Michael's Dispatches

F-18 Demise


02 October 2012

[This came to my inbox as is; none of these images or text is mine.]

Incredible photos from last Friday's accident in Canada ( Lethbridge ). Check out the sequence of the canopy leaving the scene, the pilot in his rocket-powered seat coming out, the parachute opening sequence, and the separated seat falling away. Modern technology at its best. All of this happened in about two seconds from canopy off to the fireball.

00395-1000Check out all the smoke from the canopy rocket motors.

00398-1000There he goes! So that's what the striped handle does!

The left engine has the nozzle fully open, showing that #1 engine was developing no power.

00401-1000The white thing is the seat-stabilizing drogue chute. Notice the pilot’s head pinned to his chest from the severe “g” forces produced by the solid rocket motors in the ACES II seat. They burn for about 2/10ths of a second . . enough time to propel him at least 60 feet clear of the aircraft. Hellova ride.

00404-1000One millisecond from eternity for a beautiful FA-18.

Check out the now-unoccupied ejection seat following the aircraft to glory.

00407-1000The moment-of-impact photo shows flame shooting out of the left engine . . its “last gasp”.

There goes the seat above the fireball.
The pilot will be downing his first of several shots within the hour, soon as his hands stop shaking.

00410-1000And the pilot lived happily ever after . . .


(Source unknown)

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Daniel the Von Fange · 9 years ago
    It looks like that crash took place two years ago - Friday, July 2 , 2010?

    Also, I believe that's the wrong pilot photo as well? I believe the pilot was Capt. Brian Bews.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon author · 9 years ago
      None of these images, nor the text, is mine. This came to my inbox and looked worth passing along.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Nick Hanson · 9 years ago
    Great pictures but are you sure the last one is for the right pilot? Why would an Air Force "Eagle Driver" be flying an F-18?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 9 years ago
    Air shows are fun to go to. My uncle was in the U.S. Air Force and he worked as a mechanic on C-1 0's for a living. It was always neat to see the Thunderbirds flying at the air show. Glad the pilot got ou in time and hope the sightseeing crowds were safe on this occassion.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Todd · 9 years ago
    As per Daniel's comment above, these pictures are of the ill-fated CF-18 flown by Canadian Air Force Capt. Brian Bews.

    Great photos. There are also some good YouTube footage online of this crash.

    More in this article:

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Henn · 9 years ago
    That last pic must be unrelated. Dude is not a pilot (beards not allowed). Probable is a local celeb that got a free ride, and a certificate. Dated 1982.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Valerie Conley · 9 years ago
      Actually -- contractor representatives ARE allowed to have beards as they are not military and back in 1982 there would have been people from the aircraft manufacturer flying the birds in test flights. They too got certificates as Eagle Drivers.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 9 years ago
    Pilot in picture on bottom is Author John M Collins, retired Army Colonel.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Valerie Conley · 9 years ago
    These pictures are great. They are from a crash at the Lethbridge Air Show in July of 2010 and Captain Brian Bews is not an American. He is a Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force and is an FA-18 driver stationed in Quebec. Just thought you would want to know the real story behind the pictures.

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