WONZ 191 – Captain Geoff White

Guest: Captain Geoff White

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 1st of October 2017

Released: 17th of October 2018

Duration: 1 hour 23 seconds

In this episode we hear from Geoff White, who was a childhood friend of the legendary pilot Ray Hanna, serving together in the Air Training Corps during the 1940’s. Upon leaving school Geoff joined the RNZAF and trained as a pilot. He spent a lot of his career as a transport pilot with No. 41 Squadron on Douglas Dakotas and Bristol Freighters, one of the latter he flew out from England when it was first handed over by the factory. He also trained as an instructor, and this included a few flights in the North American P-51D Mustang.

On leaving the RNZAF Geoff took up a position flying for Tasman Empire Airways Ltd. (T.E.A.L.) and started there flying the Short Solent flying boats. He progressed through the company (which became Air New Zealand in 1965) onto the Douglas DC-6’s, then the Lockheed Electras, and then onto jets flying the Douglas DC-8 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Geoff captained the last successful Antarctic flight that Air New Zealand flew, and talks about this too.

Today Geoff lives in retirement in Albury, NSW, Australia. Dave spoke with Geoff via Skype a year ago to record this episode.


Geoff in the cockpit. No. 19 Squadron Air Training Corps undergoing flying training at Mangere Aerodrome, 17th of January 1948. Left to right: Sgt P J B Henderson, Cpl Geoff N. White (1st cadet to solo), Cpl Ray G Hanna, and Bob Prentice (Chief Instructor Auckland Aero Club) (Whites Aviation Neg 11757)

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