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Gnat crashes at Car Fest

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:49 pm
by Spitfire
Kevin Whyman sadly lost his life when his Gnat crashed during a display at Car Fest :(

Makes you wonder wether 'bang seats' should be allowed and properly maintained in privately owned small fast jets as this may have saved him ...

A bad weekend for crashes ... what with this, Blackbushe & Biggin Hill :(

Re: Gnat crashes at Car Fest

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:41 am
by Ray C
So the Hunters & Like currently flying have no ejector seats in them.....?

Re: Gnat crashes at Car Fest

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:22 pm
by Vulcan Bomber
Job to say really, 558 has live seats so it's not like civvy owned aircraft can't have them.

Re: Gnat crashes at Car Fest

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:33 pm
by Spitfire
It seems I made an incorrect assumption - we all know what assume does ;)

I read an article recently about the bang seat in a private single seat jet not being correctly serviced or supplied with in date munitions and the permit being withdrawn. The premise was that getting live bang seats permitted was very difficult and that live bang seats in the hands of civilian maintainers was not going to be easy - the Vulcan I took as an exception what with it being bigger and not single seat etc.

I made the - incorrect it now seems - assumption that - as the pilot of this Gnat did not eject that the seat was not live and or armed ... and I had - also incorrectly - assumed that these seats were inert in private hands.

But - there are indeed now reports that the seat was live and of the canopy having been blown off and perhaps the seat not having time to operate. It would also have been an early mark seat and perhaps not capable in the final manouver of this particular crash (captured on video) which appears to have been sharp with a high AOA (High G) and very close to the ground.
Also it seems that Gnat variant was not fitted with MB seats but had Folland's own version of an Ejection Seat.

Apologies for my assumptions - I now know different having researched .....

Re: Gnat crashes at Car Fest

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:55 am
by Mayfly
Correct the seat in the Gnat is a Follen seat not a MB, I believe it is based on Saab seat but not sure from what a/c.

I know not long after the RAF sold JPs some operators were flying them unarmed don't quote me but I'm almost sure the CAA made a ruling that if a PtoF a/c had ejection seats they had to be live. The only people I know who work on the seats are retired armours.

As an aside I'm sure I heard from somewhere this last week but not sure where that MB are to stop supplying spares for older seats ........ need to back track for that info.