Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hawk 108 ejection - what happened?

Al Fatihah. Condolence to the families of the two RMAF Hawk pilots. And also commiserations to the greater air force family for such a tragedy.

At least both late bodies have been recovered, to the immense relief of their already grieving families. The plane must have continued on to unknown parts of the Peninsula after the two pilots ejected.

It seems their parachutes were still attached to their bodies.

Fast jets such as the Hawk 108 are naturally equipped with ejection seats which I gather from my reading of various news that the two late pilots did activate.

traditionally copilot or student-pilot ejects first 

But I wonder what could have gone wrong for the automated emergency parachutes not to save their lives?

Did those parachutes malfunction? Both?

Were the ejection too low but the disappearance of the plane seems to militate against that.

Besides, some ejection systems could have a zero-zero capability, meaning the ejection would have been safe to activate at zero forward speed (eg. stationary at an airport apron site) and zero altitude (eg. on the ground).

with zero-zero ejection seat 

Was the Hawk 108 ejection system equipped with a zero-zero capability?

It would be quite unusual for BOTH pilots to perish from ejection.


  1. If you watch old World War 2 movies, you would see pilots going to their aircraft to carry out their missions with bulky parachute packs strapped to their backs.

    That is no longer the case, because with modern jets, the ejection seats have parachutes built in as part of the seat's mechanism. This makes the periodic maintenance checks on the ejector seat, including the parachutes critical - the pilot's life may depend on it in an emergency.

    The MH370 tragedy exposed to the whole world the fact that the RMAF is largely a Potemkin Village. Looks good on the outside, but empty on the inside.
    There was no Senior Watch Officer who could decide on action to take when an apparently wayward aircraft appeared on their radar screens.
    There was not even one single aircraft at warm readiness (military term for engine off , but fuelled up and signed-off ready fly, a pilot on base, standby duty ready to fly if required) able to go up to have a look if anything was wrong.

    Officers will tell you warm readiness costs very little extra money.

    I don't know when the rot set into the RMAF, but as the MH 370 tragedy happened on Najis watch, I will hold Najis responsible.

    The Admirals in charge at Pearl Harbour, December 7th, 1941, were court martialled, demoted and forced into retirement for sleeping on the job.

    As usual in Bolehland, no heads have rolled over MH370.

    The Hawk pilots must have had a horrifying last few moments in their life. Successfully ejected from their aircraft, but the ejection seat's parachute failed to deploy.
    The seats also have a backup chute which the pilot can manually deploy in case the primary chute fails.

    Did the backup chute also fail ?

  2. "traditionally copilot or student-pilot ejects first" is an age old tradition on a ship or on an airplane....the Captain is the last one off the ship or plane.
    But in Bolehland ...?