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The military routinely puts VIPs in the back seats of supersonic jet fighters. It's good public relations. But what happened over the Nevada desert last week was anything but typical.
An F-14D Tomcat took off from Fallon Naval Air Station with a VIP in the back seat — a naval officer from the cruiser Anzio who was on what the military calls a "FAM Hop," or familiarization ride.
In flight, when the pilot pulled a "negative 1g," the gravity force moved the officer nearly off his seat. He reached down to reposition himself and accidentally pulled the ejection lever. The cockpit canopy flew off and out went the VIP.
"Imagine the reaction of the poor pilot lieutenant when he lost his VIP," said our source.
A Navy official at the Pentagon confirmed the incident. He said the ejection system automatically opened the VIP's parachute. He landed safely in the Nevada desert and waited for his rescue.
"He'll have a great story to tell sailors back on the Anzio," the source said.
-- Anonymous, November 25, 2002