I didn’t hear the Boss call “Eject” on the radio. When the Boss does that, it is usually a good indicator that it is “time to deplane”.
Normally for launches and Traps, they are set to Command Eject and the RIO makes the call. I knew one RIO who was involved in two accidents and made the right call both times. 1st was running off the runway at Nellis AFB (oooh, with the new F-14 we can recreate it) where the pilot was calling “get us out of here!” and the RIO just ignored him. The second was a “spit shuttle” on launch, about one-third down the stroke and they went off the pointy end with 80 KIAS. RIO said, “It sounded like the whole world was shouting ‘EJECT’ in my ears so I decided it was time to go.”
In this case, without hearing the intercom “conversation” I cannot really say why they ejected but it comes down to airspeed and altitude…too little of both and…. Also, the ejection itself may have caused a COG change that let the jet fly away…??? I don’t know.
Well…evidently pieces of the F-14 front cockpit washed up on Norwegian beaches…