Navigator fell to death from jet

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The Independent Online

A civilian navigator died after his ejector seat "detached and fell" from an RAF Tornado as he flew upside down during a test flight, an inquest heard today.

Mike Harland, 44, who worked for BAE Systems, had flown from RAF Marham near King's Lynn, Norfolk, in November 2007, after the two-seater fighter jet was fitted with new parachutes.

The inquest in Norwich heard that he suffered multiple injuries. His body was found in a field near South Creake, Norfolk.

Ministry of Defence officials said the jet was flying at nearly 6,000ft and travelling at around 450mph when the accident happened.

The coroner, Jacqueline Lake, told a jury that the Tornado had undergone servicing and was being tested. She said the pilot was carrying out an "inverted turn" when Mr Harland's seat "detached from the aircraft and fell to the ground".

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