Ejection Tie Club
We run an exclusive Ejection Tie Club for all pilots that have used one of our ejection seats. Life membership of the Ejection Tie Club is confined solely to persons who have ejected from an aircraft, in an emergency, using a Martin-Baker ejection seat which has thereby saved their life.
The first pilot to be accepted into the Club was a RAF serviceman who ejected over what was then Rhodesia in January 1957. Since then, the Club has over 5800 registered members.
The primary objective of the Club is to provide a distinctive tie to be worn with civilian clothing which therefore provides a visible sign of the members' common bond. Every Club member is given a certificate, membership card, patch, tie, pin or a brooch for the women. All the Tie Club memorabilia depicts a red triangle warning sign which is the recognised international danger symbol for an ejection seat.
The Ejection Tie Club was founded by Sir James Martin and is now run by Andrew Martin, the Grandson of Sir James.
“A blue sky day, typical of most in Oman where I was flying as Jaguar instructor in the Sultan of Oman's Air Force (SOAF), on loan service from the RAF. The weather conditions were good for my briefed sortie: a visit to the nearest firing range, some 15 miles distant, to fire 2 x 120 rounds of High Explosive (HE) 30mm rounds from my single seat Jaguar. The profile was for Pop Up attacks using laser ranging, four passes expected. What could be better...? On my last pass, at the end of a long firing burst, one of the HE rounds exploded as it left the barrel, rather than waiting to hit the ground target. BANG!! from the right hand side. My immediate reaction was to recover from the attack and at the same time I transmitted to my leader 'Predetination right hand side'. Coincidentally, there was a tail plane malfunction warning light and the cockpit quickly filled with thick, dense smoke, obscuring all instruments. I managed to turn off the air conditioning and selected RAM Air, this cleared the smoke but revealed that the left hand engine was in meltdown. The plane in recovery profile was heading upwards at that time, so I shut down the left engine.
Shortly after, the control column smashed forward onto the instrument panel and the aircraft pitched violently downwards. Being a standard issue pilot, I tried to save the aircraft by pulling the control column back. Fortunately it was locked solid, fully forward. Time to leave! With my left hand, I pulled the ejection handle and exited the aircraft at around 1500 ft and 400 knots in a vertical dive, I'd had no time to adopt the correct ejection posture and on leaving the aircraft in a horizontal trajectory, I hit the slip stream, my head flailed out of control and I blacked out. The explosive opening of the main chute, some 2.25 seconds later, brought me back to consciousness and I saw beneath me the fireball of the crashed aircraft. I became aware that my chained oxygen mask had been ripped off and my helmet had twisted through 45 degs. I dropped my dinghy on its 15 ft lanyard, which caused me 3 oscillations, me one way and the dinghy in the opposite direction! These ended when I hit the ground, not far from the crash site. Slight cuts and abrasions and a minor lower back problem were the only injuries that I sustained. I was able to walk away; I owe my life, and subsequent 29 years, to the magnificent Martin-Baker Mk 9 rocket seat and also the superb Irvin parachute. A huge thank you to all at Martin-Baker and Irvin parachutes."
Paddy Mullen, Ejectee # 4053
“On July 14, 1975, I had to eject from a MIRAGE V due to an engine failure. At 500 feet, almost hitting the ground, the seat saved my life. A few years later I left the air force for a very long airline career. I will be forever grateful to Martin-Baker for this new life!"
Philippe Lemmens, Ejectee # 2602
“On 16th April 1996, I was on a routine rocket firing training flight with a squadron mate on an Aermacchi MB339A jet trainer. Our target was a rocky outcrop Island in the South China Sea. During one of the firing passes, the aircraft suffered serious flight control surface failure resulting in a spiral dive at 2000 feet AMSL. Split second decision to eject was made and both of us were saved by our Mk-IT-10F seats. Thanks to Martin-Baker's seat, we lived to tell our story. I was registered as the 4915th member of the Tie Club and my friend became the 4916th. We are proud (not by choice) to be part of an exclusive band of brothers whose lives were spared by seats with rocket packs."
Lt Col Sebastian A. William RMAF, Ejectee # 4915
I was reflecting on the fact that it is now 51 years since I had to eject from a Vampire T.11 during my advanced flying training course at RAF Oakington and so I have been looking at the information on the M-B website. I was amazed to see that the number of ejectees is now up to 5800 odd. I believe I was No 253 but my Tie Club membership card is now so faded it is difficult to read the number! Perhaps you can confirm this from your records.
My ejection undoubtedly saved my life and the Mk 3b seat performed better than its minimums! I was flying solo and had just carried out a deliberate go-around from a low approach to Runway 09 at RAF Gravely - the satellite airfield 10 nm west of Oakington. As I reached about 150 ft and 110kts the engine failed catastrophically and I suddenly had indications of a fire and no power at all. By this point I was 3/4 of the way along the runway at the end of which was a large wood, so there was nowhere I could land ahead and I was rapidly losing speed and height. The decision to eject was the only option open so after a very short r/t call to advise ATC I jettisoned the canopy and pulled the ejection handle.
I recall seeing the aircraft disappearing fast below and ahead of me and then tumbling before the parachute opened. Within only a few seconds I landed on my back on the runway, with the parachute still streamed out horizontally. The aircraft had dived off to the left, hit the ground with one wing and then cartwheeled into the signals square in front of the control tower, where it exploded in a ball of fire! The Flt Sgt ATC controller, who had been sitting quietly at his console, had had little warning of the impending crash, so was almost as shocked by the incident as I was!
I sat up on the runway and released my harness. Having regained my bearings I looked across towards the control tower but all I could see was the fire and a pall of smoke - for a moment it looked as though the aircraft had hit the tower itself. Fortunately, a minute or two later, the fire engine and ambulance emerged from the smoke and trundled across the grass to rescue me.
Amazingly, my only injury was bruising to my lower back, which I feel sure was the result of the hard landing. After a few days in hospital for a check up I was back at Oakington and airborne again.
I am now 70 and long retired from the service but I am always conscious that had it not been for the Martin-Baker seat my career and quite probably my life would have ended at the age of 19 in March 1962. So thank you again for the last 51 years - and more to come!
Wg Cdr Bob Turner (retd), Ejectee # 298
“I was shot down in an F-4E Dec. 2, 1970 over Laos while flying out of DaNang, V.N. with the 421 T.F. S. I would like to thank your company from the bottom of my heart, for that ejection seat that saved my life. I've heard there is a wall of names of people saved by your seat. I would like to know if I'm on that wall and especially, what number I was. The informative letter I received recently about your company said to date, there are 7419 people on that wall. The day I was shot down was my 29th birthday. I'm now almost 72...thanks to you.".
James R. Robinson (Capt. at the time), Ejectee # 5853
“I ejected on March 3rd, 1986, on my first jet-flight ever with the famous Starfighter TF-104g. I was along for a joyride and never realized what would happen! The sequenced ejection system initiated by the instructor pilot deposited me close to a very large cactus near the airfield, unhurt and just slightly confused! Thanks for the great MB-system.".
Thorsten Ralf Fässler CCMSgt GAF, Ejectee # 3921
“On 10 Aug 76 early in my conversion onto the Mirage 111 O I ejected using a Martin Baker Mk10 ejection seat. It was at the start of my operational career and in a dual aircraft with me in the front seat. As we came in to land we had an unsafe left wheel indication and, of course, the left wheel collapsed on the roll out and we left the runway on the wingtip and in full afterburner. After just missing the control tower and just prior to entering a hanger doorway the QFI, FLT LT Bruce Wood, managed to get the aircraft airborne and I ejected first, very low but pointing skywards thankfully. Bruce, the hero of this tale, got out as the aircraft flamed out a few moments later.
That I went on to have a long, very satisfactory and somewhat successful career, retiring in 2008 as Chief of Air Force - Royal Australian Air Force, is due as much to good luck as good management, but without the grand efforts of all at Martin Baker it would have ended in a smoking mess at RAAF Williamtown those long years ago. BZ - many thanks".
Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd (rtd), Ejectee # 2786
“On 2nd August, 1983, during a fleet support mission in a Mirage IIIO in miserable weather, I had just turned inbound towards HMAS Hobart for another simulated attack, when my engine failed. I initiated the ejection at 220KIAS using the lower handle this time. The seat worked perfectly, and seconds later I deployed my dinghy, before landing in a state 5 sea, some 90NM off the coast of NSW.
I am most grateful for the Martin-Baker team saving my life for a second time. I went on to fly F/A-18 Hornets for many more years, before retiring from full time service from the position of Air Commander Australia".
John Kindler, Ejectee # 2350
John is pictured with other pilots welcoming him home the day after his ejection. L-R: Mark Binskin, John Kindler, Mike Tardent, Gus Larard, Alan Titheridge
“Long ago (Jan 9, 1974 - I believe) my pilot and I used two fine Martin-Baker products to exit a burning F-4E (tail number 70204) and left the seats somewhere in the jungles of northern Thailand.
The system worked exactly as advertised. I fell in the seat under the 5’ chute for several seconds from 20,000ft until the barometer activated. Seat separation was immediate and clean with little opening shock. The chute deployed nicely with no tears. I made the cut-four mod and steered for an open landing area. Seat kit released nicely about 50ft in the air when I punched it off just before landing. Chute collapsed immediately after I completed a parachute landing fall. No muss, no fuss! Great product!!!”
Tom Mahan, Ejectee # 5875. USAF (Ret)
“I am one of thousands who owe their lives to your ejection seat.
I ejected out of an F-8 Crusader following a night carrier ramp strike on the USS Bon Homme Richard in the Gulf of Tonkin on April 27, 1969.
Obviously your seat saved my life, and it goes without saying I will be forever grateful... as will my wife, my two sons and my two grandkids; the sons and grandkids would not be here were it not for your seat”.
Jim McGarvie, Ejectee # 1749
"The sense of security that Martin-Baker provides proved itself real in practice and allowed us to avoid all chances of crashing onto people and destroying properties, when the seats released ourselves at approximately 150 feet AGL with ~300ft/min descend rate near Alexander the Great airbase (LGKV) from the burning and incapable of flying F-5B No 65582, which received hits by birds on 21st of April, 1998, after our efforts to reach the RWY for 110 seconds (13NM)".
Panagiotis Georgiadis Colonel (res) HAF Ejectee # 5030
"On February 18, 2014, I ejected from my Kfir approximately ten minutes after takeoff. We had a critical failure in the engine, which led to having to use our ejection seat.
Thanks Martin-Baker for allowing me to see, once again, my beloved wife and my dear children."
Capt. Antonio Jose Niño "HOGAN", Colombian Air Force. Ejectee # 5869
"It was in the late morning of 19th March 1992 (22 years ago today) when our EA-6B was about to make a big smoking hole in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. My ejection seat worked flawlessly.
Martin-Baker defines quality and precision in my mind--and my life. I never would have sought to experience that expertise and precision, but thank God it was there when I needed it.
Another big day in our family, made possible by the professionals at Martin-Baker."
Chris “Boris” Becker, Ejectee # 4573. Chris is pictured with this daughter and son, Madeline and Daniel.
"It is almost 55 years since I escaped a fiery RAF jet using the Martin-Baker seat.
After pulling the 'firing handle' I recovered sensibility inverted to see the burning Vampire T11 below as it head for a watery burial in the South China Sea. A second later, the automatics having worked perfectly, the parachute deployed.
I was very grateful. The life saving experience remains with me to this day."
Bernard (Ben) Lewis - Ejectee # 2388
"Howdy, Martin-Baker, Short email to say—THANK YOU—for providing me with 46 years more life, since my ejection from a USAF F-4C Phantom II over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in Central Laos, on the Ides of March –the 15th of March, 1968.
Your ejection seat worked flawlessly—MUCH APPRECIATED!!! And also much appreciated by my squadron mates..."
Richard Fairlamb - Ejectee # 1640, Lt Col, US Air Force (Retired)
"On April 7, 1971 I ejected from my U.S. Navy F-4J Phantom shortly after take-off on a training mission from NAS Miramar (San Diego, CA). The ejection was due to a fuel leak and subsequent fire, resulting in a total loss of vertical and horizontal stabilator control systems. The ejection seat performed as designed allowing me to continue my flying career and serve in Vietnam with VF-142 aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65).
Thank you Martin-Baker for your hard work, which provided me the opportunity to start a family and enjoy my grandchildren."
Richard Lifer, Ejectee # 1896
"I ejected near Jacksonville, Florida, USA, on 8 June 1964 while leading a Gunnery training flight of replacement pilots getting initial check-out in the F8 Crusader aircraft.
I was quite startled during early climb to note the prominent red "FIRE" light, shortly followed by a tremendous shudder and violent uncontrolled flight: tight negative "g" left rolls.
Finally was able to get a little positive load so that my head was not pushing against the canopy and I was more or less down against the seat and got out of there at about 430 knots and 2300 feet. Short and interesting ride down what with the torn 'chute panel and high winds, but missed the tall trees. I placated the bull I'd nearly landed on and was so thankful that Martin-Baker had come through for me (an ejection is such a personal thing!)."
Mickey Brown, ejectee # 686
"I started my flying career with the 199TFS in F-4Cs. The pilot was Lt Col Tai Hong; I was the WSO. Both Tai and I escaped without serious injury thanks to the Martin-Baker seat we rode down in. We ejected at 1007hrs at 17,100ft, 55 miles north of Hickam AFB, Hawaii …free fall for about 30-40 seconds…canopy opened at about 11,000ft.
The seats worked perfectly. As luck would have it, two USAF helicopters (HH-53) witnessed our splashdown. We were fortunate that they were conducting air-air refueling training below us at the time. They picked us up and delivered us both to Hickam AFB with only a few cuts and bruises.
To all of you at Martin-Baker, thanks again for bringing me home. I am proud to be a member of your club!"
Edwin Vincent, Ejectee # 4145
“We were inverted in a USAF RF-4C and had attempted to roll out with aileron to find if the lateral controls had locked or jammed. After momentarily attempting to break them free, I rolled out with rudder which brought us into a very nose low attitude while bringing the aircraft upright.
Getting zero to poor response from the stabilator, low on airspeed and by now well below safe ejection altitude, I pulled the lower handle. I saw the back canopy go, followed by the backseater. After what seemed an eternity, my canopy and seat went as advertised. The experts determined that if I had waited another 6/10ths of a second to initiate ejection, I would have been out of the envelope.
It’s nice to know that when you are between a hard place and rock that the Martin-Baker system worked as advertised for both of us”.
Gordon Ravenscroft, Ejectee # 5859
"At 0700 on October 3, 1968, I launched out of NAS Miramar in VF-111 F-8H Crusader 148631, modex AH 107, for an air-to-ground strafing/bombing hop. On my fourth strafing pass, I was determined to fire out. This was a mistake.
As I was looking up and left for my interval, I glimpsed sage brush zooming by. I felt a slight bump (as the F-8’s ventral fins sheared off) and reflexively grabbed for the face curtain. I had hit the ground in a wings-level, slightly nose-up attitude, at 500 knots. The aircraft catastrophically disintegrated as the Mk-F5A seat and I were going up the rails.
In spite of ejecting out of the envelope, the system performed well enough for me to be writing this 45 years later. I got a letter from Sir James and a nice tie. I also managed to marry a Navy nurse I met at Bethesda Naval Hospital. We have four sons and six grandsons today thanks to that seat".
“On September 27, 2013, I had to eject from a KFIR fighter due to an engine failure during take-off. The situation was really complicated, almost hitting the ground before ejection. My Martin-Baker seat saved my life.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication, which has allowed me more time with special people in my life. Muchas gracias”
Lt. Juan Carlos Pinilla Latorre, Ejectee #5858
“This October 7th is the 30th anniversary of my successful ejection .Thanks to a Martin-Baker seat in a MIRAGE V, Peruvian Air Force.
Nowadays my family, wife and 6 children are very happy together.
Sincerely thanks so much..."
Coronel FAP Juan Carlos Weston, Ejectee # 5209
“In November 1976, still being a student pilot, we hit another aircraft at 10,000ft and had to eject. Everything went fine, until I landed in a huge tree and was unconscious for a while. SAR picked me up later and I was brought to a nearby base.
Being retired since for many years, looking back at an exciting career in the Airforce and enjoying life - I still celebrate my birthday with the help of Martin-Baker”.
Klaus Luebben, ejectee # 2757 (German Air Force ret.)
"Thanks very much for your follow-through in the matter of my ejection tie...I suppose I never actually planned to have such a tie, but the fact is I would not be here today without the fabulous performance of the Martin-Baker H7 Ejection seat in my F4J Phantom.
My last view of my aircraft that fateful day in January, 1979, was looking down between my knees as I rocketed out of the aircraft only to see half of an aircraft...the entire section aft of the rear cockpit was gone and the entire remainder was engulfed in flames...then a bit of tumbling and the stabilization of the drogue chute...I went out at 25,000 feet....The seat functioned perfectly...."
Ed McNair, Ejectee # 5830
"Having ejected at around 0945 in the morning, by 1930 that evening I was in the bar with my squadron colleagues celebrating another successful ejection. From Wednesday on I flew two sorties a day through Saturday. I am extremely grateful for the magic of the Martin-Baker ejection seat. It saved my life when I was only 21 and I have never forgotten it. 28 years later, it's as though it happened yesterday. Thank you Martin-Baker! I am extremely proud to be a member of your club".
Chase Callcott, Ejectee 4186. L-R, Steve Jackson, Steve Andrews, Chase Callcott - all 3 ejectees
To Read Chase's full ejection story, click here (PDF)
“I ejected from a Harrier GR7a following a total engine failure whilst in the circuit at RAF Cottesmore in June, 2008. I think you always just trust that the seat you have spent thousands of hours sitting on will just ‘work’ when you need it – and work it did. But of course the story of how these extraordinary seats come to ‘just work’ at moments of such extreme peril deserves more than a passing acknowledgement and I felt honoured to come to Martin-Baker with my children recently to meet the people whose dedication had saved my life. What an incredible Company, and what incredible people. Thank you is hardly enough, but to put on the tie and to come and say it in person gave me enormous satisfaction. Thank you again.”
Rob Shand, Ejectee # 5578
"On May 26, 1973, my WSO and I departed Ubon Air Base, Thailand, in an F-4D for a bombing sortie in Cambodia. I took four hits. One round blew the nose off. Second round came up into my front cockpit. Third round hit between the engines and the fourth round took off one of the stabs. The airplane went into a steep left hand spiral. I started the ejection sequence with the lower handle. I will be forever grateful to Martin-Baker."
Jerry Cox, Ejectee # 2212
"On 21 Nov, 1983, I was involved in a mid-air collision with another F4E while stationed at George AFB, CA. We collided at approximately 1500' AGL. My Phantom was cut into two pieces and exploded. My seat worked flawlessly, and I owe my life to your product.
Believe me when I say I am a firm supporter of your ejection seats. Thanks for "being there" when I needed you most!"
"I am extremely grateful to Martin-Baker for that A-6 seat that worked when I needed it and that I successfully survived my ejection, which has given me the opportunity to finish my Navy career, write a book and have a family, which is really the best thing I’ve done in my life!"
Linda Maloney, ejectee # 4346
Linda was in fact the first ever female to eject using a Martin-Baker Ejection Seat! To read Linda's ejection story, click here (PDF)
"On January 29, 2005, I was making my first night trap in the fleet onboard USS Kitty Hawk as a brand new "nugget" pilot in a F/A-18F Super Hornet. On the trap, the #3 arresting cable parted and I felt the jet buck forward and accelerate as I saw the lights of the edge of the landing area passing under my nose gear at 48 knots: Even as an inexperienced Lieutenant Junior Grade, I knew it was time to eject.
The SJU-17A (Mk 14) NACES ejection seat saved my life that night, despite ejecting on the ragged edge of the published envelope. Three days later, I strapped back into another F/A-18F and flew again with total confidence, that should the worst happen again, I could implicitly trust the NACES ejection seat to keep me alive, safe and sound”. Jon Willem Vanbragt, Ejectee # 5442
"Who would think that the act of pulling down a blind could prolong ones’ life by 53 years, and counting? This simple action was taken at the end of a training sortie in a Javelin Mk 5 on 9th March 1960, when the aircraft suffered complete electrical failure above cloud.
I eventually descended through a hole but, once in contact with the ground and being almost out of fuel, was unable to find a suitable place to land. Your marvellous seats gave my R.O (Sgt Bob Lydall) and me the only chance of survival. Needless to say they worked to perfection. Thank you Martin-Baker for your fantastic contribution to Aircrew Safety. My wife, family and friends endorse this praise wholeheartedly. Gratefully, Mike Gill" - Ejectee # 86
"After losing a wing in a very low mid-air collision in September 1958, your seat worked perfectly, and certainly saved my life. My family and I all thank you for your amazing dedication and products".
Thomas Tuke, ejectee # 142
Ejection date: 8th September 1958. Aircraft: Seahawk - 2D ejection seat
"It was in July of 1985, above Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina. I was testing the brand new ''Orao'' airplane. During flight, fuel started to leak in the engine section and both were on fire including the aircraft tail too. The only way to escape was using your magnificent Martin-Baker Mk10 ejection seat. A few years later, I left the Air Force and I am now flying as a captain on the Malian B-727 Presidential Aircraft.
Thanks to the MB Team, I am alive and still in the sky!"
Capt. Bosnic Vojislav, ejectee # 5822
“I went out of an F-4 in 1973 near Taiwan. Thank you for saving a young captain who had a great and long career (40 years, 4 months, and 27 days… ) in our Air Force and over 4000 hours in the F-4, F-15, F-16, and A-10… and only ended up one landing short!
From Valerie (wife of 44 years), my three kids, and my eight grandkids… and me… thanks for the “ride”!
Thank you and all the best to the MB Team".
Ron Keys, ejectee # 2268
“Your company builds what must be the greatest export to ever leave the British Isles. It saved me while leaving the flight deck of the good ship Constellation, at only 60 feet, when our EA-6B was headed for an unplanned swim call, off Hawaii."
Rick Morgan, ejectee # 3383
USN EA-6B Prowler - GRUEA7 ejection seat
“It was a premeditated ejection from a Supermarine Scimitar at 10K. Everything worked as advertised. Swinging down through the clouds, I felt sick, but more worried that I could still hear the airplane, remembering I had forgotten to close the throttles! I was glad to land in water, as impact on the land might have been serious. THANK YOU!!"
Peter Banfield, ejectee # 541
Ejection date: 28th January 1964
“It’s a little bit late but I would like to say thank you for the two let downs that I had with your marvelous seat. My first was in the spring of 1967 when I was involved in a mid-air at Eglin AFB Florida flying an F-4D. I was at about 500 feet and almost inverted when I pulled the handle. The second was from a more reasonable altitude but much less friendly territory, being just sixty or seventy miles SW of Hanoi,but I knew that I was going to at least get out of the airplane without any problems.
Thank you and everyone at Martin-Baker very much”.
Capt. Stephen Gulbrandson, ejectee # 1140
Martin-Baker welcomed Marcelino Correia to the exhibition stand at LAAD Defence and Security 2011. On 25th February 2011, Marcelino ejected from a Super Tucano (ALX) after the aircraft suffered engine problems. He was forced to eject near the runway at Porto Velho Airport, Brazil.
"I successfully ejected after an engine breakdown, confident that the seat would work. It's great to return home to family and friends".
Marcelino Correia, ejectee # 5708
On 23rd March 2010, a RAF Red Arrows Hawk was taking part in pre-season training at Hellenic Air Force base in Kastelli, Crete. During the opposing pair manoeuvre between Red 6 and Red 7, a mid-air collision occurred. Red 6 (Mike Ling) made a lucky escape and ejected from his aircraft.
“I am the very lucky pilot of the Red Arrows Hawk that was forced to eject following a mid- air collision on 23rd March 2010 at Hellenic Air Base, Crete. I am eternally grateful to the sterling efforts of Martin-Baker”.
Mike Ling, ejectee # 5658
On Monday 20th June 2011, two Spanish Air Force pilots from a Casa 101 aircraft successfully ejected. It was a zero altitude ejection – a tyre exploded when the Casa 101 was coming into land.
The two ejectees were Comandante Gonzalo Tortosa and Alférez Alumno Mario Peña. Both pilots are presented with their Ejection ties by Luis Dominquez (Martin-Baker Spanish Agent) and the Colonel Chief of the Air General Academy at San Javier.
“I would like to thank Martin-Baker for saving my life recently. I am sitting here with my family because of the amazing performance of my seat. The accident happened on 23rd July 2010 at approximately 1810Z. The jet developed a problem and I was forced to eject at around 30 metres. It was way too close but the seat saved my life. Words cannot express how I feel right now, but thank you”.
Capt. Brian Bews, ejectee # 5668