A court enquiry in France has heard how a civilian on a surprise fighter jet flight managed to accidentally eject himself from the speeding plane at speeds in excess of 500km/h, a velocity that would get you from London to Germany in less than 60 minutes. It is believed that flights such as these in military planes are rarely authorised for civilians due to the risks. The 64-year-old in question is a leading defence company executive and it is being looked into whether strings were pulled in this instance.
As he and the pilot took off, the 3.7 g-force caused him to float up from his seat and he had to stand. To steady himself he unknowingly grabbed the ejector handle and was propelled out of the speeding plane, losing his helmet in the process. Thankfully he came to a soft landing in a field but had no control over this and could have ended up in numerous places where his life would have been in danger. The court heard how the civilian had received “absolutely zero training”, taking off just a few minutes after the surprise was announced. His seat belt was also too loose, causing him to initially rise up from the passenger chair. His heartbeat was measured at between 120 and 145 beats per minute at take-off. The pilot managed to land safely, despite losing his entire cockpit after his passenger inadvertently deplaned. The joint military and judicial enquiry is set to continue.