JESUCHRISTO !!! I think there are two possibilities here - either he's an adrenaline addict and a roller coaster junkie , or he was trying to gain separation from the F-18 and maybe some stability before ejecting. I'm thinking it's the latter, but what a wild ride!!!
No plane on Sunday, maybe be one come Monday... www.parrotheadjeff.com
The other possibility is the G-forces from that roll pinned him against the canopy on the side and it took a few seconds to reach the handle.
By the way, it is a two seat A-4 and the first ejection seat is launched as part of the big burst of flame just prior to the ejection that is clearly visible. Watch the footage closely and you'll see the canopy separate as the plane is rotating. You'll have to break your eyes away from the canopy silhouetted against the flame and watch the upper right edge of the flame where you'll see a separate burst of fire from the other seats ROCAT.
It is also possible the delay was due to crew co-ordination and egress preparation.
The pylon didn't just fall off. The main clue is the high quality coverage of the event. Two chase planes, one close, one far, cameras on the F/A-18 itself, and the paint job on the -18. This is a separation test gone bad. They were intending to film the pylon falling away but when it separated it pitched up and rolled into the primary camera plane (which had two seats so the aft seat guy could operate his camera to film the event.)
I have seen this tape before (although this is a longer version with additional footage. Can't remember where, but that is what I recall being told about it, and the presence of the cameras and chase planes supports it. They do fly pretty close during trials like this and normally you'd expect the stores to separate cleanly and fall nearly straight down. This one flys sideways a good 60-70 ft minimum I'd guess from the look of it. (use the second clip, from under the F/A-18 to estimate. The angle on the first clip makes it impossible to tell except by doing measured comparisons of aircraft feature size.)
They need to be close to get the best possible footage in case something goes wrong (like it did here...)