In its basic details, this story is very similar to one from a USAF
training base a couple years back--'05, I think. In that case, it was the instructor who took a ride during taxi and landed without serious injury. Of course, the aircraft was the T-6 Texan II
in that case.
I can confirm what Rotorimage wrote about the location of the ejection handle on this bird. It is really crammed right up in your crotch. Every once in a while, you reach down to adjust your straps, and suddenly you realize that in your absent-mindedness you almost fired the thing. The ejection loop and your harness straps are all mixed up together down there.
As I recall, the USAF
incident happened because the instructor strapped himself in with the seat pin tag--"remove before flight"--entangled in the ejection loop. This strikes me as very easy to do given the cramped cockpit of the T-6. On taxi out, he went to remove it, felt pressure, gave it a tug to bring it loose, and rode the rails. After the investigation, I remember seeing photos comparing the seat size of the T-6 with those of the F-15, F-18, etc. The other aircraft provided a LOT more room between the crotch and the ejection handle. But I suppose there just isn't any room to spare in the T-6 cockpit. But it is--evidently!--a bit of a design hazard on the Texan II
My real question for the T-6 purchasers at USAF
: why no tacan?