Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd

Tie Club # 1552

“On 10 Aug 76 early in my conversion onto the Mirage 111 O I ejected using a Martin Baker Mk10 ejection seat. It was at the start of my operational career and in a dual aircraft with me in the front seat. As we came in to land we had an unsafe left wheel indication and, of course, the left wheel collapsed on the roll out and we left the runway on the wingtip and in full afterburner. After just missing the control tower and just prior to entering a hanger doorway the QFI, FLT LT Bruce Wood, managed to get the aircraft airborne and I ejected first, very low but pointing skywards thankfully. Bruce, the hero of this tale, got out as the aircraft flamed out a few moments later.

That I went on to have a long, very satisfactory and somewhat successful career, retiring in 2008 as Chief of Air Force – Royal Australian Air Force, is due as much to good luck as good management, but without the grand efforts of all at Martin Baker it would have ended in a smoking mess at RAAF Williamtown those long years ago. BZ – many thanks”

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