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The Jet Pilots Survival Knife


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My newer knives were really feeling left out, so I thought that I would post them as well. The Jet Pilot Knives evolved into what is now known as Aircraft Survival Egress Knife. I will start with the AIRSAVE knife. These were kept inside covered pouches. Because the scabbard was sewn inside a cloth cover, there was no place for a sharpening stone. The black strap cutter was locally purchased through Aeriel and added. The pull lanyard was snapped to a snap on the vest outside the pocket for quick finding when needed. Grab it, yank and the cloth pouch would open and then pull the cutter out and it made the knife accessible.

 

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When the Gen I Air Warrior vest came about, the first generation Aircraft Survival Egress Knife ASEK was produced in a solid OD scabbard with a black handle knife to match the original solid OD Air Warrior Gen I vest. These knives were also used with the Woodland Gen II vest, no woodland ASEK were ever produced that I am aware of. The rubber handle was supposed to protect you when cutting live wires, but no one ever believed that. The pommel is a heavy steel cap with a conical point for breaking glass. This knife was never meant to be carried on the vest, it was designed to be worn on the leg. Most people don't like the leg carry as it makes you track two pieces of equipment, your vest and knife. Most wanted the knife back on the vest. Many who were still using the AIRSAVE vest were like a pig in a poke if they could get this knife for their AIRSAVE. The set-up consist of the scabbard, leg straps, knife, and a egress strap cutter with built in blade sharpener and screw driver tip.

 

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When the Air Warrior vest went to ACU, the solid green no longer cut the mustard, so a Foilage green handle knife and a ACU patterned scabbard was developed. Not much different than the previous knife except coloring. Interestingly, this knife came right out of the plastic bag and shows the black strap cutter with foilage lanyard. I put a foilage cutter from another knife next to it. This second cutter was a prototype that never made it as far as I know. The blade has titanium coating, but the perpendicular blade didn't do well, material would bind up and jam. As far as I know, they went back to the crossed scissor blades. Interesting side note. One of our units is departing for Astan this weekend. When they were issued their new Multicam Air Warrior vests, they received a Multi Cam scabbard and were told to put their Foilage handle knives into their MC sheath. Looks really ridiculous, I hope this gets changed.

 

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The final knife is the Gerber ASEK, this one is in foilage, but a coyote brown version was also produced. These knives were developed by Gerber as a competitor to the Ontario Knife as many people think the Ontario feels small and fragile, they want something heavy and hefty and this knife was it. When put onto the Gen III Air Warrior vest, this knife is very big and bulky, but to each their own. The scabbard is hard plastic and the blade sharpener is built into the scabbard itself. The handle of this knife is flatter and the pommel glass cutter is a weird shape. The strap cutter reminds me of the bulky plastic Aeriel strap cutter that I had in the AIRSAVE knife. Interesting story, the Ontario knife engineer is a friend of mine. At a conference, I won a Gerber ASEK, she said she would give me a Ontario ASEK if I would trade her for the Gerber. I did, she then promptly put the knife on the floor with the handle propped against the chair and then stood up on it. Engineering testing I guess, the handle broke. She did the same with an Ontario and it withstood the same treatment.

 

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Hawkdriver:

 

Thanks very much for the detailed explanation on the recent pilot knives. For the collectors among us (like me) still stuck in the 20th Century this was certainly an education.

 

Would it be possible for you to post some dates as to when these various knives were fielded? Also, as I am not very familiar with post-2000 aviation equipment it would be very helpful if you could post some pics of these blades in use with the various vests or other devices you mentioned. (Uh, teach, whutz a Gen III Air Warrior vest, or a Gen II or Gen I??).

 

I enjoyed your posts here and thank you once again for sharing your collection with us.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

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  • 3 weeks later...

Heres another I picked up recently.73 dated.Sew in scabbard.

 

 

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"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

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Hawkdriver:

 

Thanks very much for the detailed explanation on the recent pilot knives. For the collectors among us (like me) still stuck in the 20th Century this was certainly an education.

 

Would it be possible for you to post some dates as to when these various knives were fielded? Also, as I am not very familiar with post-2000 aviation equipment it would be very helpful if you could post some pics of these blades in use with the various vests or other devices you mentioned. (Uh, teach, whutz a Gen III Air Warrior vest, or a Gen II or Gen I??).

 

I enjoyed your posts here and thank you once again for sharing your collection with us.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

 

I will get my stuff together and try to put some of that information together. Between myself and MohawkALSE, I think we can get it fairly well established.


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GREAT THREAD GB!! :thumbsup:

 

 

...Interesting story, the Ontario knife engineer is a friend of mine. At a conference, I won a Gerber ASEK, she said she would give me a Ontario ASEK if I would trade her for the Gerber. I did, she then promptly put the knife on the floor with the handle propped against the chair and then stood up on it. Engineering testing I guess, the handle broke. She did the same with an Ontario and it withstood the same treatment.

Could the reason for this "snap-test" occurring, be the fact that the Gerber ASEKs have a "superior 'electrically insulated' blade-to-pommel", have something to do with that particular outcome?

I had wondered if this 'feature' may contribute to failure, if used as a pry-bar...

(The tang is 'segmented/separated' inside the grip.)

 

The Ontario ASEKs were known to have previously been of "catastrophic failure", regarding the lack of electrically insulated handle.

Apparently, it has been subsequently redesigned to meet this requirement.

 

Of immediate interest:

"SFC Dillard Johnson's Gerber LMF II ASEK, used to sever a 220 volt line [w/o electrical wounding] in combat in Iraq. Arrows point to damage done by the current. The electrically insulated handle may have saved SFC Johnson's life, and cutting the lines potentially saved the lives of all the members of his patrol."

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Regards,

Don.

'No matter what the question ...the answer is always Clausewitz.'

'A nation's strength is defined not by the size of its army, but by whether it means what it says.' Prussian MG C.P.G. von Clausewitz

 

* The MER of an excuse is zero meters.*

 

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

 

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience." GA Omar N. Bradley

 

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key." PM Winston Churchill

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GREAT THREAD GB!! :thumbsup:

 

 

 

Could the reason for this "snap-test" occurring, be the fact that the Gerber ASEKs have a "superior 'electrically insulated' blade-to-pommel", have something to do with that particular outcome?

I had wondered if this 'feature' may contribute to failure, if used as a pry-bar...

(The tang is 'segmented/separated' inside the grip.)

 

The Ontario ASEKs were known to have previously been of "catastrophic failure", regarding the lack of electrically insulated handle.

Apparently, it has been subsequently redesigned to meet this requirement.

 

Of immediate interest:

"SFC Dillard Johnson's Gerber LMF II ASEK, used to sever a 220 volt line [w/o electrical wounding] in combat in Iraq. Arrows point to damage done by the current. The electrically insulated handle may have saved SFC Johnson's life, and cutting the lines potentially saved the lives of all the members of his patrol."

post-21709-1344309205.jpg

 

 

Regards,

Don.

 

Doubtful, the tang broke clear up by the pommel, so a purposely segmented blade that far up the tang wouldn't provide much positive electrical protection. I would have to question the segmented tang statement, why would you purposely engineer a weak spot and then put a break-out pommel at the other end of that tang? Also, when she stood on it, the tang snapped, so it broke. As for the "known" problem, where does that information come from, I will pass it on and see the voracity of the statement. Sometimes Soldiers make up problems that don't exist to validate not liking a specific item, you either like or dislike the Ontario ASEK, not much in the middle.


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Doubtful, the tang broke clear up by the pommel, so a purposely segmented blade that far up the tang wouldn't provide much positive electrical protection. I would have to question the segmented tang statement, why would you purposely engineer a weak spot and then put a break-out pommel at the other end of that tang? Also, when she stood on it, the tang snapped, so it broke. As for the "known" problem, where does that information come from, I will pass it on and see the voracity of the statement. Sometimes Soldiers make up problems that don't exist to validate not liking a specific item, you either like or dislike the Ontario ASEK, not much in the middle.

 

US Army CRC, FLIGHTfax Magazine July 2006:

 

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'No matter what the question ...the answer is always Clausewitz.'

'A nation's strength is defined not by the size of its army, but by whether it means what it says.' Prussian MG C.P.G. von Clausewitz

 

* The MER of an excuse is zero meters.*

 

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

 

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience." GA Omar N. Bradley

 

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key." PM Winston Churchill

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Page 16:

 

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'No matter what the question ...the answer is always Clausewitz.'

'A nation's strength is defined not by the size of its army, but by whether it means what it says.' Prussian MG C.P.G. von Clausewitz

 

* The MER of an excuse is zero meters.*

 

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

 

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience." GA Omar N. Bradley

 

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key." PM Winston Churchill

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Page 17:

 

Read the details surrounding SFC Dillard Johnson's use of his Gerber LMF II ASEK, in Combat:

RECENT REAL-WORLD EVASION

 

Please "Click to view full image"; (black bar on top > then left click "+" while over image.)

 

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I did not note any Copyright information contained in this magazine, or the article, itself.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that an unclassified work of the U.S. Federal Government, inherently places it in the public domain.

I therefore wish to express my sincere thanks, to the US Army Combat Readiness Center, FLIGHTfax Magazine, and especially the article's author: Christopher Trumble, System Safety Engineer, US Army CRC; for the use of his work.

 

Regards,

Don.

'No matter what the question ...the answer is always Clausewitz.'

'A nation's strength is defined not by the size of its army, but by whether it means what it says.' Prussian MG C.P.G. von Clausewitz

 

* The MER of an excuse is zero meters.*

 

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

 

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience." GA Omar N. Bradley

 

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key." PM Winston Churchill

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Thanks for the article, I will ask my friend what she has to say aobut it. As always, there are two sides to every story. Let me fish this one out and see what bites.

You're welcome.

I would be very interested in her assessment.

 

They are both very good knives, though, I must admit my preference for the Gerber.

The design influence of which is very reminiscent of the "legendary" Al Mar; which should not come as any big surprise, as he was the head of knife design for Gerber from 1968 to 1979, when he left Gerber to form his own company.

He was also a 1st Special Forces Group officer, serving "prior to" 1960, in the Nam.

 

Regards,

Don.

'No matter what the question ...the answer is always Clausewitz.'

'A nation's strength is defined not by the size of its army, but by whether it means what it says.' Prussian MG C.P.G. von Clausewitz

 

* The MER of an excuse is zero meters.*

 

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

"It is the unconquerable nature of man and not the nature of the weapon he uses that ensures victory." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

 

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience." GA Omar N. Bradley

 

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key." PM Winston Churchill

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You're welcome.

I would be very interested in her assessment.

 

They are both very good knives, though, I must admit my preference for the Gerber.

The design influence of which is very reminiscent of the "legendary" Al Mar; which should not come as any big surprise, as he was the head of knife design for Gerber from 1968 to 1979, when he left Gerber to form his own company.

He was also a 1st Special Forces Group officer, serving "prior to" 1960, in the Nam.

 

Regards,

Don.

 

Being that my friend is the design engineer for Ontario, I am biased that direction. With that said, I will admit that I like the look of the Gerber better, but I have also tried wearing the Gerber ASEK on my flight vest and found it so large and bulky mounted there, I took it back off and put the Ontario knife back on. That hard scabbard is just to much, maybe I should see if I can find a smaller scabbard.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys: I just want to throw this out regarding JPK/JPSKs. I've been looking for a replacement sharpening stone for one of my JPKs. The prices on eBay range from $9.99 to $12.99 plus shipping. I happen to be in Sears today looking at tools. I glanced around and spotted a couple of different sharpening stones. And one of the looked about the right size for my JPK that was missing one. There were two on display and I bought both of them. They measure

3" X 7/8" X 1.5", and they fit perfectly in a JPK sheath. BTW, the Sears SKU # is 96441. And the really nice part is they only cost $2.99 @. :w00t: Sometimes the bear eats you! And sometimes you eat the bear! ~ Danny

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Forum Member #1691 since September 2007

Served in the US Army from 1960-80

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Vietnam 1967 with 7-15th FA ~ [8"/175mm Gun] First Field Forces

Vietnam 1968 with 1-30th FA ~ [155mm] 1st Cavalry Division [AIRMOBILE]

President & Historian 30th FA Regiment Association ( WWW.HardChargers.Com )

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment in 2018

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