Check out the sequence of the canopy flying off, the pilot in his rocket-powered seat coming out, the parachute opening, and the ejector seat falling away. Modern technology at its best! All of this happened in about two seconds from canopy off to the fireball...
Smoke from the canopy's rocket motors.
There he goes ! So that's what the striped handle does !The left engine has its nozzle fully open, showing that #1 engine was producing no power.
The white thing is the seat-stabilizing drogue chute. Notice the pilot's head pinned to his chest from the severe 'G' forces produced by the solid rocket motors in the ACES II seat. They burn for about 2/10ths of a second ...
Enough time to propel him at least 60 feet clear of the aircraft. Helluva ride!
One millisecond from eternity for a beautiful CA-18. Check out the now-unoccupied ejection seat following the aircraft hurtling down.
The moment-of-impact photo shows flame shooting out of the left engine ... its 'last gasp'. There goes the seat above the fireball.