Fuerza Aérea Argentina Grupo 6 de Caza
Tandil AFB

Mirage V "Dagger"


21st June 2004

  Primer Teniente Sebastián González Iturbe



                     “se plantó el motor”


The weather conditions for flying on Monday afternoon, 21st June 2004, were ideal. Good visibility, very little cloud and no forecasts of rain or thunder.

31 year old Sebastián Iturbe, a 1st Lieutenant in the Argentine Air Force was flying as part of a peacetime two aircraft formation deploying to Rio Cuarto Air Force Base.

The two Mirage V aircraft from Grupo 6 de Caza were approaching the airfield in a standard landing pattern. 1st Lt. Ituurbe's aircraft  was having had to go around,

"Because I was above the normal landing weight, so I made a close pattern followed by my #2. The time I was at Base point with the undercarriage down and locked with aproximate 200 KIAs and 1500 AGL I suffered and engine flame out, RPM decreasing at a fast pace, and because I was over the city I tried to continue turning to the airfield area.

I called “se plantó el motor” and tried to restart it, I remember seen a desert point on the surface while my airspeed went back to 150 Kias, at that point my left hand turned the restart switch to the off position. "

At around 500/700 AGL and 150 KIAS with the Mirage 30 bank right, pitch attitude 5º down 1st Lt. Iturbe  ejected through the canopy using his Martin-Baker JM-6 ejection seat.

As with so many ejectees "time slowed" due to temporal distortion.

The time I pulled the handle until I was ejected passed very slowly, thinking that it was not working properly.

I thought that it did not work until I suffered the acceleration, saw the aircraft exploding right behind me and the ejection seat getting off  me. Everything pass very slowly and I could see the aircraft behind me hitting the floor and exploding, the seat detaching from me and falling down... The time until I reached the ground was for me less than 5 seconds, and I could not release my seat pan.

1st Lt. Sebastián Iturbe landed safely on farmland near the Río Cuarto, Argentina

                                                                                                                                                                             photo via Sebastián González Iturbe
The remains of FAA Mirage V
C-434 "Chumbo" Grupo 6 de Caza near the Río Cuarto, Argentina


Thanks to Sebastián González Iturbe FAA for his permission to include his ejection details