RECORDS ON ARGENTINE AIR FORCE A4B/C SYSTEM EJECTIONS
BETWEEN 1966 AND 1995 AND NATO'S ONE HUNDRED EJECTIONS
Ver imagen completaBy Mj. Dr. HORACIO HÜNICKEN
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Fotos de interés general (despojos de accidentes)
Introduction Injuries history Study focus Psychological disorders Conclusions Bibliography
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Fighters'ejection from a plane in state of emergency may cause severe physical and psychological disorders.On the basis of records related to Argentine Airforce A 4 B/C planes between 1966 and 1995,some interesting conclusions may be derived so as to provide fighter's better assistance in case they were forced to ejection in order to save their lives.
Statistics show there is a high percent of success during these planes' ejections but there are also cases of injuries ranging from minor to severe ones due to system failures or human negligence .An early diagnosis on the possible injuries may allow for a treatment and therefore a quicker recovery .
Most likely the fighter's first aids will be provided by a physician non-specialised in Aerospatial Medicine in the place where the pilot landed.Due to lack of knowledge in Aerospatial Medicine,the diagnoses are usually plenty of involuntary mistakes since the injured disorders are not habitual for the local physician
On the basis of 27 ejections during the period of time herein referred, 48.1 % of the fighters were uninjured ,37% were injured,11.1% died due to different causes, finally 3.7% were lost.
Among the types of disorders observed,there were lower limbs fractures,shoulder sprains,torn internal or external knee ligament,minor traumatic lesions,ankle twist,grazes,bruises,scalds , maculopathy and minor lack of adjustment to fighther aircrafts .
Statistics from NATO on the basis of one hundred ejections were also studied : 47% fighters were uninjured ,11% died and 42% suffered some kind of injury.Most ejections resulted in traumatic lesions (Backbone fractures among others) and among the ones which implied pathologies,the most seriously injured section was lumbar thoracic.Backbone fractures :15 ,other traumatic lesions:27)
FIGURE 1: Twenty Seven Argentine Air Force A4BC/ System Ejections.
FIGURE 2.-Nato's Ejections
Fighters may suffer injuries at any stage during ejections .It is worth highlighting that this set of steps is followed at high speed ,under stressful psychological conditions and without formally following operation standards.
1968: The fighter suffered hand sclads and foot injuries. Not wearing gloves at the moment of manoeuvring caused severe scalds when the seat propellant cartridge started ignition. The second injury was caused when both feet hit against the control board's edge at the moment of ejection.The boots protecting toe cap prevented the feet amputation and fractures.
1977: The fighter suffered lower limbs' fracture when falling on the ground on a late evening ejection.
1978: DEAD.The fighter doubted at the moment of ejection.He ejected his seat at a low height and while the plane was falling off,the parachute was burnt down by the fire from the aircraft.This blow up was produced about 196.92 feet far from the fighter's parachute but the it ?parachute?is caught by the fire driven by a 30 knots wind.
1978: The fighter suffered minor injuries in his chin and right elbow.Before ejection,there was a cockpit's depressurization ;the pilot suffered hipoxia and disorders which reduced consciousness and alertness. Therefore it is highly important that fighters learn about hypoxia's symptoms by going through the Hipobaric Chamber so as to get used to them by means of exposure.
1981: The fighter suffered Maculopathy. When the fighter ejected,he did not put the viser helmet´s cap down and the aero-dynamical airflow blew directly on his eyes and caused this pathology (Central Corneal Serous Retinitis)
1982: Four ejections were studied in Southern Atlantic War.
- Ejection # 1: According to International Red Cross,the fighter died as a result of exposure to weather conditions below zero.
- Ejection # 2: The fighter suffered torn knees ligament and fractures in both legs.The fighter ejected at high speed beyond security limits.
- Ejection #3: The fighter was lost and a squadron leader watched his ejection.
- Ejection # 4: The fighter suffered ankle twist,when he fell on the ground.
1984: The fighter suffered lumbar traumatic lesions as a result of a wrong sitting position.
1987: The fighter suffered left shoulder luxation or dislocation caused by his inability to keep the protection beam down when both arms were moved away by the aerodynamic airflow.
1988: The fighter suffered torn left knee ligament when he fell down on the ground. The seat pan did not unfasten
1991: The fighter suffered torn right knee ligament.The fighter's ejection was delayed when the anti-G got stuck on one of the seat edges.
1994: All the steps were followed but the fighter could not eject,The seat did not eject and the plane landed on one of the Andes' slopes at 18,051 feet height (The fighter was uninjured)
1995: The fighter died when he ejected at a low height and his parachute did not open.
On the basis of a historical record of ejections,it is observed that the fighter was rescued two hours later by a helicopter and he got medical assistance from a physician in a state hospital one hour later.The physician assessed the fighter's health state .The history records included anamnesis,cervicae X-rays helped to diagnose multiple traumatic lesions and he was prescribed pain killers.The fighter was immediately moved back to his base unit and his general condition was assessed by the base unit's physician.This test was carried out seven hours after the ejections on the basis of the physical and psychological examination form.The patient was under stress and he complained of painful epigastrium ;his electrocardiogram showed supraventricular arrhythmia.
The eye test diagnosed daltonism (the fighter did not identify colours properly). After all these tests he was prescribed rest and medicines(pain killers and Metachlopramide
The following day,the ECG was within normal parametres and the eye test showed that the fighter's chromatic sight had been corrected.
The Aerospatial Medicine National Institute (INMAE) followed the fighter's recovery process along the following four days and he was immediately sent to the Central Aernautics Hospital in order to get his torn knee ligament treated.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS (This record is a South Atlantic War veteran )
Some fighters undergo some kind of minor lack of adjustment to flying conditions on a fighter aircraft.This kind of disorder might cause the fighter's inability to flying and therefore lead him develop aircraft's phobias.These symptoms do not always show up immediately after the ejection since there are records of some of them underlying up to five years before the minor lack of adjustment is produced (The main symptom is CINETOSIS)
Once the injury records are analyzed,it is concluded that focusing on general phyisicians' training regarding the fighter's assistance at the moment of ejections in highly relevant.The steps to be followed are included in a form that the fighter carries in his flying clothing .This form includes detailed information on the type of exams to be carried out, ECG, types of x-rays,sight test and usual blood-urine test as well.
All the tests show that the most frequent injuries are bone -related, therefore it is highly important to focus on lower and upper limbs exams as well as thorough backbone examinations,
The test form is an easy to handle one included with the fighter's clothing as part of his personal SAR.
EJECTED PILOT'S MEDICAL PROTOCOL
THIS STAGE SHOULD FOCUS ON DETECTING LIFE-RISK EVENTS.
-Full Name : _____________ Age________ Blood Group and Type :
-Ejection Date,Time and Place :_____________
-Test Time and Place :_______________
-Physical Examination :General Description on injuries such as bruises,scalds
-Section and Size :
-HEAD EYES EARS NOSE NECK
-Cardiovascular System :ECG , beating rhythm :
-Respiratory System :
-Upper Limbs :
-Joints' Flexibility ,head,knees ,feet and knee syndrome (very frequent)
-Backbone: deviation and degree of mobility on painful limbs :
-COMPULSORY THORACIC AND LUMBAR X-RAYS
-Neurological Tests :
-Supplementary Test :Blood-Urine Tests and X-rays needed
-Ophtalmological Examination :
In case the fighter is dead,all injuries as well as clothing must be described in detail
Physician's Full Name :____________________________
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