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 128: Unprecedented

From Grant’s collection of ballooning interviews to a chat with Owen Zupp about his latest book and our tribute to Hannes Arch, this episode is our biggest yet (yes, even bigger than Episode 51, our tribute to the RAAF’s F-111s!). We’ve even captured Anthony “The Infrequent Flyer” Simmons’ first ever viewing of the movie TopGun (in IMAX 3D no less :) ).

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 00:00:00 – Our tribute to Hannes Arch, the Red Bull Air Race champion pilot who tragically died in a helicopter crash in September, 2016.
     
  • 00:04:54 – Show start & introduction.
     
  • 00:14:12 – We talk with Owen Zupp about his new book: Without Precedent. It’s the biography of his father that covers his time as a commando in World War 2, flying Meteors during the Korean War, flying Constellations with QANTAS and later flying in General Aviation. It’s a fantastic read and highly recommended.
    We started by discussing Steve’s recent Tiger Moth flight with Vintage Airways at Lilydale and how much fun he had finally flying an aircraft he swore he’d never go in.
     
  • 01:05:22 – Grant talked with Phil Kavanagh back in 2013 about the early days of sport ballooning in Australia in the 60’s & 70’s, manufacturing balloons in Australia, teaching themselves to fly, setting up Kavanagh Balloons, sourcing materials, new developments and the future of ballooning technology.
     
  • 01:27:09 – After talking to Phil, Grant caught up with Sean Kavanagh about his career in aviation ranging from being an aircraft engineer with QANTAS through to flying & making hot air balloons. Sean has flown in competitions and also been a commercial pilot flying at various locations around Australia, including the challenging city of Melbourne. In 2013 Sean was designing new balloons and burners for the company, including producing the inevitable paperwork and dealing with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). We also discuss in some detail the effort that has gone into designing the new Series IV Crossfire burner.
     
  • 01:52:50 –
    Owen Zupp's "Without Precedent"

    Owen Zupp’s “Without Precedent”

    John Wallington is the Flight Director of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, an annual event which has been running since the 80’s. He talked with Grant in 2015 about the experience of flying over Canberra and keeping the flying side of the event running smoothly and safely.
     
  • 01:55:37 – Don Whitford is the meteorologist of choice for ballooning events in Australia and he spoke with Grant about his career of more than 40 years in aviation weather forecasting. They also talk about the impacts of the changing weather patterns that are being experienced recently.
     
  • 02:05:06 – Frank Wechter was at Canberra flying the Angry Birds special shape balloon.
     
  • 02:06:53 – SQNLDR Damien Gilchrist used to be with the RNZAF flying Strikemasters, Macchi 339s and A-4 Skyhawks before transferring to the RAAF about fifteen years ago and in 2015 & 2016 was the primary pilot of the RAAF hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:10:33 – Richard Turnbull is back from the UK flying for commercial operators around Australia and returns to the show to briefly talk about what he’s been up to lately.
     
  • 02:12:56 – Grant chats with Ruth Wilson, Australia’s first female commercial hot air balloon pilot who has been flying balloons for over 40 years and also has a fixed wing license. She was also the first Australian hot air balloon champion and represented Australia at events around the world. They talk about flying over Canberra and being involved in the Women Fly It Forward event by taking young ladies for their first flights.
     
  • 02:17:01 – Grant flew with Kevin Cooper in his Thunder & Colt Chariot balloon which is essentially a two seat chair lift hanging under a small balloon that is a LOT of fun to fly. They also talk about his career flying balloons around the world and the experience of flying over Canberra.
     
  • 02:23:43 –
    Cameron's "UP" Balloon was designed to look like a collection of small helium balloons.

    Cameron’s “UP” Balloon was designed to look like a collection of small helium balloons.

    Jeff Vella is an ex-RAAF pilot who currently flies airliners for Cathay Pacific and is based out of Hong Kong. He’s also one of the pilots flying the RAAF hot air balloon as well as flying the Cathay Pacific hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:32:58 – Nick Purvis is the Sales Director of Cameron Balloons and he talks with Grant about the “UP” balloon on its “Up Down Under” tour and the new 250kg RAAF special shape balloon. They also talk about building special shape balloons including printing graphics on envelope, the interior gusseting & supports that help to keep the shape and the “dead air” that doesn’t contribute to lift but helps pressurise the shape of the balloon. Nick also gives us a quick history of the Cameron Balloon company.
     
  • 02:46:05 – SQNLDR Damien Gilchrist returns to talk about flying the new RAAF special shape hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:49:24 – Grant, Ms Kitt and Steven Pam took Anthony “the Infrequent Flyer” Simmons to see TopGun in 3D at the giant IMAX cinema in Melbourne. They chat about their expectations before going into the cinema and then perform a debrief after the movie. We’ve got the need, the need for speed! Oh my!
     
  • 03:04:06 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode and discuss Grant’s recent commentary at the Wings Over Macleay air show at Kempsey in New South Wales plus the upcoming Angel Flight charity event at Lake Macquarie on November 6th with Matt Hall, OzRunways and AOPA. Steve will be MC for the event and Steven Pam will be there shooting stills and video.
    The boys also discuss how Steve’s trying to get used to flying a Cessna with a glass cockpit along with how Steve recently dobbed Kathy Mexted in as a guest host for the Plane Talking UK show. Finally, Grant’s getting his notes ready to do the commentary for OzKosh at Narromine. It’s all go especially as Steve’s getting ready to move into a new house that’s almost finished being built and will include a cool new studio for future recording.
Kevin Cooper about to take a friend for a flight in his Chariot.

Kevin Cooper about to take a friend for a flight in his Chariot.

Angry Birds with the Dodo balloon

Angry Birds with the Dodo balloon

Ruth Wilson took two young ladies up for their first flights as part of Women Fly it Forward.

Ruth Wilson took two young ladies up for their first flights as part of Women Fly it Forward.

The new RAAF "Flying Helmet" special shape hot air balloon

The new RAAF “Flying Helmet” special shape hot air balloon

PCDU Episode 127: From the Vault

We’ve gone back into our archives to pull out some great content that we never got around to releasing before. We have some more interviews from Avalon 2015 (yes, we recorded lots didn’t we? :) ) and we also have WGCDR Tim Alsop (now a GPCAPT :) ) walking us through planning & implementing an F-18 Hornet handling display and doing a pre-flight walk-around.

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127


Thanks to the heroic efforts of Maikha (the king of the aviation selfie stick), the collection of content has been edited and put together ready for Steve to finalise and Grant to make the show notes. Send your thanks his way for having the time & energy to get it put together :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 00:01:29 – Steve & Grant take a break from Steve’s daughter’s birthday to introduce the episode.
     
  • Avalon Coverage:
    • 00:06:54 – Grant talks to SQNLDR Adrian about flying the PC-9 in the Forward Air Control role.
       
    • 00:16:48 – Maikha catches up with Dave Wheatland from Mahindra about the GA10.
       
    • 00:27:29 – Mike Seers from Northrop Grumman describes how the Triton UAS is providing Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).
       
    • 00:32:42 – Maikha speaks to three dedicated Mission Aviation Fellowship volunteers, long serving MAF Pilot Ron Watts, State MAF Advocate and retired MAF Pilot Max Chapman and MAF Promotional volunteer Daniel Prowse.
       
    • 00:48:14 – CMDR James Walker of the US Navy talks about the upgraded Fire Scout UAS which is produced using the Bell Long Ranger helicopter.
       
    • 00:56:38 – FLGOFF Moles talks to Grant about being a load master on the RAAF C-17.
       
    • 01:00:58 – Grant discusses flying the RAAF C-17 with FLTLT Marshall.
       
    • 01:06:49 – Maikha speaks to members of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) during their visit to Avalon 2015, starting with JASDF Staff Sergeant Yoshi Uesugi (translated by Public Relations officer Major Shigenari Tomioka) regarding the JASDF’s travelling Taiko Drums band, followed by an interview with Lieutenant Colonel Takahiro Seki, the Pilot In Command of the visiting JASDF KC-767 and also the Commander of 404th Squadron from Komaki Air Force Base in Japan.
       
  • RAAF F18 Handling Display Interviews:
    • 01:15:17 – WGCDR Tim ‘Slops’ Alsop discusses his flying career from learning to fly at Tyabb and Moorabbin to his current role as CO 3SQN.
       
    • 01:38:21 – WGCDR Tim Alsop discusses the planning and performance of the RAAF F-18 Handling Display performed for the Tyabb Air Show 2014.
       
    • 02:06:19 – Grant catches up with FLGOFF Michael ‘Newbs’ Newby to discuss his flying background and career to date the with RAAF.
       
    • 02:14:47 – WGCDR Tim Alsop walks us through an F-18 Hornet preflight.
       
  • 02:26:14 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode.

PCDU Episode 126: Emirates Wants You!

They say patience is a virtue and hopefully our audience has plenty of it because it’s been a while since our last episode was released. Fortunately we’ve been able to make some time available to record content, edit it and get this episode into the feed. For this one Steve & Grant are joined by Maikha Ly for interviews with guests on topics including Emirates recruiting, photography at Melbourne Airport, the inaugural Womens’ World Hot Air Balloon champion and breaking an ATC simulator (no, really, Maikha somehow managed to do it!).

Want to fly for Emirates? (Image courtesy of Victor Pody - www.victorpodyphotography.com)

Want to fly for Emirates?
(Image courtesy of Victor Pody – www.victorpodyphotography.com)

This episode unfolds as:

  • 0:09:17 – Emirates are recruiting people from around the world to join their expanding crew ranks, both in the cockpit and the cabin. We speak with Andy Longley, Emirates’ Recruitment Manager (Flight Operations) about the airline, their selection criteria & process and career opportunities. With an expanding fleet of aircraft including a healthy collection of Airbus A380s & Boeing 777s, there are plenty of good reasons to consider flying with Emirates. If you’re interested in joining them, check out the Emirates Careers page for more information.
     
  • 0:56:39 – Steve catches up with Anna Gillett from Melbourne Airport to clarify a few issues relating to aircraft spotting & photography options at the airport, especially with the recent introduction of the Terminal 4 car park.
     
  • 1:06:45 – Back in 2014 Grant caught up with Nicola Scaife who had recently become the inaugural Womens’ World Hot Air Balloon Champion. They chat about how she got started in ballooning, her career as a commercial balloon pilot, developing her competition skills, winning the championship and what it’s like to compete alongside (and at times against) her husband.
     
  • 1:42:32 – During the Avalon Airshow in 2015, Maikha traded his turboprop for the Control Tower as he had a try at Airservices Australia’s Air Traffic Control Tower simulator with Peter McMillan.
     
  • 1:51:49 – Steve, Grant & Maikha wrap up the episode with the news that:
    • PCDU will be at the Tyabb Air Show in March (we’re once again producing the official air show DVD)
    • We’ll also be at Wings Over Illawarra on the 30th of April & 1st of May where, in addition to producing the official air show DVD, Steve & Grant will be joining Peter “Ando” Anderson on the commentary team.
    • The Kyneton Air Show will be in October and although it’s a long way off it’s looking very promising.

Photo credit: Cover art image courtesy of Victor Pody

PCDU Episode 125: Avalon Charlie (The Avalon Airshow Goodness Continues)

Welcome back to our coverage of the 2015 Australian International Air Show (aka Avalon Airshow) with our third release of content recorded at show. It’s been a while since the last episode and we’re sorry for that but as with many labours of love & fun, life gets in the way and paying the rent, keeping the family happy, doing airshow commentaries and producing the weekly Australia Desk for the Airplane Geeks often wind up taking priority over producing an episode.Cover Art for Episode 125

For this episode, we have:

  • 0:03:33 – Grant catches up once again with Heidi Fedak from Gulfstream and they sit on board the G650ER to discuss the bizjet market & how Gulfstream aircraft fill the various segments within it.
     
  • 0:13:41 – Still on board the G650ER, Grant chats with Todd Baker who used to fly AV8B Harriers in the US Marines before transitioning to Gulfstreams to fly the top brass around.
     
  • 0:21:41 – Maikha Ly spent a few minutes with Andrew Carter from The Australian Vintage Aviation Society to see how he was enjoying flying the Fokker Triplane in the gaggle of WW1 aircraft at the show. We had previously caught up with Andrew & Gordon to talk about TAVAS & the Fokker Triplane late last year at the Avalon media launch session.
     
  • 0:26:06 – Maikha also recorded a chat with Gene De Marco from The Vintage Aviator Limited in New Zealand about the collection of fantastic WW1 replica aircraft they brought over for the show.
     
  • 0:43:13 – Steve talks with Jeff from the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame
     
  • 0:50:32 –
    WW1 Replicas from TAVAS & TVAL

    WW1 Replicas from TAVAS & TVAL

    Grant gets to meet with Dr Graham Dorrington from RMIT about RMIT’s involvement with Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas competition and I get to talk with some of the students involved before wrapping up by chatting to Isabelle Floret, Snr Vice President, Airbus Pacific. Unfortunately the background sound was pretty high & we couldn’t filter it all out so it’s a bit noisy on this one :(
     
  • 1:03:41 – Inside the Airbus chalet, Grant chatted with Mike Bausor, Airbus’ A350 XWB Marketing Director about the A350 going live with Qatar Airways
     
  • 1:08:23 – Bringing us back to corporate jets, Grant once again caught up with David Vellupillai to talk about Airbus Corporate Jets including the newly available ACJ330. They also discussed the A380 and its market niche, Airbus’ view on passenger seating and the nuances of supporting ACJ owners.
    Grant in the G650ER wondering if they'll accept his kidney as a deposit...

    Grant in the G650ER wondering if they’ll accept his kidney as a deposit…


     
  • 1:23:35 – Show wrap up
     

Thanks to everyone for your patience with our delays and thanks also to those who have been contacting us to check that we’re still alive and asking when the next episode would be out. We’ve not pod faded yet & there’s still a big backlog of content for us to edit & get into the feed. Meanwhile, you can usually hear us each week on the Airplane Geeks podcast and Grant is helping out Dave Homewood with the Wings Over New Zealand Live show that comes up monthly on Warbird Radio. He’s also recently appeared on Adam Knight’s great podcast called Go Flying Australia as well as turning up as a guest on the Plane Talking UK podcast.

We’ve also been mentioned on Global Pilot Life and Airport Spotting as both sites have included us in their lists of “Favourite Aviation Shows.” Thanks to both sites for including us despite the gaps between episodes of late :)

Episode 124: Avalon15 Bravo (Yet more Avalon Airshow Goodness)

The Australian International Airshow (aka Avalon Airshow) may well be over for 2015 but our collection of content recorded at the show is still being worked on. Here’s another hour of interviews & discussions and we suspect there may be another two episodes before we’re through with all of it. This is what happens when you let Steve, Grant & Maikha run loose with audio recorders at an airshow :)

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15

 

Steve kicks us off with an overview of the episode which unfolds as:

  • 0:02:42 – Grant caught up with Richard Woodward but instead of chatting in his usual ride (an A380), they’re chatting about the new coaxial rotor helicopters he’s working on with Coax Helicopters. They’re amazing machines that are being targeted at those who like to ride sports bikes without fairings.
     
  • 0:10:45 –
    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it's a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it’s a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Peta Denham Harvey is the vice president of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (Victorian Branch) and she tells Maikha about the Round Australia Relay which features women pilots flying around australia to raise money for the Cancer Council. The relay started during the Avalon Airshow and will conclude in April at the AWPA conference in Launceston (Tasmania).
     
  • 0:16:21 – Grant talks with GPCAPT Guy Adams regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems within the Australian Defence Force ranging from backpack units Army squads can use through to Global Hawk & Triton. The discussions also covers how the Heron UAV is operating with the RAAF after Afghanistan, the Scan Eagle platform trials, operations with Reapers in the USA and what was involved in getting a Global Hawk to land at Avalon Airport.
     
    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

  • 0:38:04 – Craig Duncan from the Airline Academy of Australia has come down from Queensland for the show and he talks with Steve about their training operations at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba.
     
  • 0:49:03 – Maikha’s managed to get into the belly of an RJ85 Fire Fighting aircraft that’s been derived from a BAe146. He’s with Ray Horton from ConAir in Canada and they’re talking about Ray’s career, ConAir’s operations, the RJ85 and fire bombing in Australia.
     
  • 1:01:06 – Grant got to take a break with Jodi Davis and review what she’s been up to over the last 18 months including her aerobatic flying and working as Matt Hall Racing’s domestic business development manager based at Belmont Airport in Pelican (New South Wales).
     
  • 1:06:18 – With a live-to-the-mic intro from Allan Van’t Padje, Timbo joins Grant to give us yet another Timbo’s Tarmac with the inside word on the Avalon warbird tarmac, some fun with soft ground and storing aircraft in the now empty ex-Qantas hangars.
     
  • 1:09:47 – Steve wraps up the episode
ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

PCDU Episode 123: Avalon15 Alpha (It's Avalon Airshow Time :) )

The Australian International Airshow (aka Avalon Airshow) is held every two years and runs for 6 days with the first 3 being trade-only. The 4th day of the show is always on a Friday and the public start coming in around midday then stay for the night show, a feature of Avalon for well over 15 years. The final two days are the weekend and, as you might expect, are packed with public enjoying the action and static displays.Ep123 Cover

Once again Team PCDU are at Avalon every day gathering plenty of content for your listening pleasure. This episode holds the first block of interviews we’ve prepared while the show is still going. At the rate we’re going we’ll have another two episodes of Avalon content but for now, here’s how this one unfolds:

  • 0:03:38 – Sergeant Xavier “X” Sheriff is a loadmaster on the C130J and he’s recently returned from Red Flag at Nellis.
     
  • 0:11:47 – Flying Officer “Guns” was also at Red Flag but while he is command rated on the C130J, he spent the duration of Red Flag performing the tactical planning for each mission.
     
  • 0:21:07 – Steve caught up with Simon Hackett in his PC12 (VH-TCP) and they talk about gliding, the Cirrus SR22, the PC12 and Simon’s next aircraft, the Pilatus PC24 jet.
     
  • 0:46:37 – Maikha Ly caught up with Graeme Horne from Cirrus and they review the Cirrus Jet, the market for Cirrus aircraft in Australia and the “Australis” version of the SR22
     
    Pilatus PC24 Cockpit Mockup

    Pilatus PC24 Cockpit Mockup

  • 0:57:40 – Steve talks to Basil Lenzo about Evektor Aircraft’s Sportstar & Harmony aircraft, the scene at their home base in Perth and their new operation at Moorabbin
     
  • 1:02:57 – Grant & Steve ran into Matt Hall and had a good chat about his recent podium finish in the Red Bull Air Race, his new winglets & aircraft handling, developments at Belmont airport (YPEC) that Matt & a consortium recently purchased and QBE’s Airmanship program.
     
  • 1:17:08 – Following on from his chat with Simon in the PC12, Steve caught up with Andre Zimmerman to discuss the Pilatus PC24.
     
  • 1:24:40 – We wrap up the episode and talk about the Airbus A400M transport. We also mention that in addition to Steven Pam taking lots of amazing images, Maikha’s running around with his selfie-stick & distinctive hat. If you get your photo taken with Maikha, you’ll be in the running to get some prizes :)
The Pilatus PC24 Mock Up

The Pilatus PC24 Mock Up

PCDU Episode 122: Farewell 2014

As the final hours of 2014 draw to a close, we’re getting our last episode for 2014 out the door. The boys have been kept pretty busy with their day jobs lately but, despite this, they’ve managed to do some flying:Ep122 Cover

  • Grant’s been taking friends on their first balloon flights including Evan Schoo and Darren Craven
  • Fred Samson took Steve for a fly over San Francisco while he was there a back in October
  • Steve got to fly a 172 in Las Vegas thanks to Rod Rakic & AirWork Las Vegas, an OpenAirplane member
  • The PCDU aeroplane fleet has expanded thanks to Jonesy picking up a 1974 model Cessna 172

After the hangar talk settles down, we get into the episode itself which includes the recent Avalon Airshow Media Launch, Steve’s time at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas and Grant’s trip to Auckland in New Zealand for the Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet up. The episode stacks up in the following list:

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

  • Grant attended the media launch for the Avalon Airshow which was held in the old Qantas hangar where they used to park a 747 while doing heavy maintenance on it. There was wind on the hangar walls, doors opening, vehicles moving and people talking which all made it a rather “interesting” place to record the following chats:

    • 0:16:29 – Jeff “Trappo” Trappett finally gets a chance to appear on PCDU (that or he couldn’t run away fast enough :) ) and talks to Grant about his P51, his C47 & his Sabre
       
    • 0:22:34 – Paul Bennet talks about his new Wolf Pitts aircraft, the manoeuvres it’s letting him do and where things are at with Paul Bennet Airshows (sounds like he’s got a bit of an airforce happening :) )
       
    • 0:26:36 – Darren Craven talks about owning & flying a Winjeel
       
    • 0:33:30 – Gordon Robinson talks about flying Australia’s only Fokker Dr.1 triplane replica all the way down to Melbourne from Brisbane
       
    • 0:39:38 – Andrew Carter owns & flies the Dr.1 replica that Gordon flew down. He talks to us about setting up the Australian Vintage Aviation Society to commemorate WW1 & bring to life aircraft of the era.
       
    • 0:48:28 – Of course, there wouldn’t be aircraft at Avalon without a session on Timbo’s Tarmac and Grant made sure to record one at this event
       
  • Back in October, Steve went to the USA to experience the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas (his family still thinks it was a family trip :) ). While at the event he recorded the following interviews:
    • Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      0:54:27 – Matt Hall talks about his results in the Fort Worth race & the challenges he’s found this season
       
    • 0:59:33 – Eric Cieslar & Peter Wezenbeek are Matt Hall’s race technician & race tactician and they talk about their roles in keeping Matt flying in top form during the races
       
    • 1:05:30 – Hannes Arch talks about standardised engines and how they’ve highlighted the pilot’s skills as opposed to engine power
       
    • 1:09:06 – Kirby Chambliss talks about the challenges he’s faced this season and the changes he’ll be making for the next season
       
    • 1:13:42 – Mike Goulian talks about his involvement with Cirrus aircraft and the hassles he’s worked through this season
       
    • 1:19:48 – Steve catches up with Matt once again just prior to the start of the second day to discuss qualifying
       
    • 1:21:55 – Steve presents a wrap up of the race after the winds came up and they had to cancel the day’s flying (audio courtesy of the Red Bull Air Race content pool)
       
    • 1:24:21 – Rod Rakic talks about OpenAirplane
       
  • As Steve was on a Qantas A380 heading to the USA, Grant was on an Air New Zealand A320 heading to New Zealand to attend the Wings Over New Zealand Forum gathering at Ardmore Airport near Auckland. More than just a gathering, this event included plenty of presentations on great topics, all hosted within the New Zealand Warbirds hangar. While Dave Homewood is releasing much of the content from the event on his Wings Over New Zealand show, Grant recorded a few items of his own:
    • 1:33:54 – Brett Nicholls talks about owning two ex-RNZAF BAC 167 Strikemasters and what it’s taken to get them running for publically available joy flights with Jetfighter Military Adventure Flights
       
    • Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      1:42:20 – Grant got the opportunity to take a ride in a DH.83 Fox Moth along with fellow passenger Grant Newman. In addition to recording some of the sounds from the flight, he also chatted with Graham Wood about his career and flying the DH.83
       
    • While Grant didn’t get a chance to record with Melanie Salisbury from Aviation Tours NZ, she did pass on some information about their “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” tour of the UK in July 2015 which includes Duxford’s “Flying Legends” airshow. It looks like a great tour with plenty of aviation goodness packed into it :)
       
  • Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    1:48:38 – Steve & Grant wrap up the year including a couple of items from the mailbag (including Luke Murphy, Andrew Brown & Shaun Dwyer) and a few shout outs for the end of the year:
    • Steve & Grant have been enjoying the new Spotters Mag, an eMag for aviation spotters with a version just for Australia & New Zealand. Highly recommended!
    • Carlos Stebbings from the Plane Talking UK show is doing his pilot’s license: onya, mate!
    • Steve would like to thank Captain Harry Wubbin for his hospitality on board QF93
    • Steve & Grant thank Paul Burfitt from 64 for his great help this year
    • Don’t forget that the Avalon Airshow 2015 is coming up in a few months and we’re looking forward to seeing you there
    • With tickets on sale already, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the Temora Aviation Museum‘s Warbirds Down Under event coming up in November

PCDU Episode 121: Exercise Pitch Black 2014

During August, Grant spent a week in Darwin covering Exercise Pitch Black 2014, a major multinational “war game” exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force.

RSAF F15 at dusk in Darwin

RSAF F15 at dusk in Darwin

Held every two years, Pitch Black is Australia’s version of the Red Flag training exercises held in the USA and in 2014 the RAAF was joined by forces from the US, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, France and the United Arab Emirates.

Grant joined Andrew McLaughlin, Nigel Pittaway, Mike Yeo and Eng Tiong Ow to experience fantastic access to the local & visiting forces thanks to the efforts of FLTLT Eamon Hamilton. From meeting with representatives from each group attending Pitch Black to being beside the runways & taxiways at Darwin & Tindal, we were able to capture some fantastic photos, videos & interviews.

In addition to Grant’s collection of Pitch Black 2014 content, Steve & ATC Ben recorded a chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book and his ideas for future projects.

At the time we recorded the wrappers for this episode, Steve was about to head to the USA for a family holiday and to cover the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas while Grant was geting ready to go to Auckland for the Wings Over New Zealand forum gathering. Unfortunately there were delays in getting everything finished so the episode didn’t come out until after the boys had left on their flights. Go figure :)

The episode’s details are:

  • 0:08:20 –
    GPCAPT "Micka" Gray - Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    Grant’s coverage of Exercise Pitch Black 2014
    • 0:09:22 – General media “door stop” interview with GPCAPT “Micka” Gray
       
    • 0:17:05 – FLTLT Ben Daly talks about the roles of Air Combat Officer (ACO) and Fighter Combat Controller (FCC)
       
    • 0:22:03 – FLGOFF Kathryn Koslowicz talks about the day to day tasks of an Air Combat Officer (ACO) and being deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO)
       
    • 0:26:31 – FLTLT Ben Daly takes us through No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit’s operations cabins and how they’re used to deploy & manage operations in remote locations
       
    • 0:31:25 – SQNLDR Tim Main reviews the RAAF’s new E7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft
       
    • 0:40:15 – Lt Col Scott Arbogast is the commander of the US ANG F16s & he tells us about their role in the exercise
       
    • 0:46:02 – CMSgt Joseph Smiley discusses the logistics behind getting the US ANG F16s to Australia, keeping them running here and then getting them back home afterwards
       
    • 0:52:34 –
      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
       
    • 1:00:42 – SQNLDR Rob Crawford talks about the 37SQN C130J he brought up to Tindal
       
    • 1:04:56 – WOFF Kyle Lovett is a refuelling operator (aka “boomer”) on 33SQN’s KC30A MRTTs and he walks us through a typical mission they’ve been flying
       
    • 1:14:39 – FLTLT Adam Rouessart & FLGOFF Matthew Bleach were the crew for the F18F Super Hornet handling display during the week
       
    • 1:18:52 – CASA CN235 crew from the French Armed Forces of New Caledonia
       
    • 1:29:24 – RTAF WGCDR Titan
       
    • 1:33:44 –
      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
       
    • 1:42:19 – Nobby has been part of the team restoring Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair & he lets us in on some of the effort required to bring it to flight status
       
  • 1:48:05 – Steve & ATC Ben chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book “Born to Fly” and his ideas for the future
     
  • 2:15:11 – Steve & Grant return to wrap up the episode with the following shout outs:

RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off

RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking's F4U-5N Corsair

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair


CHC's Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter

CHC’s Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter

Our small group of Aviation Media on the RSAF tarmac after our dusk-walk (Eng Tiong Ow, Grant McHerron, Mike Yeo, 2 x RSAF, Andrew McLaughlin, Eamon Hamilton, Nigel Pittaway)

Our small group of Aviation Media on the RSAF tarmac after our dusk-walk
(Eng Tiong Ow, Grant McHerron, Mike Yeo, 2 x RSAF, Andrew McLaughlin, Eamon Hamilton, Nigel Pittaway)

PCDU Episode 120: History & Records

Steve’s very happy to have finally started converting currency into currency as he’s logging hours in a Flysynthesis Texan and progressing towards getting his RA-Aus license. Grant’s been too busy with work to get many hours but did finally get to log some “special shape” time in his balloon logbook. Naturally, both Steve & Grant are VERY happy to have finally released another episode.

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

This episode the boys are joined by Kathy Mexted and Maikha Ly so you know the blooper reel at the end will be “interesting” to say the least. Kathy & her hubby have been flying their Piper Cub while Maikha’s been flying for work but, thanks to Adelaide’s weather lately and a recent house purchase, he’s not been able to do any personal flying.

For this episode we’re bringing you a mixed bag of content from the RAAF’s Pt Cook Centenary of Military Aviation airshow (including Steve’s chat with AIRMSHL Geoff Brown), Kathy’s chat with Kingsley Just about his new world record, catching up with John Fisher to talk L39s & USAF and Grant’s recent visit to the B24 restoration project in Werribee for their heritage recognition award ceremony

  • 0:13:15 – Steve chats with Air Marshal Geoff Brown (Chief of Air Force) about the Royal Australian Air Force’s celebration of their centenary at Point Cook, his career with the RAAF, the RAAF’s fleet upgrades & current operations, the C-27J & F-35, flying gliders and transitioning from flying CH-47 Chinooks to flying fast jets.
     
  • 0:30:34 –
    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Grant visited the B24 restoration project at Werribee for their Heritage Recognition award ceremony and recorded a few chats with the following people:
    • Doug Lindsay (President of the B24 Restoration project)
    • Professor Alex Baitch (National President, Engineers Australia)
    • Andrew Elsbury MLC (Member of State Parliament)
    • Dan O’Connell (Volunteer)
    • Before chatting with Tony Maher (volunteer), Grant also recorded the sound of Tony demonstrating the electrically driven mid-upper turret
       
  • 0:50:41 – Kathy chats with Kinglsey Just about setting the Guinness World Record for the most continuous rolls performed in an aircraft (an amazing 987 in his Pitts Special!). They talk about the planning & preparation, the method, the reason and how it all worked out (complete with a dramatic ending). They also talk about his interest in aviation including his gliding & flying tow planes in Europe.
     
  • 1:05:08 –
    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Maikha was with us at the RAAF’s Pt Cook event and he spent most of his time with the antiques and warbirds where he recorded the following:
    • Chris Shine with his Beech Staggerwing
    • Kevin Bailey and his Stinson Reliant
    • Allan Harding and his MkIII Auster
    • Allan’s young assistant Lloyd Galloway talks about flying, the RA-Aus scholarship he was awarded and his involvement with the Auster
    • Steve Death talks about the Southern Knights formation team
    • Maureen Massey is the Vice President of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) and she talks about the C-47, DHC-4 Caribou and PBY Catalina
    • Robert ‘Bob’ StJohn, a Vietnam veteran, volunteers with HARS to help keep the Caribou flying. He talks about what’s involved in keeping it going and his experiences in Vietnam with “Wallaby Airlines” (the RAAF’s Caribou operations)
    • Warren Gengos flies the HARS PBY Catalina
       
  • 1:42:55 – John “Viper” Fisher from Top Gun Australia talks about Top Gun Australia’s operations, flying the L-39, being a WSO on the F-4 & flying the A-10 with the USAF plus his exchange rotation with the French
     
  • 1:59:04 – We come back for some shout outs:
    • Thanks to Barry Moore for suggesting we chat with John Fisher
    • Shane Simpson has recently completed his first solo in a Cessna 152 at Moorabbin (YMMB). Onya mate!
    • Congratulations to Anthony Crichton-Browne and his wife Prudence for the recent arrival of their son Andrew
    • Our friend Owen Zupp who is making the transition from Boeing 737s to a command position with Jetstar A320s as well as releasing his new book “50 More Tales of Flight” and his new site “The Pilots Blog
    • Maikha recommends that everyone should check out the South Australian Aviation Museum in Adelaide
    • Grant’s ecstatic to hear that OzRunways are producing an Android version of their app (“Project Marvin” – awesome! :) ). With AvPlan also producing an Android version, Grant is very happy to not need to buy an iThing :)
    • Congratulations to Steven Pam who has done a marathon effort producing the Tyabb Airshow DVD and also to Karl von Moller from the Broken Wings project who’s been helping out as well
       

 

Music for this episode was “Short Change Hero” by “The Heavy” (2009 on Counter Records)

PCDU Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach

With Australia’s confirmed purchase of a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Steve & Grant are joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT (Communications Intelligence) to discuss the F-35 and its operation within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). We also feature a number of great interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and an in-depth discussion with Air Vice Marshall Kym “Koz” Osley regarding the work required to integrate the F35 into the RAAF.

F-35A, B & C models (Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

After an introductory discussion on the F35 between Andrew, Steve & Grant, this episode features:

  • 0:09:49 – Excerpts from the press conference held at RAAF Base Pt Cook in March 2014 where AVM Kym Osley discussed the F35 purchase and Deputy Chief of Air Force (DCAF) AVM Leo Davies introduced the first two RAAF pilots to go to the USA for F35 training: SQN LDR David “Belly” Bell & SQN LDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson.
     
  • 0:13:19 – Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn talks to us about his career from a Canadian F18 pilot seeing combat in Kosovo to a test pilot on the Eurofighter Typhoon and on to the F35.
     
    Australia's first two F35 pilots: SQN LDR Andrew 'Jacko' Jackson & SQN LDR David 'Belly' Bell

    Australia’s first two F35 pilots:
    SQN LDR Andrew ‘Jacko’ Jackson & SQN LDR David ‘Belly’ Bell

  • 0:23:17 – Graham Bentley is ex-RAAF and the Lockheed Martin Business Development Manager in Australia. We talk to him about his career from flying P3 Orions to commanding the Australian Forces in the Middle East and on to his role as Air Attache in Washington, USA. He also discusses LockMart’s preparations to bring the F35 to Australia and the technologies it’ll bring with it.
     
  • 0:32:42 – Steven L Over, Lockheed Martin’s Director of F-35 International Business Development, talks to us about component manufacturing being undertaken within Australia.
     
  • 0:40:44 – Billie Flynn returns to talk with Grant in more detail regarding the F-35’s new high-tech helmet.
     
    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

  • 0:52:39 – Grant catches up with AVM Kym “Koz” Osley for an in-depth discussion on the work involved in bringing the F-35 into the RAAF, including infrastructure construction at airports, staffing & training, support equipment and perhaps the most complex part of the F-35’s support environment: Autonomic Logistics Information System (aka “ALIS”)
     
  • 1:52:49 – We wrap up the episode with a further discussion between Andrew, Steve & Grant on the F-35 aircraft, the program and the potential for Australia to operate the F-35B on our new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships (gotta use that ski-ramp, right?)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like his hot air balloon :)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like a hot air balloon :)



 

Cover image thanks to Lockheed Martin