Cockpit photo exposes North Korean pilot using a ridiculous lace-trimmed ejection seat headrest cover

Is this a standard cockpit adornment?

Screenshots from a video aired by the North Korean state television were posted yesterday by Alert5 military aviation site.

While cockpit footage from inside a North Korean Su-25 jet is quite rare, what is even more interesting is the weird (at least by Western standards) adornment exposed by the video.

Indeed, as noticed by our friend Tim Robison, Editor in Chief of AEROSPACE, the magazine of the Royal Aeronautical Society, there is some lace-trimmed cover on the ejection seat headrest.

Whether this is a standard decoration or a pilot customization is still open to debate; for sure it doesn’t seem to be made of fire-resistant material as one should expect from almost everything inside the cockpit.

Image credit: Alert5


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. It just shows that the author considers hilarious and weird a lace-trimmed cover that you can’t find anywhere else in the world (at least to my knowledge).
    Dealing with the inflammable flags, I concur these can be dangerous, still they are not ridiculous to me.
    Furthermore, is far more dangerous a cushion on the ejection seat, that will follow the pilot when ejected, than the flag remaining in the cockpit (actually sucked outside of it by pressure difference)….

      • What was he thinking? How about “do you know how many North Korean girls are going to see this?”

        Dude is probably killing it back at home. Fighter pilots gonna fighter pilot.

    • cencio4. I don´t understand why the US military allows loose items in the cockpit such as flags. There is plenty of stories of flights that have gone wrong where loose items have gotten caught up in flight controls and caused a crash or a serious incident. I don´t know if pilots carry these flags into combat, or just carry them on ferry flights, but it doesn´t make sense to me.

      Look at the recent incident with a RAF 330 tanker where a simple movement of the seat caused a camera to get jammed between the seat and sidestick, causing the plane to loose several thousand feet of height in the process.

      • Read enough aviation books and sooner or later you’ll come across stories of squadron mascots being taken on flights, including transatlantic deployments. I’ve read this about dogs, pigs, and snakes. All were flown in USAF fighter aircraft. I am in no way defending this being done, just pointing out that the North Korean air force has no monopoly on non-standard things in a cockpit.

      • What I find ridiculous are the nomex gloves with the fingertips cut off that the US Navy pilots use. Somebody needs to tell them that if you’re going to cut off the glove fingers at the first knuckle, you might as well just chuck the gloves completely. There are MANY instances of pilots having career-ending injuries from post-crash fire because they weren’t wearing nomex gloves or were wearing nomex gloves that were excessively worn.

    • They don’t have cushions on the ejection seat. Having flown in about a dozen different ejection seat-equipped aircraft, my rear end can assure you that they don’t.

  2. YES…if in your weird opinión the laced cushion is a North Korean Natonal Symbol it’s absolutly the shame….no more to say about your really biased opinión…..

Comments are closed.