Air Force Pilot Dies After Ejection Seat Activates While On The Ground

Ejector seat and cockpit

Foto: fotoVoyager / iStock / Getty Images

A United States Air Force pilot was killed when the ejector seat of his plane activated while on the ground. Officials at Sheppard Air Force Base, near Wichita Falls, Texas, said that Captain John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was sitting in a T-6A Texan II aircraft on Monday (May 13) when he was ejected from the plane. 

Robertson suffered severe injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he died on Tuesday morning.

"This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson's family and loved ones and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing," said Colonel Mitchell J. Cok, the acting wing commander. "Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him."

It is unknown what caused the ejector seat to activate while the plane was on the ground.

Following the incident, an interim safety board investigation was launched. Officials said a "full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is expected to be in place later this week."


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