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. There must be a propaganda aim behind that scene, as always they do_trying to say everything can become North Korean! even the cockpit of a fighter plane originally from a semi European Country like Russia!

  2. If there’s a fire in the cockpit, would you rather have the fire right behind your head, or off to the side? Would you want the fire to follow you out of the plane?

  3. Proof that people will be offended about anything.

    Are we to ignore as well the “unnecessary negative bias” when the United Nations reports that this country’s leader spends upwards of a half billion dollars on luxury goods like Rolexes and Rolls Royces while half his nation barely subsists on starvation diets?

    Is it an “unnecessary negative bias” when Amnesty International calls North Korea a “totalitarian state where tens of thousands of people are enslaved and tortured.”.

    There’s a lot to be ‘disappointed’ about this article, Mr. Guevara. The DPRK’s nonstop saber-rattling and destabilization of peace. Fleets of fighter jets it doesn’t need while its’ people barely survive. A tyrannical despot who clings to power by using the fear of the great final war to paralyze his nation into submission.

    Being amused by lacey aircraft seat covers isn’t one of them, sir.

  4. Oh come on. It’s culture! Is it really that weird that people simply do things differently elsewhere? Maybe have different standards regarding fire hazards and so on?

    What we find rediculous they find normal, and, there’s probably a fair amount of things that we find normal, but they find preposterous. Perhaps they’d consider us disrespectful, unloving d**ks if we’d refuse the headrest cover our wives made for us.

    In summary, not everyone has to be like we are in the West!

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