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Thread: Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....

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    Default Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....

    On August 7, 1984, I was flying an ACM 2v4 mission over the KIAMICHI river in SE Oklahoma. During the first engagement I flew my F4 into a low speed high angle of attack departure. This normally was not a problem but on this occasion my F4 transitioned into a flat spin. This is unrecoverable in the F4!


    Kiamichi river

    After a few spins I made the decision to eject. We were at about 8000ft at the time going straight down. I felt like I had made the ejection decision early but the plane hit the ground 3 seconds after I cleared the cockpit! The Initial shock of ejection was enormous. I was sitting straight up in a good position one second the next I was bent over looking at my crotch then the next I was in the chute checking my canopy. The next thing I heard was the explosion under me. I looked down and the fireball was coming up to meet me. I grabbed the 4 line release to steer my chute away from the flames. I made it to the other side of the river from the crash. This was the first time I felt fear! My training and Martin Baker had saved my life!


    Phantom F4 Heritage Flght

    As I now had escaped the flames I started to look for a landing site, and the only thing under me was 50ft oak trees and the river. I also noted that my seat kit had not deployed and I pulled the manual release handle and nothing happened! The trees were coming up fast so I prepared to penetrate the trees by streamlining my body and covering my neck and face with my hands. I went threw the tree canopy like butter. It turns out that the seat kit strapped to my backside took all the punishment the tree could deliver and spared me from injury!

    I was left hanging in the tree about 5ft above the river bank and I began to swing back and forth and grabbed the tree trunk to climb down. After releasing my chute I slid down the tree and into the river. The seat kit that protected me from the tree was now making my escape from the river more difficult. I worked my way up the river to a point where large tree roots allowed me to climb out of the river. I then walked to the other side of the tree line and took off my harness and the seat kit. My WSO was there on his radio talking to my wingman to let them know we were both alright. He had landed in a clearing and his equipment had worked perfectly. I am convinced that if *my seat kit deployed as designed I would have been severely injured by the impact of the tree limbs. I have always said I would rather be lucky than good!

    *This is the short version of my ejection experience, I hope this is enough details for you. I too have been a watch freak since I was a kid and only recently discovered BREMONT watches. I have yet to see one in person and purchased the MBI in a leap of faith due to the insights that I have gleaned from this forum. I was wearing the same Rolex datejust during both my ejections and she ran for over 20 years before I had her serviced! I don't plan on putting my MB-1 thru this kind of abuse ! So I guess I will have two ejection certified watches! Jim.....

    Cheers Jim.. ATG
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    Hello everybody,

    I have recently registered on this forum but I have been reading all the posts for a while… I was not a watch specialist but was keen on Breitling when I was in my squadron! Now, I can say that my "watch" culture is really improving and of course, I became totally in love with Bremont products and culture! :-)


    I can see that there is a bunch of pilots here! But you know that all pilots love to tease each others, so i would say that except some "very heavy" aircraft pilots (are they really pilots or truck drivers?) and some so called pilots from the last century having flown "smokey machines" or "ancestors flying machine", real pilots were missing!!! Real air defense pilots who know what is 3D and…. fun!!! Ok ok, I stop here, it was just to start in a nice "fighting spirit" atmosphere!!! ;-)

    Ok, guys



    On the 11th May 2010, around 15:00, I was taking off for a 1v1 BVR (beyond visual range) mission versus a Mirage F1. Because the Mirage F1 is totally different from the Mirage 2000 I was flying , we adapted the ROE's (Rules of engagement) to make it a little bit more complicated for me, so I had to come closer to him and I was not able to shoot at him easily…




    The weather was not so bad, a layer of cloud around 10000ft (broken 7/8 for the specialists…). So I was performing my training mission, flying my nice Mirage 2000-5 n76 in the south-west of France. After a bit more than 50' of flight I had a red light alarm! Only one but red! It was about the engine (only one on the Mirage 2000!) and I was able to hear a strange sound from the engine. I did the first actions (to be known by heart) and then everything seemed to be ok, the thrust was ok, the speed good, the jet was flying well! I cancelled the mission (knock it off), kept 80% (as it was prescribed in the check list to keep more than 70%) and stop touching the throttle, using the air brakes to reduce slowly my airspeed. When this happened I was not far from the airfield, around 160/10 (10Nm in the radial 160) at FL120 (12000 feet), but because of the clouds I was not able to see the runway, and because the city of Mont-de-marsan is very close to the base I didn't want just to go down without seeing anything, in case it would become worse… So I decided to descend slowly under the clouds flying East (runway 27 in use) to come back then at 15Nm to have time to reduce my speed and put the gear down. Because everything was ok and my aircraft was flying correctly I was totally relaxed, I told my opponent that I didn't need him, I had time to ask for the firemen to be ready to intervene after my landing and to warn the mechanics of my squadron that they would have to prepare special equipment to deal with this failure…



    I was number one (clear to land), at 2000ft, so I was not talking to the tower anymore, everything was going smooth and I was making some gentle weaves to lose the last 10kts to be able to put my gear down. I was just about to put the lever down when…. suddenly…. a second red light lighted up! But this time with the characteristic sound of an engine shutting down at the same time!!! At that time (6Nm from the runway) I started to think I should have better stayed in my bed rather than have come to work that day! I quickly engaged the emergencey engine regulation, but… nothing happened!!! That is almost impossible that nothing happens when you use this complete different fuel regulation!! I had no thrust anymore, the airspeed was around 180kts so I started to push on the stick to try to maintain my speed! As we say, speed is life (in an aircraft!!)! Thinking that it was impossible that I ejected, seeing the runway just in front of me (less than 4Nm at that time) and being sure that it would not be the first time I would come back without my aircraft (I had already had major failures before: hypoxy, fire… but I had always managed to bring the jet back!), I decided to try a last thing: I shut down the engine and relighted it in emergency mode! At that time, I had all the warnings in the cockpit, I lost all my displays, especially the HUD (Head-up display) and therefore I had trouble to be aware of my speed and altitude (with the stress I was not able to look at the emergency instruments). The engine relighted and I heard the lovely sound of a reactor that is starting up!!! I was so happy and thought I would touch the top of the trees but should be able to land that jet! Unfortunately, the engine stopped at 53% (idle is 70%); much too little to fly the aircraft! So that was it, it was over!!! I stayed 3 more seconds looking at the ground, the trees, the city, to be sure the aircraft would not fall in a populated area, and….. I pulled up the yellow-and-black handle I had between my legs!! I just had the time to call the tower to say "I will eject"! It was 16:00!



    I ejected at 120kts and 200ft. The opening of the chute was really hard… 4" later the jet crashed! I hit (hardly) the ground! I was lucky enough to fall between two small trees, with my chute in the one in front of me and my cannot in the other behind me! After having said maybe 50 times " F*** F*** and F***", I checked I had no injuries, no blood on my face, nothing in my eyes (I used the shiny side of my phone to look at me like in a mirror!). I had nothing, just my back was a bit hurting but I was able to move without any problem! I was in the middle of a dense forest (South-West of France) And I was not able to see my aircraft and even not beyond 3 or 4 meters! I had trouble to reach my cannot with my survival equipment. Quickly, I tried to start my iPhone, and, oh miracle, it was working after 18G!!! I called the chief of operations to tell him I was ok except I didn't know where was my aircraft! I used my phone GPS and sent my position by MMS! A quarter later, an Alpha-jet was overflying me, so I used the orange side of my chute and my smoke gun to make him find me! The forest is so dense at that place that the rescuers spent one hour before finding me, and I had to guide them with my whistle at the end! After that, scanner at the hospital and…. Champagne at the squadron bar at midnight with the whole squadron and even the General from the base! Then a good sleep, very nice holidays during the summer and big thanks to Martin-Baker!!!

    By the way, I wrote an email to MB to thank them, and they answered me they had printed it and put it at the entrance of the factory so every employee was able to read it in the morning when coming to work! Very touching… They invited me to visit their factory (I have to go!!!), and this summer, I received my life-membership card at the Salon du Bourget Airshow, because I am now part of the Tie Club! And because there always something good, even in the worst moments, I am now the happy owner of a maaaaaaarvelous MBI!!!!! Life is so surprising… It's why life is good!!! ;-)




    This sunny day of May, no nice hostess was waiting for me on the ground, but instead, a "nice" forrest... lol ;-)

    Diak.
    Attached Images Attached Images Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-2006-08-redflag-128a-jpg Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-016ex8-jpg Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-image-php-jpg Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-2006-08-redflag-105a-jpg Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-tu95-jpg 
    Last edited by Diak; 19-10-2011 at 00:15.

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    Diak that is an amazing story... and so well told... great shots... maybe photo journalism after 'service'..? I know the Southwest Forests....its lucky they found you........

    (my story from there not so exciting...I had a tire fire on a Winnebago i was driving on maybe the E70 in 94' while driving through to Spain and down to Tarifa to surf....amazingly we found a Winnebago service place a few k's on..in the middle of know where..) as I sad... not as exciting, cheers!
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    Pilot - Steve Andrews
    Date - 18 May 2011
    Time - 3:15 pm
    Location - RAAF Base East Sale, Australia
    Aircraft - RAAF Pilatus PC/9A #A23-039
    MB Seat - MKAU11A
    MB Ejection Number 5720




    Narrative - Steve and a second pilot were departing RAAF Base East Sale on a routine high-low navigation training sortie as part of his Flying Instructor Course when the engine failed at approximately 3000FT and 3NM from the base. With minimal altitude to work with, Steve and the second pilot struggled to return the jet to the base for a forced landing. A subsequent malfunction made a landing on the runway impossible, and Steve and the second pilot were forced to eject at just under 300FT. Both survived the low altitude ejection and Steve suffered some severe spinal injuries. Fortunately, Steve recovered and was returned to flying status in just over 8 months.



    Steve says, "The Martin Baker ejection seats saved our lives, and for that we are both eternally grateful." Steve currently lives in Perth Australia and serves as an Instructor pilot in the Pilatus PC9/A at No 2 Flying Training School. He has over 2500 hours total including operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan flying the C130J Super Hercules.

    When not flying, Steve also enjoys photography and racing cars and bikes. Bremont are honored that Steve chooses to wear the Bremont MB1.
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    Another amazing ejection story....


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    “Fightergator” (Navigator) Name – Donald Verhees
    Date – 13 April 1968
    Time - 1400
    Home Base – Ton San Nhut AB, South Vietnam
    Ejection Location– Chavane, Laos
    Aircraft – McDonnell Douglas RF-4C
    MB Seat – Mk. H-5
    MB Ejection Number – 1680

    Narrative – Don was a “fightergator” in the RF-4C in 1968 when he and a front seat pilot, Walt, went to Udorn AB, Thailand to pick up a battle-damaged jet. The plan was to fly direct back to Saigon, but on the walk to the jet, someone from intel came with a request that they take some pictures of an intersection at Chavane, Laos. The crew accepted the assignment and said, “Sure, it’s on our way home.”

    Don tells his story:

    “So there we were, @1000 feet, 450 KIAS, second pass over the center point to get the other leg of the target, and the dude, by now an expert tracker, got us w/AAA. I thought we were hit in the belly, because heavy black air was pouring out of the same ducting as the 17th stage air conditioning. Wrong. See later.

    Almost right away, I saw the eject light through the smoke and very faintly I heard Walt say, “eject, eject, eject”, so out I went. Seat separation and opening shock happened fast, not at all like some guys can relate every mini-second of the event. I had some flailing injuries and helmet came off. Mask was on but visor was up and strap was not tight. They were shooting at me coming down in my chute, so, not wanting to get hit in the face, I cross armed the risers and turned 180 degrees. Luck I did because I was able to see Walt’s good chute before a small mountain separated us.

    Walt was captured and spent 5 years in Hanoi. I was rescued by the Jolly’s after some 4-5 hours on the ground. I was the centerpiece of an air/ground battle (won by my 4 favorite A-1 Spads.) 74 aircraft were in on our search and rescue. “King”, orbiting above the scene, called off the effort after I was picked up and his C-130 was receiving ground fire through the low clouds. Anyway, we found out 5 years later that Walt was already in enemy hands after being on the ground 20 minutes.

    I saw Walt a few weeks after his release in 1973. He told me that we were hit in the forward camera bay and the smoke I saw was from a fire. After I ejected he said that for a moment the flames licking around the front cockpit died down, and that the aircraft responded to a shaking stick, but then the fire came bigger than before, so out he went. We both used the lower handle.”

    The “hose down” photo (Don on the left) is with Bob Brodman, the instructor flying with Major General Robert Worley when they were shot down in their RF-4C in 1968. The General was killed in action. Since Don’s front seater, Walt, was in Hanoi after his shoot down, Bob and Don flew together on their last flight.

    Don in currently a senior advisor with the NATO Tiger Association and has 32 Tiger Meets under his belt. He lives in France and has children and grandchildren who live in California USA. Bremont is honoured that aviation veteran Don Verhees chooses to wear Bremont.



    Pictured at left is Don climbing into the cockpit with his Bremont MBI, his MBI in flight, and having a good time with the Patrouille de France team in 2014.

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    An ex marine pilot emailed me recently with his ejection story... amazing...

    Hi Alistair @ ATG

    The ejection story is so incredible it's hard to put into words. It was truly a God thing. I ejected on March 4, 2008. March 4 is not just a time/date it is a mantra and philosophy to live by. We must March forth through the difficult times (as well as the good times because they are fleeting) in life. I came to this realization as I was researching (I am working on getting my PhD in psychology) Martin Luther King's march on Washington. Signs kept popping out in the video “march for this, march for that" etc. At that time I knew there was something special about the date I ejected because of the strong epiphany I had just encountered.

    Mine was a ground ejection. I was in the backseat and my student was in the front seat of a T-45C Goshawk. The aircraft flew well that day (the weather was terrible that day, very low ceilings, somewhat windy but extremely low visibility) until touchdown when we started to veer off of the runway. I asked the student "what are you doing" as I took the controls. At the same time he said "Sir it's not me", I realized something terrible happened. There were no warning or caution lights so we had absolutely no idea of what the failure was. We found out later that the weight on wheels switch failed, thus, the aircraft thought it was airborne and did not give us the ability to steer on the ground. After talking with test pilots regarding this type of failure, they confirmed that it is catastrophic. When I ejected both the student and myself, the aircraft went airborne (I slammed the throttle forward in an attempt to get us airborne again; however, as I attempted to move the stick, it froze and a voice came into my heart saying "live or die", although I knew what this meant, I couldn't believe I was about to eject) at a 45 knows high attitude, leveled off, flew by itself in a circle (actually it flew more than 360 on its own) as I got out of my parachute to look for the jet, I saw it descending harmlessly into the trees about a quarter-mile from my position. I was so thankful because the town of Meridian was to the north, the flight line with over $1 billion of jets was a quarter-mile to the northwest, and base housing was to the west. The aircraft landed in one of the only spots, where it would not cause harm to further life or equipment. I found out later that the tower was evacuated because of the pilotless airplane flying in their airspace.

    As I laid in bed thinking about it one night, I had a strong sense that I had a picture of me beside that particular jet taken approximately 10 years prior to the accident (when I was a student). I do not have very many pictures of me next to jets because I always thought those kinds of pictures were cheesy. However, I had this picture taken because I broke a record on a bombing mission with that particular jet, so I wanted to have my picture taken with it. I woke up the next morning, looked for the picture and there it was, me standing proudly next to the jet with my hand on the left side of the nose. Just to make sure, I looked at my logbook to make sure the Bureau numbers were the same and indeed they were. I could go on and on but I'm still learning about the irony and what God wants me to learn from this situation.
    Here is a short video of the ejection site on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h05dmvtA1yA.

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    Don (the Tiger Legend) and I when celebrating the first air victory ever (a French crew, 100 years ago).
    The MB1 club...
    Attached Images Attached Images Bremont MB1 Ejection stories.. post them here....-img_0069-jpg 

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    very cool... nice strap.. A
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