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Inside the Cockpit

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River Flyby
Jeff Ethell: "So then Igor said, `Here, let me take it.' We went down into a riverbed, and I mean so low that we could see the distinct trees coming by on either side of the riverbank. Then we followed the bends of the river. We did some 90 degree turns which required us to push the power up and use the maneuverability of the airplane. The capability is to turn very fast, very tight, low, and that's an important ability for evading enemy aircraft fire."
Eject Test
This test footage shows the Russian ejection seat in action, which Russians believe is one of the best in the world. The seat straps down the test pilots arms and legs and ejects them away from the jet with a force of 20 G's.
Cloud Spin
Jeff Ethell: "We just pointed the nose up, went into afterburner, and punched through the cloud deck. And the first thing we started to do was a series of rolls. Igor would demonstrate a left and a right roll, then he would let me do it."
Paris Air Show Crash
This MIG-29 heads towards the ground at the Paris air show of 1989. With less than 300 feet remaining, test pilot Anatoli Kvotchur ejects himself from the crippled jet, and miraculously, walks away unharmed.
G-Force Face
This archival footage depicts a Russian pilot undergoing tests to determine the effects of G-forces on the human body. Russian pilots were some of the first in the world to undergo this kind of testing.
Low Rollover
Jeff Ethell: "I said I would like to do a few rolls. Igor said, `Fine we'll just do them by the runway. We'll come down and then I want you to roll it and pitch up in a half loop for landing.' If you did this at an American airbase you wouldn't have your career left. So here we come roaring across the runway, I mean zipping along, and I figure I'm pretty low and he says, `You're not low enough.' So I bump the stick a little bit forward and down we come and I mean we were low."


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