Lieutenant Bill Hart ejected twice from a Sea Vixen. ID 29 and ID 59. Both incidents were an exceptionally close call, particularly the second as it was during deck operations off a Catapult Launch. He had problems jettisoning the escape hatch and only just made it before impact.
The following personal testimony declared 15.3.2007 depicts the extreme danger the flight deck personel faced during flying stations.Bill at his 1000 hours presentation. 766 Sqn. Lt Cdr Pickles RN (Sqn QFI) left and Lt. Cdr Geoff Hunt RN. Sqn CO (Right)
My earlier days were as a radio mech on 803 / Victorious in 1958 (I spent some time as a jollyjack prior to Dartmouth so I was in my early 20s when Dartmouth called). The Vixens came aboard for trials from 700Y, in September 1958. One unfortunate Junior Handler was killed trying to join his team. He ran across the starboard catapult as the Vixen was launched and was cleaned up by the main oleo...I was just outside the doorway in the island,near the Jet Blast deflector, and looked up to see the unlucky lad reduced to a pink cloud. I was grabbed by the FDO2 with a dozen others and told to pick up the pieces and hose away the rest. Years later, when I arrived at RNAS Yeovilon for Vixen training I met the FDO again...it was Johnny Eagles and he was doing a short Vixen Conversion on 96AWF Course.
Admin note: In later life Bill underwent spinal fusion surgury. (See Ejection Seats)