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.
“On 28 January 1988, I ejected from an FA-18A following a mid-air collision. My aircraft was on fire and in an unrecoverable spin. Your seat saved my life and 11 months later the little guy in this picture was born.
I continued to fly and went on to complete 27 years of service in the U.S. Navy, and had 2 more sons. On behalf of myself and my entire family, I want to express a gratitude that is really beyond words.
Dave "Smoke" Morgan, Ejectee #5794
“There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the second chance Martin-Baker has given me.
So many things went wrong on the night of 20 May 2008, however your dedication to ensuring that your seats work the first time, every time has provided so much for my family.
My two sons were very young at the time and my daughter was not even born yet!
Thank you for saving my life.”
Damon M. Slutz, Ejectee #5587
“Dear Martin-Baker staff,
On a dark and stormy night on the 15th June 1960, my pilot and I successfully ejected from a De Havilland Sea Venom FAW 53.
I am reminded of that event in a very pleasant way, by being inducted into the Martin-Baker Ejection Tie Club.
I thank you and remain in your debt.”
LCDR E.D. Sandberg RAN (retired), Ejectee #129
“The Martin-Baker ejection seat is an amazing device and has saved many lives. My ejection was on Sunday, 8 April 1990.
I was the WSO in an F-4E Phantom II, Tail Number 68-0311, of the 110th TFS, 131st TFW of the Missouri Air National Guard, US Air Force. The aircraft ran off the side of the runway on a formation takeoff, it was a wild ride and when the nose gear collapsed I received an uncommanded out-of-the-envelope ejection.
There was barely enough altitude to get man-seat separation, and I hit the ground before the parachute could even come out of its container. I survived and went on to a 33 year career in the US Air Force.
I’m a strong advocate of the Martin-Baker team and managed a project to upgrade Alpha Jet aircraft with new Martin-Baker seats.”
Kevin Greeley, USAF, Ejectee #5009
To read Kevin's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“On June 13, 1972, 60 miles northwest of Hanoi North Vietnam, my F-4E was hit by an atoll air to air missile. The jet immediately went out of control. A witness from another aircraft stated that “from the aft edge of the wing back there was one giant fireball." Pulling negative G's I used the lower handle to pull myself back into the seat and initiate the ejection. My WSO Lt. Richard Fulton and I both ejected safely.
One big thank you. Without Martin-Baker I would have missed my wonderful wife, children, and of course adorable grandchildren.”
Former Captain Gregg O. Hanson, USAF, Ejectee #2298
“After having flown single engine fighters for most of my Navy career, I thought that flying the twin engine F-4N Phantom provided me with an extra margin of safety in the Naval Reserves. After all, I had survived two combat cruises to Southeast Asia flying the F-8 Crusader with a Martin-Baker rocket seat and never had to avail myself of its life saving capability.
Well, fast forward to November 2, 1976 on ACM flight about 70 miles West of Key West, Florida over the Gulf of Mexico. I was in the Navy Reserve and doing two weeks of active duty. I and my wingman were fighting a single A-4 using lots of afterburner and rolling scissors. Coming out of the bottom of one of the scissors I pushed the throttles up and tried to re-engage the burners but there was no engine response. By now we are at about 15,000 feet pointed up and slowing rapidly. I looked at the fuel gage and the totalizer was showing 4000 # and no low fuel light. I got the RAT out and began the relight procedure. By now we were descending rapidly and nothing good was happening with the re-light attempts. I conferred with my RIO and we ejected descending through about 8000 ft. I watched the plane splash in and saw that my backseater had a successful chute also. Unfortunately he lost his seat pan and survival raft in the ejection due to loose lap belts trying to check my six o'clock. A full time job I might add. We were picked up about an hour and a half later by the SAR helo and taken to NAS Key West sick bay. There we were pronounced fit. Everything worked exactly as advertised with our Martin-Baker seats and neither one of us had any injuries from the ejection.
Thank you Martin-Baker et al for your marvelous seats which allowed both my RIO and me to continue with our lives. I have three children and eight grandchildren and am thankful everyday for the precious gift of life. Had it not been for those Martin Baker Mk-H7 seats neither I nor Mack McKay would be here today. Life is good thanks to our creator and your marvelous seats.”
LCDR(ret) Chuck Scott, Ejectee #5903
“On the last night of the Gulf War (February 28, 1991) in an RV-1 Mohawk, while returning from a mission over Iraq, SPC Steve Littleton and I suddenly found ourselves in an ejection situation near our home base in Saudi Arabia. SPC Littleton ejected first without incident. As I grabbed the ejection handle I thought, "If this seat doesn’t work, this could be the last few seconds of my life". Then I pulled it. What an immediate relief to feel the parachute tug on my risers and the subsequent realization that I was going to be OK, even before I landed in the desert. SPC Littleton landed, without injury, not far from me. We were both rescued within hours.
As a testament to the engineering that went into the Mk. J5D ejection seat, SPC Littleton was painlessly playing volley ball the next day back at our home base.
On behalf of Steve Littleton and myself, thanks for manufacturing and continually improving this "sure death" alternative.”
Captain Attila Barandi, United States Army, Ejectee #4424
Specialist Steve Littleton, United States Army, Ejectee #4425
“I am the daughter of Paul Michael Cole. Our family only recently learned about the Martin-Baker Ejection Tie Club and while my father passed away December 22, 2014, I would like to share his story.
Paul Michael Cole was flying his F-4 on a mission in the vicinity of Dong Ha, Republic of Vietnam on Tuesday, September 26, 1967. His aircraft was shot down and he ejected over water. Because of the Martin-Baker ejection seat, Paul was able to return to his family, continue raising four children, meet his seven grandchildren and his seven great-grandchildren. Paul's favorite part of the story involving being shot down was when we would ask how he knew it was time to eject. He would smile and say, "If one more light lit up on the dashboard, I would have won a free game!" Speaking for all of his children, grand and great grandchildren, thank you, Martin-Baker for returning our dad to us!”
Gretchen Cole-Lade, daughter of Paul Michael Cole, Ejectee #1458
“We launched around 1800 hours from El Toro, rendezvoused with our squadron playmate over the Pacific, contacted GCI and began our evening’s work: night VFR intercepts. After a handful of successful runs, the pilot’s control panel showed low oil pressure in the starboard engine, and a fire warning/engine overheat light!
Protocol (since the sump was the low point in the engine lubricating oil system) was to shut down that engine, and head home. We informed our playmate, shut down the starboard engine, terminated our session with GCI, and started back to El Toro with our playmate on our starboard wing. On the way in, the port engine fire warning light came on. Our playmate gave us a quick visual check, saw no evidence of fire, and we pressed on. We called El Toro, declared an emergency, and requested a straight in approach. We went feet dry, and were feeling pretty good about our situation until we blew down the gear and flaps. The F4’s utility hydraulic system which normally did those things was driven off the starboard engine, which we had shut down over the Pacific. Since the pneumatic system was set by McDonnell to blow the flaps FULL down this resulted in bleed air being taken from the port engine for the port and starboard side of the leading and trailing edge flaps. While bleed air is important for lower stall and landing speeds, in this situation it also left us without enough power to stay airborne with full power on one engine, so Bob was going from full power to burner, and back, just to stay on track. About 3 miles from touchdown the nose rose slowly up and to starboard. At about 45* of roll, and with the plane not responding to the controls to level off, Bob politely told Kevin to “Eject Eject!” which he did after telling Bob ”I’m outta here!". At about 90* of roll (our wingman told Bob later that he and his seat went right across his windshield), Bob left the mother-ship.. The Martin-Baker seats performed flawlessly, the chutes opened and even though it looked to Kevin like Bob was going to land in the plane’s fireball, in fact we both landed safely and without injury on ranch land some distance from the crash site and from each other. After disentangling from our respective parachutes and seat harnesses, and some very loud shouting and several tracer rounds from our service revolvers, we reunited.
A base helicopter arrived within minutes to pick us up. The plane had crashed at 2024 hours. It was a short, happy ride home. Thank You, Martin- Baker (and Switlik Parachutes). We were, and still are, alive and well, thanks to your excellent product..”
Bob Pennell, Martin-Baker Ejectee #525
Kevin Grennan, Martin-Baker Ejectee #526
“My grandsons, my sons and I are walking around today because of your ejection seat! At 3 am on September 7, 1981 My RIO and I were waiting to park after aborting our launch aboard USS Kitty Hawk. We were stopped in the middle of the landing area when a frantic radio call caused me to look over my left shoulder and see an A-7 about to land on us. I could not get far enough out of the way so I initiated ejection as the planes collided. My RIO ducked and covered his head. His seat retracted his harness, sat him up and shot him out. My seat fired as the Tomcat was headed over the side of the ship in a previously untested part of the ejection envelope (zero airspeed, nose down, aircraft torquing left due to the A-7 impact.
Both my RIO and I escaped without injury. Such a complex device and it worked perfectly. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!”
Cdr. Charles Nangle, Ejectee # 3390
“I was a student pilot on the Royal Naval Buccaneer Operational Conversion Squadron completing my 4th Famil sortie when, on returning to the circuit to land, the undercarriage would not lock down properly. Despite my many different attempts to rectify the situation all were unsuccessful and I was subsequently ordered to climb to 10,000ft and carry out a pre-meditated ejection over the sea. It was not a pleasant situation knowing that one was going to have to pull the ‘black and yellow’ handle and hope that all went well!! However, I had every faith in Martin-Baker and had little doubt that things would ‘work as advertised’. This indeed turned out to be the case and I lived to tell the tale.
The first photograph was taken approx. 6 months later, of the said ejection seat which had been dragged up by a local fishing boat, myself and the crew.
My second ejection was at the complete opposite end of the scale from the first! In a few words, when ‘tensioned up’ on the port catapult of HMS Hermes and with the engines at full power the hold-back unit broke and released the aircraft prior to the catapult firing. Needless to say there was no way a fully laden Buccaneer was going to get airborne in approx 108ft of runway!! So, there was no other alternative than to trust Martin-Baker once again. Thank goodness we just had the new Mk6MSA (zero/zero) seats fitted otherwise I’m sure that I would not be here to tell of these two escapes.
The second is a photograph of a Buccaneer ‘tensioned up’ on the catapult of HMS Hermes.
My very sincere thanks go to everyone at Martin-Baker (past and present) for producing an extraordinarily great piece of equipment. I shall forever be indebted to you all for looking after me on both occasions.”
Lt ‘Pony’ Moore, Royal Navy, Ejectee # 1435
“Hey guys!!! First I would like to thank and appreciate you all for making such a wonderful ejection seat. You are actually saving lives which has been proved time and time again.
I am in Indian Air Force. I went for a sortie in Jaguar Aircraft (fitted with MK 9 class of ejection seats) on 05 Mar 15. Shortly after take off the aircraft had entered into spin which could not be controlled and I had to eject. The ejection seat worked very beautifully because of which I am alive today.
I am very, very thankful to you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible for me to be in between my family AGAIN.
Thanks a lot guys. May God bless you.”
Vivek Chaudhary, Indian Air Force. Ejectee # 5922
“It was a spring day in 1995 about 200 miles SW of Sicily. The USS Theodore Roosevelt was heading up to the Adriatic to enter the Bosnia conflict. As we expected combat, we needed to make sure as many jets as possible were up and ready so the past few days had been a maintenance blitz. We were conducting a post-maintenance check flight on our F-14 Tomcat, which the jet passed with flying colors.
After the flight we were heading back to the carrier, when suddenly the jet began bucking like a bronco - negative 2 Gs followed by 5 Gs, back and forth for about 1 minute, then it suddenly stopped. We couldn't figure out what was wrong, but another aircraft joined up and noticed a mismatch in our horizontal stabilators. After two more events similar to the first, each time with the jet losing about 5000 feet, the jet suddenly pitched over into a negative 2 G dive and started rolling uncontrollably. I looked at the altimeter and it read 3000 feet so I pulled the handle. After the loud flash and bang, I found myself under the parachute, and looked down just in time to see the jet hit the water - what turned out to be just 4 seconds after we ejected. We were both safely under parachute, with only minor injuries but alive. We were plucked out of the water by helos from the carrier about 45 minutes later.
Thanks to Martin-Baker and my Parachute Rigger, I am still alive, and by being able to "live to tell" about our story a major mechanical problem was found. All F-14 Tomcats were subsequently inspected and the same problem was found on dozens of other jets, so Martin-Baker not only saved my life but likely prevented many other aviators from (at best) joining the Tie Club themselves or at worst losing their lives. It was just a month later that a high school friend who heard I was deployed wrote me a letter...We've now been married 17 years with two wonderful children.
Thank you Martin-Baker!!”
CDR(ret) Todd A Parker, MD, Ejectee #4822
“There is no doubt that Martin-Baker ejection seats have been saving aircrew lives for decades. As a matter of fact, the seat that saved me was designed and built before I was even born!
On January 8, 2000 I was ferrying a 1956 vintage Hawker Hunter from Mojave to Chino, California. I'd flown these jets in an adversary role since leaving the U.S. Marines as a fighter pilot about a year earlier. This particular jet was to get some electronics fixed in Chino, however, when preparing to land the engine decided to roll back and no longer responded to my throttle inputs. Not being able to make the runway, I set up on a farmers field to put her down in a safe area. I was planning to eject in a stable glide at a few hundred feet and 125 kts once I was assured the jet would impact the field. Unfortunately, as I was preparing for this I looked up at some very high power lines in my path that thwarted my efforts. I had to delay 'pulling the handle' until clearing the lines by flying underneath them. At approximately 40 feet altitude, I yanked the handle on that 44 year old MB seat (I was 39 at the time) and it fired, literally shooting through the canopy and out of the sick jet. I never got seat-man separation or a full chute, but I survived the impact with a few broken bones and a dislocated shoulder. I was alive!
So five years before I was born, the fine people at Martin-Baker built the seat that would save my life four and a half decades later. For that, my wife and I are eternally grateful to all the personnel at MB; past and present.”
Mike 'Ratso' Cariello, Ejectee #5916
“My name is Terry Cox, call sign ‘Top Cat’…on the night of May 23, 1968 in the Republic of Vietnam I was flying in the backseat of a Marine F-4B phantom when our plane was hit by Anti-aircraft fire during a night bombing mission. My pilot and I were both forced to eject over the Gulf of Tonkin. Even though we were rescued by a Huey Gunship helicopter within 45 minutes it was not without incident. As the helicopter landed and I was running towards it, we came under heavy enemy gun fire. The door-gunner who came out to help me, bravely gave me cover with his .45 pistol while I jumped into the helicopter. The pilot did a remarkable job of flying us out of there to safety. During the ejection my back was injured, not because of the seat but because I was out of position when I pulled the handle. We had the old Martin-Baker seat that was fired by a solid propellant (shot gun type) and it was important for the body to be aligned properly before pulling the handle, unfortunately mine was not. Two months later our aircraft started being retrofitted with the new rocket propulsion system which allowed some forgiveness in our seat alignment during ejection.
My life was saved that night because one, the Martin-Baker ejection seat worked as advertised and got me and my pilot out of a burning aircraft; two, the parachutes opened properly and got us safely to the ground and finally, three, the bravery of the helicopter crew that put their lives on the line that night to rescue us. Thank you, I will always be in your debt.”
Terry 'Top Cat' Cox, Ejectee # 1751
“It was to be an uneventful day launch and night recovery off the USS Forrestal (CV-59) operating in the Med on August 16, 1978. My flight lead and I were in F-4J's and loaded with an inert sparrow and a live sidewinder. Due to a "switchology" mix-up, a live sidewinder was inadvertently launched by my flight lead and pretty much blew the tail off our aircraft. I have owned several sports cars over the years, but now that I am 62, a proud new grandfather and looking back, the sweetest ride I ever had was riding that Martin-Baker out of a crippled aircraft.
All the best to all the employees at Martin-Baker. Thanks for the life extension.”
Samuel J. Bonanno, Ejectee # 5342
“I was the observer in an 801 naval air squadron Buccaneer Mk1flying as an airborne spare for a flypast over HMS Victorious in Singapore. As we had a photographic pack we were also tasked to take photos of the two formations of Buccaneers and Sea Vixens which carried out the flypast. During our last attempt to photograph the Sea Vixens we flew very close to the Buccaneer formation and pitched up in the wake turbulence. This resulted in a spin at about 1,200 ft when we decided that our only option was to put our trust in Martin-Baker.
Our Martin-Baker Mk 4MSA seats worked perfectly and although on landing my first words were “thank God” my next thoughts were to thank Martin-Baker. My life was saved thanks to your marvellous seat and I can’t express how grateful my wife and I were. Only due to your brilliant engineering skills have I had the joy and pleasure of a wonderful family of my lovely wife, two daughters and three granddaughters. A very big thank you to everyone in the Martin-Baker company.”
LT. Peter Ian Mathews, Royal Navy. Ejectee # 768
“There are few companies that can say their product can literally make the difference between life and death. On March 15th 2010 I was faced with the final option in life and put my fate in the hands of a Martin-Baker seat. I am here thanks to each and every employee of MB and the professionals that maintain them after installation.
From my family to each and every one of you....Thank You. I can never give back what you gave me; a second chance at life.”
Brandon Michaelis, Ejectee # 5657
“On April 29, 1978, shortly after launching from the USS FORRESTAL (CV 59) in the Tyrrhenian Sea, my pilot and I ejected from an A-6E Intruder using your wonderful GRU-7 seats. The seats worked flawlessly for both of us, so I can sit here at age 75 and view the experience as one of the more exciting of my life in the U.S. Navy. So, thanks for a truly amazing product that saved my life and the life of my pilot.
Thanks to our local area Martin-Baker representative, I have my tie.”
Don Ohnemus CDR, USN (ret), Ejectee # 4875
“I am Major Bevilaqua, Brazilian Air Force. I´d like to express my gratitude for saving my life in July 4th, 2000 when i ejected from an Aermacchi 326 with some structural problems. Thanks a lot for your extremely important idea, that results in saving lives.
Thank you guys!!!”
Major Bevilaqua, Ejectee # 5193
“I cannot begin to put into words how much in debt I am to all those who work for Martin-Baker. Without doubt, if it were not for their continual pursuit of excellence and product improvement, I would not be here today. Having twice had to resort to parting company from aircraft that simply did not wish my participation any longer, I count myself as one of the most fortunate people alive. I may have been slightly unfortunate to have chosen aircraft that developed terminal problems, but I was extremely fortunate to have a Martin-Baker ejection seat to save me on both occasions.
Thanks once again.”
Craig Penrice, Ejectee # 3892
To read Craig's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“On March 25, 1969, my navigator, Mike Hinnebusch, and I were flying an air combat training mission in F-4C 64-0898 over East Anglia, United Kingdom. During a negative-G manoeuvre, a loose electrical plug jammed the pitch control bell-crank full forward and the aircraft went into a vertical high-speed dive. With the control stick jammed, the altimeter spinning through 5000 feet and the airspeed screaming through 550 knots, I shouted "Punch out Mike" as I initiated the ejection and gasped a prayer of "Please God!" We both made it albeit with extensive flail injuries. My chute opened at 500 feet AGL, an estimated half-second before the F-4 impacted beneath me supersonic at 650 knots making a fifty foot crater with parts down as far 75 feet.
By the grace of God and the craftsmanship of Martin-Baker, I lived to fly again for which my wife, Lura, our four children (two of them USAF pilots) and 10 grandchildren are eternally grateful!
Many thanks to all the Martin-Baker Team, past and present!”
Colonel Kris Mineau, USAF (Ret), Ejectee #1678
“Five months after this picture was taken, at the age of 21 on 5th December 1954, I was leading an attacking pair over the Thames estuary at 30,000 feet. While pulling high ‘G’, at high speed, my Meteor F8 suddenly flicked over into a vertical dive. After normal recovery measures failed to regain control I decided to eject. It was difficult to reach up and grasp the eject handle but eventually I found myself out, detached from the seat and falling. The high speed of the ejection damaged the parachute but I did make it down to the sea and, within 25 minutes, to the safety of a USAF Walrus amphibian.
I was later advised that I had held the record for the fastest ejection at 580 mph but this only lasted for two weeks. My grateful thanks to Martin-Baker and, of course, the Irwin Parachute Company, for saving my life. I only suffered a broken ankle and now, 60 years later, I am still fit enough to enjoy skiing.”
Brian Cross [ex P/O B Cross 2551572], Ejectee # 5900
“My name is Travis Brannon, ejectee #5347. I too am grateful for the incredible product MB provides to military pilots around the world.
On November 14th, 1980, I was piloting the 14th F/A-18 in existence, with the mission being the beginning of the operational testing of the Hornet's dogfighting capabilities. Up 'til this point, despite in-depth efforts, the fighter had never been spun, or even been out-of-control! At 23,000 feet, in a 4G, nose-low, right-hand turn at 250 knots, the Hornet yawed violently to the left, entering an oscillatory flat spin, and despite all of my efforts for the next 34 seconds and 19,000 feet, I had to avail myself of the MB SJU-5A rocket seat, and I'm alive today because of it! My family thanks you!!”
Travis Brannon, USN, Ejectee # 5347
“Your seat saved my life - 12 March, 1987. I was the WSO in a 110TFS, 131st TFW, F-4E 68-0448. Everything about the seat worked as advertised. Thanks for a great product.”
Don Boatright, Ejectee # 5899
“Martin-Baker – Thank you for the rest of my life.
On 20 March 1987 my F-14A ran away with me as an unwilling passenger. Fire in the environmental control system burned through the flight controls. The airplane started un-commanded pitch oscillations and the last nose down excursion made it clear that I had to eject. My ride in F-14 BuNo 161614 ended 15 seconds before the crash with a Martin-Baker ejection seat and a parachute descent. My wife Sweet Denyse thanks you too.”
CDR. J. R. Davis, US Navy, Ejectee # 4004
“My ejection was on April 22 1985, I used the MKO4B model, serial number BR244. It was a normal combat training flight, at 15,000 feet we started some warm up manoeuvres, during a roll with another airplane I lost control of mine, it started to spin out of control at a very high speed. After trying to control the roll many times, at 3,000 feet and 430 knots speed, I decided to eject. I remember the airplane burning just beneath me. The ejection process took place successfully, everything was right and the MB seat saved my life...! Just want to say thanks to MB for such a good and wonderful device...
R)LtCnel. Juan M. Benitez, Paraguayan Air Force, Ejectee # 5634
“I just want to express my sincere thanks to your esteemed organisation enabling pilots as me, by your life-saving device, to move on with the belief that we are safe, and will always be"
Ms Ayse Gul Akgul, Retired Cpt. Pilot-TUAF, Ejectee #5887
“On Dec. 28, 1974, at 9:05 on a Saturday morning, flying 2 F4E's in an air to air scenario, we experienced a head on belly to belly mid-air collision. My airplane lost the complete tail section, afterburners, slab, and vertical tail. The collision was horrendous, after trying to recover I looked in the centre mirror and saw only fire. I initiated immediate ejection with the lower handle, the collision, ejection, and opening shock were all tied together in a horrendous experience.
All four crew members seats worked perfectly and none of us had any serious injuries! Nearly every day I thank God and Martin-Baker for my life! The photo is my wife Milda and me as we celebrate every day of our lives together!
Capt. Jack Fair, USAF, Ejectee #2262
My name is Lt Col Chris Thompson of the USAF (Reserve). I'm alive today and thankful because of your amazing product!
Can't thank you enough!"
Lt Col Chris "Duster" Thompson USAFR, T-38C Instructor Pilot, Ejectee # 5868
“Our ejection from the RAAF Canberra in Vietnam was using the Mk 1C seats. Despite the early model, both seats worked as advertised and we are here to tell the story!
My navigator had loosened his straps to reach the bomb selector and when he pulled the blind in a hurry the first time – nothing happened. When he tried again, he was bent over and suffered fractured vertebrae. This was not the fault of the seat."
Wg Cdr John Downing (retd), Ejectee # 1998
To read John's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“Greetings to the Martin-Baker people!
Thank you for your excellent product. It saved my father’s life. He is turning 80 years old this February. On January 20th, 1969, he was on a training flight over the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range, near El Centro, California. His F-4 suffered complete hydraulic system failure and had to be abandoned. The seat performed flawlessly. Drogue deployed, seat separated, main chute deployed. All went well! Um, except for the landing! Dad landed in some rocks and snapped his leg. His RIO landed elsewhere and was okay. A helicopter picked them up in a couple hours, but he was then DRIVEN 250 miles back to San Diego to the Balboa Naval hospital.
The Martin-Baker seat saved his life. Dad had (has) three kids and a loving wife. He became the Chief Pilot of the American Express Company. He’s retired now and golfing in Arizona. He’s still married to Mom for over 55 years now. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all love him very much.
Your people saved my dad’s life. Thank you from the bottom of mine and my family’s heart."
James Ginn, son of CDR James T. Ginn, Ejectee # 5890
“At 1200 feet AGL and still losing speed nothing could help me except my Martin-Baker ejection seat. A bail-out was inevitable so I said to myself, "Martin get me out of here". The ejection occurred perfectly and the man/seat separation was like the text book."
Captain Marcel "Celle" De Petter, Ejectee # 3966
To read Marcel's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“I want to Thank you guys for the work you do for protecting our guys in the military. Because of your work, my grandpa not only lived but remained an active pilot for many years after that, serving in the Federal Aviation Administration for many years and Flight instructor to thousands of pilots through the years.
Joe Whitehead, Grandson of Major Charles F. Frost, Ejectee # 964
“Thank you so much again for manufacturing such a seat that saved my life and saved the lives of hero pilots who try to serve their countries by risking their lives by doing such a dangerous job... I look forward to hearing from you soon."
Fatih Mehmet TÜM - Retired Turkish Air Force Pilot, Ejectee # 5884
“What I find astonishing is that after supplying a high quality life-saving device to a pilot, MB then compounds this with a most generous contribution to the purchase of a Bremont watch celebrating the successful ejection. Anyway, I salute Sir James, his successors and all his employees."
Charles Wightman, Ejectee # 1847
To read Charles' full ejection story click here (PDF)
“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
To read Paddy's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“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 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
To read Bob's full ejection story click here (PDF)
“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!"
Bill Thaler, Ejectee #5850
"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