While the world of aviation is a marvel in its own self, there are still multiple errors and mishaps that occur in this field of technology much like any other. Any aircraft have suffered horrible crashes during their testing phases but some of them suffered the crashes and ejections from pilots in between their normal performances.
Taking this into account, we present a few of the well-known jet ejections of the aviation history (part 1).
2 MiG-29s Collided with each other Mid-Air during an Air Show
An Airshow was being held back in 1993 at the RAF Fairford located in Gloucestershire which had a crowd of nearly 250000 people. The crowd came to see some action but they got to watch more than what they had actually paid for as the 2 of the performing MiG-29s collided with each other mid-air. These badly damaged jet fighters started to crumble down towards earth enveloped in the ball of fire. These aircraft were being flown by pilots Alexandr Beschastnov and Sergey Tresvyatsky who were both the part of the Russian Flight Research Institute. Their planes collided with each other during their performance of cross maneuver. The collision occurred due to one of the pilots losing sight of the other aircraft. Despite this sudden collision, both pilots were quick on their feet to eject out of the aircraft safely, to the shock and surprise of the crowd.
As for the planes hurling downward, they also did not cause any major damage to the crowd standing below. Some people from the crowd also claimed that these pilots had a little physical altercation after making their landing but that bit was never confirmed.
Crash Landing of a Harrier GR9A In Afghanistan
The first major accident that the Harrier GR9A suffered while in service of UK was back in 2009 while it was stationed in the Afghanistan region and it allowed it to become one of the top ejections of the aviation world. The Harrier GR9A was made after a collaboration of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Force under their Joint Force Harrier project with an intention of providing the support to the International Security Assistance Force. This special unit was developed in order to provide safety to the ground personnel stationed in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan.
This accident was caused after a Harrier GR9A made landing and the landing gear of the aircraft could deploy fully and caused the aircraft to skid along the entire runway. The pilot was able to successfully and safely eject out of the aircraft only moments before it was engulfed completely in the flames. Pilot only sustained few injuries and no enemy interference was ever discovered in this accident.
The collision of F-104N & and XB-70 Valkyrie during their promotional photoshoot
One of the most renowned yet tragic aviation accidents occurred on one noon of June 1966. America had just created the XB-70 Valkyrie and it was brought to the Edwards Air Force Base alongside 4 of the F-104N Starfighters. They were brought for participation in the promotional photoshoot for the producer of the jet engine company named General Electric. The Valkyrie was piloted by two pilots named Air Force pilot Colonel Al White and Major Carl Cross while the Starfighter was piloted by Joe Walker.
The photoshoot required the flight sequence in which the Starfighter would be flying behind the Valkyrie at a relatively close range. However, at this close range, the F-104 suffered from the wingtip vortices emanating from Valkyrie’s engines which caused the Starfighter to go out of control in the air. The Valkyrie, as a result of this, went right through the cockpit of the Starfighter causing the death of Joe Walker at the spot. As for the Valkyrie, it was also going out of control making it impossible for the pilots to reach for the ejection pods. Al White was finally able to eject but Cross was never able to do it.
An F-117 Nighthawk Fighter Jet Loses its Wings in-between an Air Show
The aircraft built by Lockheed designated as the F-117 Nighthawk was the first-ever aircraft to be built upon the stealth technology and was the most prized aerial asset of the US military. The aircraft was sued extensively during eh Gulf War and only 1 of these F-117 Nighthawks was lost to the battle. Still, another F-117 Nighthawk was lost during a performance at an air show being held in Baltimore back on 14th September 1997. The aircraft was being flown by the pilot named Capt. Bryan Knight and as it was flying over the excited spectators of the air show, one of the aircraft’s port wings sliced off entirely from its fuselage section causing it to start spiraling towards earth down below.
As a result of the crash, two homes were destroyed in the Chesapeake Bay marina arena but no one was gravely injured. An investigation led to the discovery that the aircraft was missing on 4 of its fasteners that were to support the wing structure. The mistake might have been made a year earlier when the wings were disassembled and then reinstalled.
Sukhoi-Su 27 disaster at the Sknyliv Air Show
The deadliest of all the aviation accidents is the one that occurred at the Skynyliv air show which was held back in 2002 in Ukraine. The accident was so devastating that it shocked the entire world. The air show had an attendance of nearly 10000 people who were there to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ukraine Air Force’s 14th Air Corps at that time. One of the aircraft at this air show was the Sukhoi Su-27 which was being piloted by the main pilot named Volodymyr Toponar and the co-pilot Yuriy Yegorov. Moments after they started their routine, something nerve-wracking occurred as the aircraft, during its rolling maneuver’s downward trajectory struck the ground with its left wing. This caused the plane to skid across the ground and to be quickly enveloped in flames. Despite this unexpected crash, the pilots were able to safely eject out of the aircraft.
Despite the pilots not suffering any injuries, the aircraft in flames skidded to crash into the crowd and killed nearly 77 spectators right on the spot along with injuring nearly 500 of them. As a result of this accident, Toponar was sentenced 14 years of imprisonment while Yegorov was given 8 years sentence by the military court on a basis of their negligence and their failure of following the flight rules.