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Today in Aviation History
February 26, 1952: North American test pilot George Smith becomes the first person to survive a supersonic ejection. During a test flight the controls of a production F-100A Super Sabre lock and the plane enters a near vertical dive. At an altitude of 6000 ft at Mach 1.05 (675 mph), Smith ejects. He experiences a peak 64 g from wind-drag deceleration and spends .29 sec above 20 g. Smith immediate lost consciousness and his chute deploys but with 1/3 of its panels ripped. Gravely injured he lands in the Pacific where a fishing boat finds him. Smith recovers after a long convalescence and returns to testing high performance a/c.