| GEO Amazing and Interesting|
| Pilot ejects from fighter plane moments before crash|
| Updated at: 1035 PST, Sunday, July 25, 2010|
OTTAWA: With his £20 million fighter plane hurtling towards the ground, Captain Brian Bews had little time to think. The 36-year-old pilot was forced to choose between battling to save the plane, or bailing to save his life.
He chose the latter, launching himself out of the cockpit with the ejector seat and parachuting down to earth – miraculously landing unharmed, as his plane exploded in a mass of flames and black smoke.
These spectacular pictures show just how close Capt Bews, who has clocked 1,400 hours of flying time, came to death.
Capt Bews was practising a daring low altitude pass called the high alpha pass – performed at very low-speed close to the ground – ahead of this weekend's air show at Lethbridge County Airport, 130 miles south of Calgary, when the plane's engine stalled.
Aviation officials in Canada were still investigating the causes of the crash, but Capt Bews was saved by his quick reactions and the plane's rocket powered ejector seat.
"I noticed it start to bank a little bit off to one side, which I kind of thought was unusual," said photographer Ian Martens, who was watching the practice flights.
"I saw a couple of pops and all of a sudden this plane just banked and slowly dropped into the ground into this huge orange ball of fire."