
RIO - “It sounded like everybody in the world was shouting ‘EJECT!’ in my ears so I figured, it’s time to go. I pulled the ejection handle and the next thing I knew I was looking down at a little toy Tomcat - there was a bunch of little flames where the canopy used to be - it seemed bright” - [the “left over” of the charges that blew the canopy off].
Pilot - “The canopy went and I could feel the air rushing up–vertically–around me” [as the Tomcat plummeted down] I was flying a Coke machine…in afterburner. I think I felt water but the next thing I knew I was out of the jet. My chute opened and I got about half a swing and I was looking at the bowtie [the center anchor] headed right at me. But the she ship turned out of the way and I hit the water…right next to the plane. My chute was blowing towards the tails but the SEWARS worked and the chute detached. So I just pushed off the canopy rail and started to swim away from the aircraft."
Both were recovered with no serious injuries. This happened off the cast of VA. Later, Navy divers found the plane sitting on its landing gear on the bottom.
Proof positive that timed sequence - Canopy, RIO, Pilot - works! - even in extreme low altitude, low speed situations.
I did my military service as a crewchief in the Swedish Airforce, working on the AJ-37 Viggen. There were also two seat trainer SK-37 Viggens at my base. They had two separate cockpits in tandem. Two canopies and two seats, to be ejected as soon as possible in the event of trouble…
The solution was detonation plungers that threw the canopy upwards and backwards. It needed the help from a 70km/h head wind, so no 0/0 capability. Then the ejectionseats were separated sideways by a chord, attached between the airframe and the seat side. So, when the seats went up and left the rails, the chord was pulled taught, tilted the seat slightly, before breaking… The craziest thing was that it actually worked!
The RIO had another experience when his jet veered off the runway (Nellis AFB) at high speed while landing - the pilot was screaming “get us out of here” - it was a rough ride across desert terrain but the RIO didn’t think it was that bad, so he didn’t eject…and the Tomcat came to a safe stop (it was flying again the next day - the really were “Grumman tanks”).
So two times this RIO was faced with an ejection decision and he made the correct choice both times. A great naval aviator.
What was the case# for the Eastern plane that was in a flat spin, no sign of recovery, so he ejected and the force of the ejection rockets forced the nose down and the aircraft’s onboard FCS regained control and belly landed the aircraft and it sat on the ground full burner, lol…
You would think in the event of a Flat spin, there would be a JATO Bottle/Rocket somewhere to force the nose down on aircraft that are prone to flat spins after that incident.
the tomcat’s answer was simple, and verified at least 2 dozen times after the pilot found it…
Even though it was not the documented procedure, it saved at least 48 ejection bottles and 24 aircraft, not to mention the lives and careers of the crews
The SAAB J35 Draken had a nasty habit of entering a superstall, in excess of 100 deg. AoA. It could be recovered by rocking in pitch, but you needed serious altitude.
OTOH it made Swedish pilots capable of Cobra maneuvers, long before Pugachev ever did one