Posted 20 hours ago

Eject! Eject!

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I especially liked the way several airmen’s and navigator’s stories were interwoven through the book as it progressed. I understand I can change my preference through my account settings or unsubscribe directly from any marketing communications at any time. He has served around the world from the Nevada Desert to the Middle East and Norway to the Falkland Islands. Nichol tells the story of the brave men who risked their lives testing those early devices, and interviewed the first British pilot to eject back in 1949, when ejection, from pulling the handle to being under the parachute, took thirty seconds. He has made a number of TV documentaries with Second World War veterans, written for national newspapers and magazines, and is a widely quoted commentator on military affairs.

There was clearly an urgent need for such a device: early aircraft escape techniques, notes Nichol, “were rudimentary at best: strap on parachute and jump. The events in war, about the way the Vietnam pilots were treated for instance was beaten only by the dreadful, dreadful injuries that they used to receive as a result of ejecting. Captured, tortured and held as a prisoner of war, John was paraded on television, provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the most enduring images of the conflict.You'd think that all the stories would get samey- banging out of an aircraft- but they really don't. As the author has had to be diplomatic in some areas, feelings run deep and memories are long, the book has a feel of 'now it can be told' just not completely.

If you don’t recognise the name, you will certainly remember the face: John Nichol was the navigator on the RAF Tornado shot down over Iraqi territory on the first day of the First Gulf War in January 1991. In Germany, Heinkel had fitted their turbojet-powered fight He-280 with a catapult seat escape system, and on January 13 1942, the Luftwaffe’s Wolfgang “Bombo” Schenck became the first man to use an ejection seat in an emergency. The tales they told about, of course, being lucky to be alive were accompanied by lifelong disability and regrets like the poor young woman who would have loved to have been able to wear a skirt and a nice blouse - an option forever lost to her. In 1928, he moved to Denham in Buckinghamshire, where he hung a sign on the front of an old linoleum factory, “Martin’s Aircraft Works”. John is a member of The Royal British Legion's Gulf War Group helping veterans with Gulf War Syndrome and a patron of the British Ex-service Wheelchair Sports Association.He devised and presented 2 series of Survivors, interviewing newsmakers who have been through life changing experiences.

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