The modern-day wonder that is the ejection seat can be thanked for saving the two-person crew of a German air force Tornado IDS over the weekend, but as the Rex Features image below shows, things didn’t go entirely as planned following their escape.
According to the Luftwaffe, the unarmed aircraft came down in a forest 5km away from Büchel air base in the west of the country during a night-time training flight on 16 January. The navigator escaped unharmed, while the pilot sustained slight injuries after landing by parachute in the trees.
I’m not sure how long it took for the local rescue services to arrive, but some innovative ladder work appears to have been needed to complete the rescue.
As for the aircraft (which was from the 33rd Tactical Wing, and shown in the Bundeswehr shot below), a German colleague tells me that a close translation for “That’ll buff out” might be “Das wird schon wieder”. Its data recorder has been found, and an investigation launched to determine what went wrong.
“Humour” aside, we’re glad to see that the crew escaped from the earth-bound jet, and wish both a speedy recovery to flying duties.