The Ejection Site

Eyewitness: F8U-1 Off the angle deck

This photo is one of a series of nine photographs taken on 21 October 1961. The pilot LT JG Kryway's landing gear on his F8U-1 failed on landing and the collapsed gear had sprayed debris into the fuel tanks starting a major conflagration under the aircraft. The hook failed to engage any of the cross deck pendants (the wires) and the aircraft continued out of the landing zone off the end of the angle deck. As the aircraft left the angle deck of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) he initiated ejection of his Martin-Baker Mk. F-5 ejection seat.

LT JG Kryway can be seen above the cockpit in the above view. This photo taken next in the sequence shows the seat has pitched forward (an effect of the catapult force being behind the center of gravity). The innermost catapult tube can be seen 'behind' the seat. In less than a second the drogue gun will fire to deploy the drogue parachutes which will then extract the main parachute.

This ejection was unusually significant in part due to these clear photographs. After this ejection, the photographs were widely distributed among the pilot's of the United States Navy. The sequence clearly demonstrated that the Martin-Baker seats were capable of saving a pilot in an off-the-deck ejection. This gave many pilots increased confidence in the system.

Official USN photographs. Thanks to Vaughn McCall for providing the second one from his personal collection.

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