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Air Force identifies airman who died after ejection seat activated on the ground – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Air Force identifies airman who died after ejection seat activated on the ground – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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The U.S. Air Power recognized the teacher pilot who died after his ejection seat activated whereas on the bottom at Sheppard Air Power Base in Wichita Falls on Monday.

The USAF mentioned Capt. John Robertson, an teacher pilot with the eightieth Operations Help Squadron, was severely injured when “the ejection seat of the T-6A Texan II plane he was in activated throughout floor operations.”

Robertson, the air base mentioned in a press release, died Tuesday of his accidents.

“It is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson’s household and family members, and for your complete eightieth Flying Coaching Wing,” mentioned Col. Mitchell J. Cok, the appearing wing commander. “Captain Robertson was a extremely valued airman and teacher pilot. Our deepest condolences go together with all who knew and beloved him.”

Cok additionally thanked the crew that responded to the incident, whose efforts in offering first support and medical care allowed Robertson’s household to be at his facet when he died.

“We’re grateful for the M1 upkeep crew who instantly offered live-sustaining care, and for the heroic efforts of the safety forces, hearth and medical personnel right here on base and at United Regional Hospital,” Cok mentioned.

The coach plane may be flown by both one or two pilots. An Air Power official mentioned a scholar within the plane didn’t eject and was not injured.

The Air Power has not mentioned how the ejection seat could have been triggered however mentioned an interim security board investigation is wanting into the incident and {that a} full Air Power Security Investigation Board is predicted to be in place later this week.

“Ejection’s a violent process,” mentioned Aviation lawyer Jon Kettles.

Kettles says a 2022 incident at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Price is an instance of what a seat ejection ought to appear like. He factors to the pilot being ejected simply excessive sufficient to permit the parachute to full then return the pilot to the bottom.

“Getting injured in an ejection might be doubtless nevertheless it needs to be nothing greater than say minor,” mentioned Kettles.

He believes it is extremely unlikely the eject lever was pulled deliberately or by mistake.

“As somebody who’s flown an plane with an ejection seat, certain you need it to have the ability to work whenever you want it however frankly, if I used to be flying one among these now, I’d be extra involved proper now about an ejection seat launching me out simply on a routine flight even after I don’t need it to,” mentioned Kettles.
Sheppard AFB mentioned the investigative board will launch its report on the incident when the investigation is full.

Funeral preparations for Robertson, who has ties to Fort Price, are pending.

NBC 5 Information


The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine turboprop, two-seater plane that serves as a main coach for Air Power, Navy and Marine Corps pilots in fundamental flying abilities.

Based on an Air Power file on the plane, pilots enter the T-6A cockpit by means of a side-opening, one-piece cover.

In a coaching flight, an teacher can sit within the entrance or again seat; each seats have light-weight Martin-Baker ejection seats which are activated by a deal with on the seat.


Ejecting from an plane is a multi-stage emergency evacuation sequence designed to be triggered by the pilot grabbing a deal with. Grabbing the deal with first jettisons or shatters the plane’s cover earlier than a cartridge fires launching the pilot’s seat away from the plane in order that they will then parachute to security.

Your complete ejection course of takes just a few seconds from the second the deal with is activated.

In 2022, the T-6 fleet and a whole lot of different Air Power, Navy, and Marine Corps jets have been grounded after inspections revealed a possible defect with one part of the ejection seat’s cartridge actuated gadgets, or CADs. The fleet was inspected and in some situations, the CADs have been changed.

Ejection seats have been credited with saving pilots’ lives, however additionally they have failed at important moments in plane accidents. Investigators recognized ejection seat failure as a partial explanation for an F-16 crash that killed 1st Lt. David Schmitz, 32, in June 2020.

In 2018, 4 members of a B-1 bomber crew earned the Distinguished Flying Cross when, with their plane on hearth, they found one of many 4 ejection seats was indicating failure. As a substitute of bailing out, the entire crew determined to stay within the burning plane and land it so all of them would have the very best likelihood of surviving. All the crew survived.