Short flight, really interesting landing. In what sounds like a scene from a bad comedy, a civilian being taken for a ride in a French fighter jet was accidentally ejected as the plane took off, reports Aerotime. The unidentified passenger, a man in his 60s, apparently wrenched his back when he fell to the runway, but his health is otherwise "not a cause for concern," says a spokesperson for the French Air Force. It's still not clear what happened, but three separate investigations are underway, per the Aviationist. The pilot landed the plane safely after the bizarre mishap, though he suffered cuts to his hands from the broken canopy.
The jet in question is a twin-seat Rafale-B fighter, which is sometimes used to take government officials or members of the media up in observational flights. The air force, however, hasn't specified the reason for this particular flight. "Most, if not all, fighters have a very deliberate process air crew have to go through to trigger an ejection," writes Kyle Mizokami at Foxtrot Alpha. Maybe the pilot screwed up or maybe the seat malfunctioned on its own. "Another possibility is that the civilian triggered the ejection accidentally, perhaps holding onto exactly the wrong part of the aircraft while experiencing the thrill of takeoff." Whatever happened, he surely got the ride of his life. (Read more strange stuff stories.)