When something goes wrong in the sky, an ejection seat is the only thing that can save a pilot, granted that it’s deployed in time. For those unfamiliar with this device, the “standard ejection system operates in two stages: first, the entire canopy or hatch above the aviator is opened or jettisoned, and the seat and occupant are launched through the opening.” Continue reading for two videos, more pictures, and additional information.

Videos

The ACES II ejection seat is used in most American-built fighters. The A-10 uses connected firing handles that activate both the canopy jettison systems, followed by the seat ejection. The F-15 has the same connected system as the A-10 seat. Both handles accomplish the same task, so pulling either one suffices. The F-16 has only one handle located between the pilot’s knees, since the cockpit is too narrow for side-mounted handles.

Pictures

[Sources 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]