Injuries associated with the use of ejection seats in Finnish pilots

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1992 Aug;63(8):727-30.


During the years 1958-91 17 Finnish pilots were forced to use ejection seats. The aircraft types were as follows: a) BA Hawk in 6 instances; b) a Mig 21-F-13 in 4; c) a Mig-21-Bis in 3; d) a Gnat Folland in 2; e) a Vampire Trainer in 1; and f) a MU-3 in 1 case. There were 3 ejections completed successfully, 12 pilots sustained slight injuries, and 5 pilots suffered major injuries--3 from compression fractures of the thoracic spine, 1 from fracture of the femur, and 1 from rupture of the medial collateral ligament of the knee. All major injuries were associated with Soviet aircraft. One BA-Hawk pilot died due to a direct impact against a tree after a low-altitude ejection. Two pilots launched the seat under negative G-forces. One of these became temporarily blind, and suffered a partial loss of vision for 3 months. Four Hawk pilots were saved during landing phase by a tandem ejection, receiving only minor injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Aviation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aircraft / statistics & numerical data*
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*