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United States Navy Attack Squadron 86 USS Nimitz A-7E BuNo 157584 17th January 1978
United States Navy Attack Squadron 66 USS Eisenhower

A-7E

BuNo 160564

20th October 1980

Captain Kent Ewing USN

 

   First Ejection

 35 year old Maintenance Officer, Lt. Cdr. Kent Ewing was attached to USN Attack Squadron 86 operating from the USS Nimitz in the Mediterranean.

On 17th January 1978 he had to eject using his Douglas Escapac ejection seat from his  A-7E Corsair II when it went into a flat spin having been caught in the jet wash of an F-14 Tomcat.

He recalls . . .

"I was Maintenance Officer of the squadron, flying 2 v 2 Air Combat Maneuvering against two F14s from VF 84.  I took a high deflection, high angle of attack sidewinder shot on one F14, flew directly through his jet wash (in full zone five afterburner) and my jet went into an immediate flat spin at about 14000 feet.  

My previous tour was at Patuxent River where I had conducted the TA7E spin trials, so I knew immediately that this "flat" attitude fully developed spin was very unusual--probably assisted by the forces of the jet-wash and the possibility that an aileron might have come off my airplane.  

It would not recover and in a hurry I used the lower handle at approx 4800 feet.  After parachute opening, I looked between my boots and watched the spinning airplane hit directly below me--verified flat and very high rate of descent!! 

 Escapac seat, thru the canopy...the rest is how cold I got in 20 foot seas with no life-raft etc. Some hyperthermia, warmed up in a hot bath, had a prescribed hot toddy and the next day even though I was a   bit sore, stiff neck, I climbed back into another A7 and flew.  Macho Macho!!"



                                                                                     via  Kent Ewing

Captain Kent Ewing

        

  

Second Ejection

Thirty three months later, almost to the day, Cdr. Kent  CO of VA-66 was flying A-7E BuNo 160564, Attack Squadron 66 from the USS Eisenhower,  over the North Arabian Sea,

I was Commanding Officer of the "Waldos", leading a four plane flight with two "nuggets" on their first flight in the squadron.  I was leading the nuggets through some formation acrobatics..and at the top of a barrel roll at about 14500 feet I felt the engine surge and quit, acutally throwing me forward into the straps a bit.  

 I rolled upright , deployed the RAT (ram air turbine) to maintain electrical power and went into the relight procedure.  I never got any fuel flow as I glided at 220 knots and I knew it was not going to relight so I told the "wingies" I would be stepping out, get their"brownies" out to film the ejection, lowered my seat, took off the kneeboard etc.  Glided to 5000 feet, and made a picture perfect controlled ejection using the face curtain actuator. 

Through the canopy again I went.  This time into a flat calm sea with sea snakes and sharks a plenty.  Major worry was getting fouled in the chute as it almost came down on top of me.  Immediately got into the raft as there were sharks all around me.  Told the helo crew to not put a guy in the water, however, here he comes swimming at me with a knife in his teeth.   He said he had to deflate the raft, doing his duty. 

Uneventful hoist and fly back to ship.  This time I flew again 5 days later after recovering from some windblast damage stretching the muscles of my left eye.  Engine failure was probably due to main fuel pump failure. 

 

 I am a retired Navy Captain Aviator with two ejections in my history--some say I got mine and someone else's!!

Both were from A7E aircraft / Escapac Seats, both while at sea operations, and both were at a fairly high altitude. "

Regards,
Kent Ewing
Captain, USN, ret, former CO of USS America
                                             December 2005

"You must have the info on the first flat spin ejection from the F14.  I was the SAR/rescue in 156801, YA7E, the two seat A7 prototype that I was conducting spin trials with.   Cdr DD Smith was the pilot, and a cool RIO rode with him through about 35 turns before the RIO command ejected them.  DDSmith was incapacitated and bent full over forward at the waist due to about 7 eyeballs out G's.   This occurred in 1975 I think, at the test range at Patuxent River Md.   It is covered by theodolite film coverage from the test range.  They were testing the newly installed roll/yaw damper system and not supposed to spin that day!!"