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How do ejection seats work?



Ejection seats in a plane or a jet can save a pilot's life, but they can also be dangerous. Everything has to happen in split seconds and in the right order.  If something goes wrong it can mean serious injury or death.  What happens only looks simple. The pilot is lifted out of the aircraft and then a parachute opens to get the pilot safely down to the ground.  The mechanism that makes an ejection seat work is a bit more complicated.

Ejection seats are attached to rails.  In an ejection, when the pilot activates the ejection seat, the seat moves along the rails and out of the aircraft at an angle.  Next, a rocket fires to move the seat higher up and away from the aircraft.  Then, a parachute opens to slow the ejection seat down as it falls to the ground. The pilot can activate the ejection seat by pulling a handle or by pulling down a protective face curtain.