An unnamed 64-year-old French man received a surprise gift from his co-workers – a ride in a Dassault Rafale B jet. He arrived at the airport with no knowledge of the gift he was about to receive. He had no aviation experience and had no desire to fly. Before takeoff, his smartwatch recorded his heart rate as 136 to 142 beats per minute. Unknown to his co-workers, the man was so stressed, “his heart was in full tachycardia”.
However, the man refused to look a gift horse in the mouth and would not back out. He boarded the plane, a French Airforce Rafale B jet that reaches speeds of more than 870 miles per hour, and set out on a three-plane training mission. When the plane reached 2,500 feet, the pilot banked and went into a steep climb. The man panicked and reached for something to grab ahold of. Unfortunately, he grabbed the ejector seat button and was ejected from the plane. To compound the problem, his helmet was not properly attached and was torn from his head as he tumbled to the earth.
The pilot suffered slight facial wounds, but the man’s parachute properly deployed and he suffered no injuries. He landed near the German border where he was scooped up by authorities and whisked away to the hospital for observation.