WONZ 248 – Great Escapes 3 – Phil Barnes

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Guest: Phillip Barnes, aka Barnsey

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 4th of October 2021

Released: 5th of November 2021

Duration: 47 minutes 5 seconds

This episode is the third in a series called “Great Escapes”, covering stories of RNZAF ejections from aircraft that have saved lives in emergency situations.

In this episode Phil Barnes tells the story of his ejection from McDonnell Douglas TA-4K Skyhawk, NZ6256, on the 20th of March 2001, over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. While dogfighting other RNZAF Skyhawks in a Royal Australian Navy training exercise, Phil found himself in an unrecoverable spin. He was forced to eject, and spent time in rough sea in a tiny raft before he was rescued.

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

Quick Links:

Great Escapes 1 – Geoff Hubbard

Great Escapes 2 – Pete Lindsay

The following photos have been kindly supplied by RNZAF Skyhawk historian Don Simms:

Flt Lt Phil Barnes on steps of an A-4K Skyhawk NZ6213 with his name on the side.
Skyhawk NZ6256, the aircraft that Barnsey was forced to eject from.
NZ6256 in better times, in the RNZAF 50th Anniversary gold scheme.
An actual photo of Phil Barnes in a Skyhawk low over Cook Strait
An action shot of an actual ejection from a Skyhawk, this one being with the Royal Australian Navy
The headknocker on a Skyhawk’s Escapac ejection seat
A single seat raft as used by Skyhawk pilots and passengers, and a deployed life preserver vest. This is from a Wet Drill training exercise but is exactly the equipment that Phil Barnes used for real. The orange canopy of the raft is yet to be manually inflated.
A Mk. 22 Life Preserver and all the survival equipment it carried.

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