PCDU Episodes List

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

PCDU Episode 118: Can you fly to NatFly 2014?

Just to be different, this episode Steve joins ATC Ben on a BenAir flight from Essendon (YMEN) to Temora (YTEM) to attend the NatFly 2014 event. With the Cirrus SR20′s autopilot keeping them on track, Captain Ben & FO Steve introduce the show before opening up their packed lunches. Sadly, Sierra Juliette Alpha (VH-SJA) did not include a flight attendant so they had to arrange their own drinks.

BenAir's VH-SJA after arriving at Temora (YTEM)

BenAir’s VH-SJA after arriving at Temora (YTEM)

Meanwhile, as you may have heard on a recent Australia Desk Segment, Grant was flying hot air balloons in Leeton, about 60 nautical miles south west of Temora. While Steve & Ben were at NatFly & recording a few interviews, Grant managed to corner a pilot for a chat in Leeton.

This episode unfolds with the following content:

  • 0:03:54 - Paul Goard from Brumby Aircraft Australia (based in Cowra, New South Wales) talks about their high-wing aircraft, the change to the Rotax engine and their production schedule.
     
  • 0:08:49 - Robin Lowe from Lowe Flight (based at Kilcunda, Victoria) talks about the Fresh Breeze XCitor Paratrike which subsequently won the “Best Powered Parachute” award at NatFly 2014.

    It also turns out that Robin is looking for an instructor to join his team so if you’re interested, his contact details are on the website :)
     

  • 0:14:54 - Bob & Marya Phillips at AvTours Australia have been in the aviation tours business since 1989. They talk about the tours they’ve previously run to Oshkosh and their plans for this year’s tour.
     
  • 0:24:57 - Matt Hall from Matt Hall Racing talks about pylon hits, assessing the other competitors, the removal of the knife-edge pass pylons from the Red Bull Air Race‘s track design and his schedule for the next month or two.
     
  • 0:31:31 -
    Grant firing the burners during inflation

    Grant firing the burners during inflation
    (Photo by Greg Maunder Sports Photography)

    Grant catches up with Niall Higgins after another fun morning flying hot air balloons over Leeton. Niall talks about his background in aviation and why he flies fixed wing AND hot air balloons. In addition to flying a Yak52 with the Russian Roolettes, Niall also flies Tiger Moths and he talks about a very special gig on ANZAC Day this year: as part of the lead up to the Great Tiger Moth Air Race, Niall flew one of 4 Tigermoths up Sydney Harbour with WWII veterans on board.

    While we recorded the chat before ANZAC Day, this episode came out a few days after, allowing us to give you this link to an ABC News report on the flight :)
     

  • 0:38:17 - As ATC Ben flies the Sierra Juliet Alpha back to Essendon, he records a NatFly 2014 wrap up with Steve while they were somewhere over Mt Kosciuszko.

VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight

VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight

Balloons flying over Leeton (Grant's in there somewhere :) )

Balloons flying over Leeton
(Grant’s in there somewhere :) )

PCDU Episode 117: Holler for a Marshall, an AIR Marshal

With the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show only a couple of days away, we thought we’d mix up some content that promotes the event as well as some chats Grant recorded with a number of past & present members of the RAAF at the Temora Aviation Museum’s “Warbirds Down Under” event back in November. To round the whole thing off, we’ve also got Steve’s chat with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event that will be running from March 3rd to 9th around the world.

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

The episode’s content run is:

  • Steve & Grant give an overview of what to expect in the episode
     
  • 0:09:42 - Grant catches up with Air Marshal Mark Binskin at the Temora Aviation Museum to discuss his career, the role of Vice Chief of the Defence Force and flying his Cessna O-1 Birddog
     
  • 0:15:57 - Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore talks to us about flying the Bristol Boxkite replica
     
  • 0:20:33 - Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies (Deputy Chief of Air Force) tells us about the Centenary of Military Aviation air show, his career and the type of work he does in his role
     
  • 0:28:17 - Keith Webb explains the Temora Aviation Museum‘s “Unsung Heroes” project and the work involved in collecting the reminiscences of veterans
     
  • 0:34:42 - Grant catches up with Captain Jack Curtis, DC3 pilot extraordinaire and perhaps the only pilot flying DC3s who’s actually older than the aircraft he’s flying :)
     
  • 0:43:01 -
    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook (Photo by James Kightly)

    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook
    (Photo by James Kightly)

    Dick Simms talks about being an Officer Cadet in the RAAF & flying Mustangs, Vampires & Meteors then his career selling aircraft and his restoration of a 1930′s Ryan STM that can now be found at the Temora Aviation Museum
     
  • 0:58:10 - Mick Haxel (DFC) chats with Grant about his career in the military and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the time that it became the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before winding up with his current position with Flight Safety Pty Ltd. He also talks about how he was awarded DFC for his flying in Vietnam (Audio courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
     
  • 1:16:50 - Steve talks with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event and her involvement with CCT Racing, one of the Australian jet racing teams at the Reno Air Races
     
  • 1:47:44 - Steve & Grant wrap up the episode
GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built

GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built
(Photo by James Kightly)

PCDU Episode 116: High Performances

After a break due to injuries, surgery & a wedding, we’re back on deck and our first episode for 2014 is packed with Down Under aviation goodness :)

From Matt Hall & the return of the Red Bull Air Race to flying in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne

From Matt Hall & the return of the Red Bull Air Race to flying in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne

From Matt Hall and the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race to our media flight in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne to promote the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show, this episode really got us exited for the year ahead.

Our first episode for 2014 unfolds as:

  • Steve & Grant chat about surgery, a wedding and some recent media publicity after a couple of unusual hot air balloon landings in Melbourne
     
  • 0:12:35 – We chat with Matt Hall about the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race and get lots of great info about the changes to the race itself, his new team, how they’ve been preparing and the telemetry system he’s using.
     
    Is ATC Ben excited or nervous to be on the C130J media flight? :)

    Is ATC Ben excited or nervous to be on the C130J media flight? :)

     
    Steven Pam is clearly excited to be on the C130J media flight :)

    Steven Pam is clearly excited to be on the C130J media flight :)

  • 0:46:20 – Steven Pam & ATC Ben got to represent PCDU at a recent RAAF C130J media flight over Melbourne to promote the Centenary of Military Aviation air show at Pt Cook on March 1st & 2nd. In the process they recorded the following content:
    • Air Commodore Phil Byrne (RAAF’s Head of Special Events) talking about the historical significance of Pt Cook and the RAAF’s preparations for their Centenary of Military Aviation air show
       
    • David Gardner (Director, RAAF Museum) talks about the Bristol Boxkite replica
       
    • Flight lieutenant Matt Fleet, an RAF C130J pilot on exchange with the RAAF
       
    • Sergeant Greg Milne, an RAAF C130J loadmaster
       
      The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J's ramp

      The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J’s ramp

       
      Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)

      Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)

  • We have some announcements:
    • PCDU will be at the Tyabb Airshow 2014 (A Salute to Veterans) on Sunday, March 9th and are looking forward to catching up with any of you who can be there
       
    • We want your stories, especially “grass roots” content and, as Steve Riley wrote in about, more “stories about flying”
       
  • The view from the C130J's cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    The view from the C130J’s cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    We have some shout outs:
    • Thanks to Steve’s surgical staff for doing his knee reconstruction, including Mr Eden Raleigh, Dr Peter Larkins & Dr Joshua Hoppe from the Epworth Hospital
       
    • Thanks to Pieter Johnson & David Vanderhoof for the long-distance support from around the world to help Steve get through some difficult times
       
    • Steve wants to thank Grant & the rest of the PCDU team for helping out with the Australia Desk episodes while he was recovering
       
    • Thanks to the Hangar 49 & Aviation Xtended podcasts for being brave enough to let Grant join them when recording their latest episodes (Hangar 49′s “G’Day Mate”Aviation Xtended’s “Plane Crazy”)
       
    • Good luck to Dave Gray (formerly from the Lifestyle PodNetwork) who is currently battling melanoma
       
    • Thanks to the RAAF for inviting us to attend the C130J media flight
       
    • Twitter user 555UHZ is posting the movie Top Gun as a series of frames (with subtitles), one every half hour or so. Now that’s dedication! :)
       

Here’s the video Steven Pam put together following the C130J media flight:

PCDU Episode 115: Farewell 2013

Steve & AntCB chatting with Chris Sperou

Steve & AntCB chatting with Chris Sperou

It’s been an amazing year but as 2013 draws to a close, we’re squeezing one more episode out for you. We’ve combined some content not yet published from Avalon & AusFly with some great reports supplied by other members of the PCDU team. We’ve also got a competition running to win one of five copies of Owen Zupp’s new book.

In keeping with our trend for 2013, this is yet another 2+ hour episode packed with great avation content, including:

  • 0:09:06 - Steve & AntCB chat with Chris Sperou at Avalon 2013
     
  • 0:18:30 - Grant talks with Bevan Anderson from AvPlan
     
  • 0:25:11 - Peter Edwards from Cirrus talks about their latest aircraft
     
  • 0:31:53 - Sue Woods talks with Grant about the latest Jabiru news
     
  • 0:37:09 - Maikha Ly reports on a recent Free Flight model aircraft competition
     
  • 0:49:21 - Dave Homewood talks with Peter Daniell, the CEO of Air Wakatipu at Queenstown in New Zealand
     
  • 1:19:27 - Damien Rose reports on Caribou Cargo
     
  • 1:46:14 - Listener Mail:
    • Ian Kershaw sent us an audio comment about Owen Zupp’s eBook “50 Tales” which leads into the news that Owen has released a new eBook called Solo Flight about his fund-raising flight around Australia in a Jabiru. We have a competition running where you can win one of five copies of the eBook but you’ll need to listen to the show to find out how to enter (it’s easy! :)
    • Evan Schoo sent us an audio comment about his perspective on Grant’s balloon flight with Kathy Mexted
    • Mick from Fankston (our good friend, source of many interesting emails & Shangri-La pal) has found that Virgin Australia’s 737-800′s don’t have a window at seat 9A … OUCH!
    • Rashidi Merrifeld sent us a link to a video he’s created about wanting become an airline pilot when he’s older
    • Paul O’Rourke told us about the Cobden Fly-in coming up on Feb 15th & 16th, 2014. You can arrive around 10 am and stay or pop in whenever and say hi. A BBQ lunch will be available. You can camp under your wing or check out accommodation on the Cobden Aeroclub Facebook page. Monitor their page for updates and ‘LIKE’ it or call before departing for the fly-in. AVGAS will be available. Contact: Warren 0428-024-633 or Bill 0403-498-005 E: cobdenaeroclub@gmail.com
    • Melanie Salisbury from Travel Managers in NZ wrote to us about their Bomber Country tour of the UK happening in July 2014. It’s a 19 day escorted tour covering Duxford’s “Flying Legends,” Waddington & RIAT plus has options for Farnborough. If you can cover the price tag ($9,200 per person) then it looks like it’ll be a great tour
    • Steve Tupper from Airspeed has released a trilogy of great episodes about his entry into being an airshow performer
       
  • 2:09:30 - We talk about a few of our favourite moments from 2013 and the things we’re looking forward to in 2014
     
  • 2:19:21 - We give some shoutouts to some of those who have helped us during 2013
     

Just for the fun of it, here’s a few photos of the team during 2013

Grant & Steve in the main Studio

Grant & Steve in the main Studio

Team PCDU at Avalon 2013

Team PCDU at Avalon 2013

Anthony Simmons at the Media Room Work Desk during Avalon 2013

Anthony Simmons at the Media Room Work Desk during Avalon 2013


Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted about to fly in the MRH-90 Taipan

Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted about to fly in the MRH-90 Taipan


Steve & Grant with Ryan Campbell at AusFly 2013

Steve & Grant with Ryan Campbell at AusFly 2013

Steve & Grant chatting with the F18F Super Hornet Demo Crew

Steve & Grant chatting with the F18F Super Hornet Demo Crew


Kathy Mexted after her Taipan Ride

Kathy Mexted after her Taipan Ride

Maikha Flying a Lightie

Maikha Flying a Lightie

PCDU Episode 114: AusFly 2013 - Back Together Under One Sky

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

September 2013 rolled around and it was time for the second AusFly event at Narromine in New South Wales. Team PCDU squeezed into a bus that was loaded with Analog Al’s airshow PA system, our gear and a certain trade stand then drove over 800km in a day to get there. Whew!

Once there we cleared out the studio, set up the sound system & got ready to run AusFly Radio & do the air display commentary. We applied the lessons we learned from AusFly 2012 and, over the course of the event, wound up learning all new lessons so AusFly 2014 will be even better. We also recorded a stack of content and have packaged some of it up into this first AusFly 2013 episode. Even though it’s over 2 hours long, there’s still more yet to come but we’ll save that for later episodes.

For now, here’s the AusFly 2013 content we have for you in this episode:

  • 0:02:13 – Ben Jones joins us for a recap of AusFly 2013 with David Brown from the SAAA.
     
  • 0:09:32 – Rob Fisher from Superior Air Parts covers the aviation components & parts they’re able to supply
     
  • 0:15:01 – Anton Meier from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand talks about the Triton Sport, a derivation of the Sport Cruiser
     
  • 0:21:27 – Russell Milton from Atlas Aviation Australia talks about their SkyLeader aircraft
     
  • 0:26:22 – Stephen Gale talks us through learning to fly the SIA Marchetti S211 jet with input from Willie “Godfather” Chew (ex-RSAF instructor). We’re also joined by Jodie Davis from SkyThrills who went flying with Stephen in the jet.
     
  • 0:34:13 – Allan Barton from Zenair Australia tells us about the Zenith aircraft they’re importing from the USA
     
  • 0:37:11 – Dianne McNamara produces custom aircraft covers for Punkin Head Air Sports
     
  • 0:43:08 – Michael Coates represents Pipistrel in Australia
     
  • 0:51:36 – David Baddams runs Snow Goose International and ferries aircraft around the world. He also flew David Brown’s RV10 in an RV formation at AusFly
     
  • 1:00:31 – Grant & Ben chat with Dick Smith and Ryan Campbell about flying solo around the world
     
  • 1:09:50 – Amanda Pond from Puddle To Pond Financial talks about life insurance for pilots
     
  • 1:13:45 – Steve & Ben talk to Paul Holler & Norm Edmunds from the SAAA about home building aircraft
     
  • 1:38:17 – Bas Scheffers went up with Jeremy from SkyThrills to do some aerobatics in their Super Decathalon. He also tells us a bit about the latest OzRunways news
     
  • 1:46:14 – Steve, Grant, Ben & David Brown wrap up their AusFly 2013 review

Don’t forget to go & support Steven Pam’s Airheads documentary, a movie that desperately needs to be made.

PCDU Episode 113: Fleeting Dreams

JQ's new 787 arrives at Melbourne

JQ’s new 787 arrives at Melbourne

The past month has included a number of events related to the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review 2013 as well as the arrival of Jetstar’s new 787-8. Grant’s been visiting a few ships & interviewing their aircrew while Kathy’s had a flight on Australia’s brand new MRH-90 Taipan transport helicopters. Not long after that, Grant was in Sydney to watch the mass-flypast of aircraft as the fleet steamed into Sydney harbour then both Steve & Grant were on the tarmac in Melbourne for the new Jetstar 787 arrival celebrations.

HMS Daring's Lynx

HMS Daring’s Lynx

Naturally this generated lots of great new content and we’ve packaged it all up as follows:

  • 0:06:43 - LT Hamish Walker, Lynx Pilot on HMS Daring
     
  • 0:13:37 - LT CDR Teilo Elliot-Smith, Air Warefare Officer on HMS Daring
     
  • 0:27:15 - CDR Angus Essenhigh, Commanding Officer of HMS Daring
     
  • 0:34:37 - LT David Roderick, Seasprite Pilot on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 0:46:17 - LT Hamish Liddy, Seasprite Observer on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 0:57:22 - Leading Hand Zach Taylor, Seasprite crew on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 6 SQN is combined RNZAF & RNZN

    6 SQN is combined RNZAF & RNZN

    1:06:29 - David presents Grant with their 6 Squadron patch & explains its symbolism
     
  • 1:07:43 - Grant chats with listener “Mick from the Frankston line”
     
  • 1:14:45 - Kathy Mexted chats with Steve about flying in the MRH-90
     
  • 1:17:45 - LT Jack Wadey, MRH-90 Taipan Pilot
     
  • 1:31:40 - CPT Brett Chandler, Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell
     
  • 1:38:27 - Kathy chats about how she knew Brett Chandler from some time ago
     
  • 1:43:20 - David Hall, CEO of Jetstar Australia & New Zealand
     
  • 1:48:53 - Captain Jeremy Schmidt, lead pilot on Jetstar’s 787 programme
     
  • 1:55:19 - Gordon Rich-Phillips, Victoria’s Minister for Aviation Industry
     
  • 1:59:23 - We wrap it up and sign off

Kathy's aircraft for her media flight

Kathy’s aircraft for her media flight

Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted getting ready to board the MRH-90

Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted getting ready to board the MRH-90

PCDU Episode 112: Federal Election 2013

It's time to vote!

It’s time to vote!

It’s time for Australians to vote for their favourite (or least disliked :) ) politicians and, once again, we’ve gone into bat for our audience to present information about the transportation policies of the main parties.

Unfortunately, our cunning plan to wait for the parties to have revealed their policies has not been as successful as we’d like as a) some parties are still holding their cards close to their chest and b) all the candidates are running around frantically to shore up support & win voters to their side.

Oh well, on with the show :)

At 0:03:40, we start with Anthony Albanese from the Australian Labor Party. Anthony is the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, Minister for Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy and the Leader of the House. While unable to come on the show, Anthony was able to provide written answers to our questions (which we’ve listed below) so we provide some commentary on his answers:

1. How important do you consider aviation to be to Australia’s economic growth, especially with respect to foreign earnings through training and the production & export of aircraft & components? If so, how will your policies help aviation boost economic growth? (eg: Carbon Tax subsidies as per other forms of transport, easier access to VET FEE Help for pilot training, employment legislation changes, boosts for trainee/apprentice programs, reduced user fee costs, etc)

Last year was another record year for aviation in Australia with more than 86 million passengers flying domestically and internationally. This is a 4.5 per cent increase on 2011.

Passenger growth in Australia was more than three times the rate of the United States, which registered a 1.3 per cent increase in passenger numbers in 2012.

We’re committed to working with the sector to build Australia’s aviation industry. Over $120 million in assistance has been provided for students undertaking aviation-related studies. This assistance has provided more than 12,000 places for students to gain the qualifications necessary to build Australia’s aviation industry.

Federal Labor has announced we’re abolishing the carbon tax and moving to an Emissions Trading Scheme next year, which will reduce the cost for the sector further.

2. Do you consider aviation to be important to the development & prosperity of country Australia? If so, how will your policies help boost aviation for rural areas? (eg: route subsidies, rural airport development, etc)

Absolutely. That’s why Federal Labor has injected more than $261 million of assistance into regional and remote aviation – more than five times that spent by the former Coalition Government in the preceding six years.

We are upgrading:

  • 47 regional airports in every state
  • 237 remote airstrips, making them safer and guaranteeing medical services

There is more money and support going into regional aviation than ever before. Growth in total passenger movements at regional airports continues to be higher than at airports in major cities, growing at 4.6 per cent versus 3.5 per cent respectively.

In addition, the number of regional airports receiving services increased by 31 airports to 171 last year– the highest in almost a decade

3. Will Aviation have its own minister? Or even a dedicated full-time Transport minister? If aviation (& transport in general) are important factors in the economic growth of Australia, does it not make sense to have a dedicated portfolio managed by a single minister?

I’m not pre-empting future decisions about portfolios – my focus is on securing another term for the Rudd Labor Government.

4. Will the issues relating to CASA & the ATSB that were raised by the recent Senate inquiry into the PelAir accident be addressed? If the two months between the report being produced & parliament going into caretaker mode was insufficient for a response to be generated it would indicate significant issues have been raised & need to be addressed. What priority will this have after the election?

A re-elected Labor Government will provide a response to the Inquiry once the findings have been given full consideration. In the meantime, the ATSB has invited the Canadian Transportation Safety Bureau to undertake an independent review of the ATSB investigation methodologies and processes.

5. Will a decision on Sydney’s second airport be made in the first year of the new government or will still more studies & delays be incurred?

I have consistently said Sydney needs a second airport sooner rather than later.

6. What steps will be taken to reduce the impact of residential encroachment on airports, eg: Bankstown, Archerfield, Moorabbin, etc.

The Federal Labor Government has championed the National Airports Safeguarding Framework to guide land use planning reform around Australian airports. The Framework will help ensure that in the future both airports and residents of suburbs around airports are safeguarded from inappropriate off-airport development. Airports are important transport, economic and employment hubs, significantly contributing to our social connections and economic productivity.

The framework was adopted by the Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) and each state and territory government will now apply the framework in a manner appropriate to their own planning rules.

The Government wants to see more sensible planning decisions are made around airports – that is why we established the Planning Coordination Forums (PCFs) at each federally leased airport. These forums enable the airport and the federal Government agencies to engage the state government and local councils in regard to planning decisions around the airport.

Then, at 0:23:40 we have a chat with Senator Lee Rhiannon, the Transport spokesperson for The Greens. We asked her the same set of questions as those above but (as you might expect), her answers were quite different to those from Anthony Albanese.

 

Finally, at 0:41:38 we review the Coalition’s aviation policy document. We had tried to arrange a chat with Warren Truss from the Liberal National Party as we did during the last Federal Election in 2010 but, unfortunately, at the times he was available to chat with us, we were stuck away from the studio :(

Warren is the Leader of the Nationals and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and it was his department that released the Coalition’s aviation policy document. If you want to get all the details the Coalition have released about this policy, you should read their PDF format document.

Of interest, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) have issued a media release stating that the Coalition’s aviation policies are a “good start and show that the Coalition has at least been listening to industry concerns, concerns that have been shared with the Shadow Minister over a number of years.”

 

So there you go. While we didn’t get to chat with all the politicians we were chasing, we did at least get sufficient information from them to review and discuss for this episode. Perhaps next election we’ll be able to arrange our times more in advance to ensure we can bring you their commentary. Hopefully by then, we won’t also still be wondering if there’ll ever be a second airport in Sydney :)

PCDU Episode 111: Radio Killed the Podcast Star (Almost :) )

As the F111 was late & delayed by all sorts of issues, so too has our Episode 111 been late in arriving. Our big excuse has been discovering that the PCDU Radio Show has taken a LOT more effort than we expected. All this plus our day jobs, families AND our PCDU Commentary & Announcing gigs have, in turn, made it almost impossible to get an episode out. Suffice to say, we’re parking the radio show production for a while as we try to find a new way of working that lets us produce radio shows AND episodes. It’s very much a learning experience!

Meanwhile, we have managed to get this episode out and it’s packed with lots of great content, including:

  • 0:01:55 – Grant recently took a holiday in Bali & flew with Virgin Australia. He provides a review of their short-haul international business class service & the GA scene on Bali.
     
  • 0:12:50 – We chat with Mark Pracy from Pracy Racing about his preparations for Reno 2013 and the “feel” of the event now that it’s coming up on two years since the big crash back in 2011.
     
  • 0:34:46 – We present a summary of the chats Steve recorded with Dave Jacka as he made his solo-flight around Australia to become the first quadriplegic person to do so as part of his On A Wing & A Chair charity. These chats were recorded during Dave’s journey and after his return to Tooradin airport (YTDN), giving a great overview of the many issues & experiences he encountered.
     
  • 1:03:46 – During Exercise Talisman Saber, Damien Rose interviewed Jake Press a pilot with the KC135. He then went on to enjoy a great ride in a USAF C17 doing a low-level airdrop. You can watch his summary video posted to the PCDU YouTube channel:
     
  • 1:08:20 – Back in 2012, Grant had a great chat with David Cottee, the curator of the Qantas Heritage Collection
     
  • 1:29:28 – Also back in 2012, Grant had a fantastic chat with Paul Gianniotis, an ex-Cathay Pacific Flight Engineer who learned to fly in a Piper at Kai Tak in Hong Kong (no, really :) ) and even started flying hot air balloons in Hong Kong. As you could imagine, he’s got some amazing stories to tell!
     
  • 1:47:23 – We give some shoutouts:
    • The Stuck Mic AvCast has not only passed their 50th episode, they’re about to release their 55th! Awesome!
    • Dave Homewood is about to release his 50th Wings Over New Zealand podcast episode and it’s going to be a fantastic one!
    • We’ve released our 200th Australia Desk segment for the Airplane Geeks podcast
    • Bevan Anderson from AvSoft has seen his AvPlan application turn 2 years old
    • Steve’s daughter Rachel turned 18 and his wife now has her Yellow Belt in Karate
       
  • Australia’s Federal Election is coming up & once again we’re going to do some Election Quick Cast episodes to give you an insite to the aviation policies (if any) of the major parties

PCDU Episode 110: A Basket Full of Flight

Grant & Kathy are basket cases

Grant about to take Kathy flying in a hot air balloon

All good things take time & so do our episodes, with this one taking perhaps the longest to produce of any of them. It’s also packed full of great content covering magazine editors, wing walkers, AOPA, another give-away competition, antique aircraft, solo trips around the world & even hot air balloons. Make use of the pause button where you need to but be sure to listen right through to the very end of the episode for another set of classic “Kathy Mexted Bloopers” :)

This episode is indeed a basket full of flight & it unfolds as:

  • 0:03:30 – We chat with Kathy Mexted about her father, Pat Whitty, who passed away recently. She mentions his influence on her flying and their flights in VH-MAU, a 1978 Piper Warrior
     
  • 0:11:35 – Kathy joins with us to chat with Kreisha Ballantyne-Dickes, the Publications Editor at AOPA Australia and their Australian Pilot magazine. She also has her own blog (Girl with a Stick) and we chatted about a number of topics including:
    • Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      How Kreisha got into flying, especially her first solo
    • Her love of Bonanzas
    • Avalon 2013 & why people don’t fly
    • Kreisha’s career in writing and becoming editor of the Australian Pilot magazine
    • Wingwalking with the Breitling team on the top of their Stearman
    • Working with AOPA, their efforts to get more people flying, the benefits of being a member, the “new approach” of AOPA and Andrew Andersen’s open letter to everyone involved in General Aviation
    • Getting involved with CASA’s regulation changes
       
  • 0:50:32 – Maikha Ly went to the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia’s annual fly-in at Echuca and recorded some great content for us. You can find the photos he took on his Echuca Flickr collection
     
  • 1:34:48 – Steve chats with Ryan Campbell two days prior to starting his TeenWorldFlight adventure
     
  • Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    1:45:52 – Grant recently took Kathy for a balloon flight over Bacchus Marsh while listener Evan Schoo tagged along with the ground crew & got some great photos of the flight. During the flight, Grant & Kathy recorded a quick in-flight chat that we listen to here, after which, Steve asks Kathy just how the flight really went!
     
  • 2:14:30 – We announce the winners of our first 50 Tales of Flight eBook give-away competition:
    • Gary Clarkson
    • Will Coleman
    • Darren Eastwood
    • Brad Rule
    • Mitchell Royal
    • Graham Slingsby
    • Trent Stewart
    • Lahra Warry
       
  • Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    2:15:34 – We have another give-away this episode with Owen Zupp‘s second (& trickier!) question about famous Australian aviators. The first five (5) people to email us the correct answer at contact@planecrazydownunder.com will win a copy of Owen’s “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
     
  • 2:17:47 – Listener Mail:
    • SoapyHB noted that the Concorde prototype was in Melbourne in 1972 while British Airways ran some proving flights in 1975 with a production aircraft. He also really enjoyed our Avalon 2013 coverage and admits to being a real fan of Anthony’s The View from the Lounge segments. Finally, he wonders how we manage to do all this and yet still stay married … yup, so do we! :)
    • Justin Sarda sent us through a link to a beautiful set of HD cockpit photos
    • Mick (aka Bom1) sent through some great comments on lap belts in aircraft having the potential to cause severe abdominal & spinal injuries in a crash (note: rather topical given the reports of similar injuries in survivors of the Asiana crash at San Francisco)
    • Brian Grinter sent through a link to photos of Peter Jackson’s Lancaster that will be used for his remake of The Dam Busters. As Brian says: “It’s not your average Airfix kit!” :) :)
       
  • Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    2:22:49 – Kathy mentioned that Col Griffin (ex RAAF Mosquito pilot) recently passed away. We interviewed Col back in Episode 61 (The Great Pilgrimage) and you can read more about him in Kathy’s articles in Australian Flying and Outback Mag
     
  • 2:24:07 – Shout Outs:
  • Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    2:26:39 – We’ve been hearing from many people about issues at RA-Aus and are considering producing a show dedicated to the topic. Do you have any recommendations for people & issues you’d like to have covered in such an episode?
     
  • 2:29:09 – We’re now producing a weekly 1 hour radio show for Kinglake Ranges Radio, a local community radio station. You can tune in at 9am on Saturday’s (Melbourne time) via 94.5FM or via their livestream feed

As noted, the Kathy Mexted driven bloopers can be found at 2:34:25 – definitely worth checking out :)