A very detailed instructional film for the servicing of the Mk 1C and Mk 3 ejection seats, which form a vital component of the pilots escape equipment. Servicing falls into two main groups, first and second line. All the subsections of first line are undertaken with the seat remaining in the aircraft, all second llne procedures require the complete seat assembly to be removed from the aircraft whilst in a hanger. The Martin Baker seat is a very complex item, requiring the highest standard of servicing. A mistake can easily kill someone if the exact procedures are not followed. Detonation on the ground can be fatal.
Reel one: "First and second line servicing of the mark 1C seat": Film opens with Canberra WD934 landing and taxiing to the parking area. The crew leave the aircraft after inserting the safety pins in the type 1C seat, fitted to all Canberra aircraft. Cut to tradesmen receiving instructions from an NCO as they proceed with a first line service of a type 1C seat, which for the purposes of this film, has been removed from the aircraft to enhance clarity. Some of the many components that comprise a fully assembled seat are carefully removed stage by stage, inspected and put to one side. Critical components are the two explosive cartridges, removed at the beginning of the service. The film is extremely technical and each component receives clear visual and audio presentation. The now partially disassembled seat is inspected by the NCO who authorises reassembly when he is satisfied all is correct. The tradesmen reassemble the seat and sign form 700. A more comprehensive service is the primary star, which requires the removal of all components, including the parachute harness, their inspection/service before replacing them in the empty shell of the seat pan.
The NCO announces Canberra WD934 is due for a second line service, entailing removal of the complete seat assembly from the aircraft. The aircraft is disarmed and towed into a hanger where the seat is removed with the aid of a crane. The seat is dismantled and each component taken to a work bench. Film shows progress of the work, tradesman seen referring to manuals on the bench as they work on the removed items. The film and the commentator follow their progress in great detail until the seat is finally reassembled, and the aircraft towed out of the hanger. For reasons of safety the explosive charges are now replaced and once the NCO is satisfied, tradesmen sign Form 700, the aircraft receives a flight service and the safety pins removed. Film shows Canberra taking off watched by the NCO and tradesmen.
Reel two: "First line servicing of the mark 3 seat": Reel opens with two armourers checking the notice board to locate their allocated tasks. One says "same old stuff" – ejection seat servicing – and is overheard by the NCO who relates how six men a year are killed and others injured due to servicing errors. "Men's lives are in your hands, both aircrew and your own." With a look of disgust on the NCO's face he orders them to work.
An Avro Vulcan is seen landing, crew disembark and the captain hands over to the NCO for a post flight first line servicing. The canopy ejection mechanism is made safe, the safety pins inserted and the first line service proceeds in the same manner seen for the type 1C seat, the differences are highlighted in this film, again in extensive visual and oral detail. Their allocated jobs completed the tradesmen sign form 700 and report to the NCO.
"Second line servicing of the Mark 3 seat": After the removal of the explosive charges for the seats and canopy, the Avro Vulcan is towed into a hanger, the canopy removed and the two seats lifted out as before, followed by the runners. A similar operation is used for Jaguar and Hunter jet fighters. For the Valiant aircraft, the whole seat assembly including the runners is removed via the side crew door, thus affording easier access. Cut to view of a Valient as the complete seat assembly is lifted out. Again, the second line servicing is similar to that for the mark 1C, but with many additional items requiring attention.
Film ends with several Avro Vulcans parked in line where tradesmen are completing pre-flight service. Job done, they report to the aircraft NCO, film cuts to nose/cockpit as Vulcan prepares to depart, roars down runway and takes off.