200 IAF pilots are alive, thanks to ejection seats!

Bangalore: Bismi Devassy survived an air crash because she had the alacrity to press the ejection button on her Kiran trainer aircraft.
Two hundred Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots like her are alive today because they knew their life depended on that one button. Pressing it would throw the ejection seat off the crashing aircraft, unfurl a parachute and land the pilot to relative safety.
The lone Martin Baker ejection seat, displayed at a remote corner of an Aero-India pavilion, conspicuously reflected that legacy of pilot rescue.
As pilot after pilot, who had survived air crashes, visited the stall and expressed gratitude, the seat took on a spiritual hue. After all, the Martin Baker seats are fitted onto almost every non-Russian fighter aircraft in the country. The eventual Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will also feature these seats.
Devassy and all the Indian ejectees are now part of an exclusive Martin Baker “Ejection Tie Club.” The primary objective of the Club is to provide a distinctive tie to be worn with civilian clothing and thus to provide a visible sign of the members’ common bond.
12/02/11 Rasheed Kappan/Deccan Herald

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