PCDU Episodes:

Here is a full list of all PCDU Episodes since #1 back in 2009. Click on a title to visit the episode page & download or listen to the episode from there.

PCDU Episode 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun

Serge’s “Fighter Pilot” book cover

It takes a special breed to push an F18 out to the edge of the envelope, fly missions ranging from surface attack to dog fights and then blow off steam with your squadron mates. It’s certainly not Top Gun but it does make amazing fodder for a book that highlights the good, the bad and the crazy.

Just such a book has been written by ‘Mac “Serge” Tucker‘ and it’s called “Fighter Pilot: mis-adventures beyond the sound barrier with an Australian Top Gun

Steve & Grant chat to “Serge” about being a fighter pilot, flying & partying hard, blowing off steam and dealing with bureaucrats. We also cover:

  • The size of the fighter community in Australia and the camaraderie that has developed among them
  • The mentoring that occurs within the community covering both technical & behavioural aspects of being a fighter pilot
  • The interaction of fighter pilots with pilots from other parts of the RAAF
  • Serge’s career progressing from high school through basic training in the CT4, progression to the Aermacchi MB 326H (the Macchi) and on to the F18 via a stint on the Nomad.
  • Wing Commander Ross Fox’s influence as Serge’s mentor and the impact of his death in an F18 mid-air collision
  • Serge’s thoughts on the Australian Army & Royal Australian Navy
  • Working with the fighter pilots from the USA & comparing USA pilots with RAAF pilots
  • Old timer stories and their influence on current procedures
  • RAAF exchange pilots flying F15s & F22s with the USAF
  • The F35 JSF and its issues with kinematics
  • Drones and their use in the military environment
  • How the military have missed out on changing their operations & equipment to deal better with the Middle East environment & the modern political power dynamics
  • Serge’s love of hang gliding
  • Transitioning from being a fighter pilot to being an airline pilot
  • His final flight: a one-on-one dogfight with Matt Hall

11 comments to PCDU Episode 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun

  • […] Episodes ListPCDU Episode 96: "Serge" – An Australian Top Gun November 17, 2012 PCDU Episode 95: Northern Exposure November 3, 2012 PCDU Episode 94: AusFly […]

  • Glen Towler

    Just listening to the latest edition I think that world war 2 proved that any navy wouldn’t last five minutes against a enemy with air superiority . This podcast is the best I have heard in a very long time

  • Thanks Glen, we’re glad to hear that you liked our chat with Serge (we certainly had a lot of fun recording it :)

  • […] Mac’s book is called “Fighter Pilot – mis-adventures beyond the sound barrier with an Australian Top Gun.” The full interview is featured in episode 96 of Plane Crazy Down Under. […]

  • Rob Coates - Perth

    Top interview! Serge’s book is now top of my ‘To read’ list. With so much spin in our media, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak so candidly. But at the same time it’s worrying to hear that, in an expert’s opinion, we’ve ordered a lemon for our next front line fighter!
    Keep up the good work fellas.

  • Thanks Rob and yes, it is concerning. While the RAAF will no doubt make the best of what the aircraft can give, I’m doubtful that it’ll turn out as well as the F111 did after all its teething problems.

  • […] I was recently put onto a book written by Mac ‘Serge’ Tucker (an ex – Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Topgun), thanks to the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, after they interviewed him in relation to his aviation experiences and of course his recent publication, ‘Fighter Pilot: Mis-Adventures Beyond the Sound Barrier with An Australian Topgun’. Click here to listen to the podcast episode: PCDU Episode 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun […]

  • […] The kinematic issue is complex and instead of me explaining it here I would like to refer you to Episode 96 of the Plane Crazy Down Under Podcast (PCDU) that includes an interview with a retired FA-18 RAAF pilot Mac “Serge” Tucker who was […]

  • […] I was recently refered to a book written by Mac ‘Serge’ Tucker (an ex – Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Topgun), thanks to the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, after they interviewed him in relation to his aviation experiences and of course his recent publication, ‘Fighter Pilot: Mis-Adventures Beyond the Sound Barrier with An Australian Topgun’. Click here to listen to the podcast episode: PCDU Episode 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun […]

  • Tempest

    First encounter with Plane Crazy Down-Under, got linked by a friend to the 40 minute mark. Subscribing immediately- do you think you could host a debate on the F-35 issue?

  • admin

    Thanks for subscribing & welcome to the show.

    The issue with a debate on the F-35 is that we’re already locked into buying it. Whether you like it or not, the aircraft is coming to Australia and we just need to see how it works out.

    The best we can do is continue to have interviews like our discussion with AVM Osley in episode 119 (F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach) where we went in depth on the tasks involved in bringing the F-35 on-line with the RAAF. Now that we have more pilots trained in the aircraft we’ll be trying to get more interviews with them about flying it, covering the technology the aircraft brings and how the RAAF are exploiting it to full potential.

    Cheers,

    Grant

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