PCDU Episodes List

PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

In this episode we join noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands from Plane Talking to review the latest news & information. When we called Ben, he was experiencing a heat wave of 11 degrees Celsius at his home in the mountains near Canberra. Meanwhile, here in Melbourne we were thinking winter was upon us as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees Celsius. Four degrees of separation but a very different pair of perspectives on cold vs hot.

Fortunately, we were all spot on with our news analysis, including such topics as:

  • Use of composites in airliners and the indications that it won’t really be effective for another 10 to 20 years
  • QANTAS still claiming that they’re going to get their 787-9s on a date that would be before Air New Zealand (the launch customer) despite Boeing making a statement contradicting this
  • The changes that are afoot with the Virgin Blue group being under new leadership:
    • Brett Godfrey’s farewell bash
    • John Borghetti not getting the top job at QANTAS but, perhaps, getting something better with running Virgin Blue
    • Fleet choices and the possibility that they’ll get A330s or B767s, especially on high density routes like Sydney to Melbourne
    • The likelihood that they’ll rebrand the group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue) under a single name
  • Singapore Airlines having veto rights over the name Virgin for any new international airline
  • Tiger Airways recording a profit and becoming more of a stable, solid threat in the market
  • Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese wanting to restrict cockpit access to only the two pilots flying and any check pilots or safety reviewers
  • The F35 and how Australia seems to be one of the few countries NOT getting upset about all the delays and problems

After chatting with Ben, we have an interview with James Baldwin & Glen Somerville from EmptyJets, an organisation that gives you the chance to get rides in charter aircraft that would otherwise be flying empty on positioning flights. From helicopters to Gulfstream Vs, they’re all on the list and well worth checking out.

After that we dive into the mail bag where:

  • Matt McCabe compares the cost of learning to fly here in Australia against the USA
  • Errol Cavit enjoyed the Red Bull show and will be catching up with us when he comes over from New Zealand (for a Sci Fi convention, no less)
  • Vince Bezzina who volunteers at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook was checking if we knew about the DC6 coming to Australia from South Africa. Oh yes, do we ever!

We also have a couple of shout outs to:

  • Damien Rose who is now a private pilot and on his way to a commercial license (and speaking of the cost of learning – Damien sold his house to fund all this! He must have a VERY understanding wife, that’s for sure :)
  • Steve Cooke from the Flying Podcast in the UK has released his latest episode on a topic that’s very important for Grant: ballooning

2 comments to PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

  • Hey Guys, Thanks for a great episode! I loved listening to Ben … and loved this format too! My vote: Keep it going!
    I found it interesting his comments on the delay for the 787. For some reason…up here in Boeing country… we had heard long time ago that the delay was due to inferior parts. Why… that was held top secret. Outsourcing and lack of accountability was the core of that problem. I am sure they’ll work the bugs out before she flies. Hope so! She is going to be a beautiful plane. I’m looking forward to the increased humidity.

    I smiled when Ben talked about the cold beer and Mount Ranier… nothing better for marketing.

    Tell the Empty Jet Guys best of luck!!! Great idea and I wish them great success!

    Congratulations Damien!!!

    Thanks for the tip on Flying Podcast too!

    Fly safe and come visit me at http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/

  • Thanks Karlene – we’re going to try and do a semi-regular news review (like we have previously) but have a guest commentator on with us for each one. This way you get the benefit of their wisdom and not just Steve & I lobbing our opinionated views :)

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