WONZ 246 – Great Escapes 1 – Geoff Hubbard

Guest: Air Commodore Geoffrey Hubbard OBE, RNZAF Retired

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 1st of October 2021

Released:  22nd of October 2021

Duration: 53 minutes 27 seconds

This episode is the first in a series called “Great Escapes”, which will delve into some intense stories of pilots, aircrew or passengers finding themselves in grave danger in the air, and have managed to have their lives saved by means of an ejection seat, or other means. This episode features Air Commodore Geoff Hubbard, who served with the RNZAF from 1953 till 1990.

On the 3rd of July 1957 Geoff found himself in an inverted spin over the Malayan jungle in de Havilland DH.112 Venom FB.1, serial WE409, and was forced to “bang out” using the ejector seat. He tells the second by second story of that incredible few minutes in his life. He also details what it was like to fly the Venom as a young fighter pilot, and he talks about the reason why he and No. 14 Squadron RNZAF were there, the Malayan Emergency. He also tells what happened in the very first RNZAF ejection, also a Venom flown by Mike Palmer, who was on the same squadron.

Air to air view of No. 14 Squadron Venom WK428 over RAF Station Changi, Singapore. Air Force Museum of New Zealand photo. Original RNZAF negative number TENG366.
Portrait of then-Group Captain Geoffrey Hubbard OBE in 1977. Air Force Museum of New Zealand photo WgG525-77. He later attained the rank of Air Commodore.
A Martin Baker Mk. 2F ejector seat, the type used by Geoff Hubbard in his ejection. Photo kindly supplied by Jason Mills.
The de Havilland Venom Mk. 1 instrument panel from the Pilot’s Notes. Photo kindly supplied by Jason Mills.
A photo of a Martin Maker 2F seat being fitted to a Venom, scanned from the book “Singapore Sojourn -the story of No. 14 Squadron RNZAF flying the Venom in Singapore ” by Stewart Boys. Scan supplied by Jason Mills

The music used in this episode is Hazy After Hours, from Mixkit

Quick Links:

 Great Escapes 2 – Pete Lindsay

 Great Escapes 3 – Phil Barnes

 Great Escapes 4 – Safety And Surface

 Great Escapes 5 – Sean Singleton-Turner

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