A surprise outing in a fighter jet unnerved one defence company executive so much he accidentally ejected himself while flying at over 500km/h (320mph), an investigation into the debacle in France has found.
The 64-year-old civilian got the most unwelcome ride of his life after the force of the take-off made him “float” off his seat, causing him to stand up and involuntarily grab the ejection handle to steady himself.
Air accident investigators found a series of errors in the lead-up to the incident, including ignored medical warnings that the passenger should not undergo to the 3.7g of force generated by the take-off, and loose seat straps that allowed him to float up. He also lost his helmet while being ejected.
The man had never expressed any desire to fly in a fighter jet and had no previous military aviation experience, investigators said. His heart was racing at between 120 and 145 beats per minute beforehand. The flight had been a gift from colleagues and the man felt he couldn’t refuse.
Read more: The Guardian