Paris, 1989

Rob "Bomber" Henderson reported :
The 1989 incident was at the Paris Air Show, and involved the famous Anatoly Kvotchur.
The MiG was doing a solo display and had a birdstrike while doing a low speed, knife edge pass. This caused severe yaw with the aircraft well below single engine safety speed. Kvotchur managed to steer the aircraft momentarily to ensure it wouldn't go in the crowd and ejected when the aircraft was almost vertically pointing downwards with the pitot tube just feet away from the ground.
He ejected so low, that although the drogue chutes on the seat worked and slowed him to a safe velocity, despite ejecting almost horizontally and face down, his main chute was only about half open when he hit the ground. He landed a fraction of a second after the MiG speared into the ground, and without a doubt felt the effects of the ensuing explosion as he landed no more than 150ft away.
I met Kvotchur at Biggin Hill in 1993, when he was again displaying a Fulcrum. He couldn't ( wouldn't? ) speak much English, but he took a liking to my artwork, and after a bit of gesturing, I ended up with an embroidered patch from the MiG Design Bureau and Kvotchur's autograph on my A-10 Thunderbolt caricature in my portfolio - and he went away happily with his own copy of my A-10 caricature print!