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I am only asking about flight testing civilian jets, not military ones. I know that all test pilots have to be equipped with a parachute, so I wonder was there any incident where the test pilots and test engineers had to leave the plane during the flight, and managed to reach the earth? Alive or dead.

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    $\begingroup$ Escaping with a parachute is always difficult, and specially difficult in fast airplanes, like jets, without the help of an ejection seat. It is, however, not impossible (the exceptional case of Gary Powers and the U-2 is a good example) but it's rare... $\endgroup$ – xxavier Sep 2 '17 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Is the OP asking for bailouts only? If no: I remember reading in "Yeager", the autobiography of Chuck Yeager, about 2 situations while he was a test pilot at Muroc AFB: the first was a training flight in an F-104 with 2 test pilots where the engine went out on takeoff and one pilot ejected, the other stayed (turns out if the second ejected he would have died, and if the first stayed he would have died), both surviving; the latter is Yeager's ejection from an NF-104 while commandant of ARPS (kalimera.org/nf104/stories/stories_12.html). Don't know of a database for these though. $\endgroup$ – Marius Sep 2 '17 at 20:26
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Do civilian space ships count?

In the VSS Enterprise crash the captain survived. The plane broke up around him and he was able to unstrap his seat after which his parachute automatically deployed. The co-pilot died in the crash.

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  • $\begingroup$ You can see a bit more details about the accident and how the pilot got out on this video. $\endgroup$ – Jimy Sep 2 '17 at 16:33
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Yes. Here is a (long) video of a test pilot spinning a Bonanza with a cockpit POV. He ends up bailing out. Skip to 11:30 to watch the entry.

Ovbiously not a jet, but maybe it's close to what you're looking for.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you need to skip to 12:30? $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Sep 2 '17 at 20:45
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During the early development flight tests of the Challenger, an aircraft was trapped in a deep stall. Two crew members bailed out, but the final crew member did not survive the bail out.

http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/Canadair-CGCGRX.htm

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In the remote-controlled crash of a 727, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Boeing_727_crash_experiment, the crew (and some camera-men) left by parachute...

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