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 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 87: Wings Over Illawarra 2012

HARS Connie flying at Wings Over Illawarra 2012The Great PCDU Road Trip of 2012 covered over 1,700km in the course of a single weekend. From late on Friday night to early on Monday morning, Steve, Grant & Allan drove from Melbourne up to Wollongong (just south of Sydney) to attend the Wings Over Illawarra 2012 air show. Firmly ensconced in the Southern Biplanes hangar with a great view of the show unfolding beyond “Lilly Warra” (their big red Boeing Stearman), the mobile studio was set up (thanks Allan! :) allowing Steve, Grant & Anthony Crichton-Browne to record stacks of great content.

Most of that content has wound up in this episode, although we have saved a couple of bits for later. For now, kick back & enjoy:

  • 0:03:19 – Flying Officer Daniel Kruger & Warrant Officer Brett Lewis from RAAF 37SQN talk about operating the C130J Hercules (& a bit about the C130H too)
  • 0:16:35 – Joel Haski (Red Baron) & Jeff Criddle (Combat Dragon) talk about flying the A37 Dragonfly to & from the show
  • 0:19:13 – Lieutenant Commander Todd Glynn & Lieutenant Rob McBeeth from the RAN walk us through their careers getting to the SH60B along with a few typical missions and the Kanimbla Blackhawk crash
  • 0:38:17 – Andrew Musgrove from Southern Biplanes talks about the company and the adventure flights they’re offering
  • 0:45:01 – Barry Sandry, Marketing Manager for NSW Air, talks about the Commercial Pilot training courses & charter/scenic flights they offer
  • 0:52:28 – Army Red Berets Parachute Jump Instructor Warrant Officer Adam Paris tells us what it’s like to become a paratrooper & get on the Red Berets demo team
  • 1:11:13 – Chris Clark, chief pilot for Southern Biplanes, tells us how he got into flying, why they got a Boeing Stearman (and where they found it) and what’s involved in their barnstorming adventures in rural NSW
  • 1:18:37 – Harry Mitchell from Australian Aerial Patrol talks about their history and current fleet
  • 1:28:34 – James Gray, Officer Commanding of the Australian Air League‘s Albion Park Unit (and brother of Dave Gray from the Lifestyle PodNetwork :) runs us through the benefits & goals of the AAL

Finally, at 1:40:07, we start to wrap up the episode with a series of big “Thank You’s” to:

  • Southern Biplanes for the use of their facility during the day
  • Owen Zupp for letting us take a break at his place on the way to Wollongong (ace hot cross buns, mate! :)
  • The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) for putting on such a fantastic event and also giving us full access to the show (thanks to Russell Field for the safety walk around & the parking permit :)
  • Josh Masterton for his help on the weekend
  • Allan Van’t Padge for his fantastic support as PCDU Roadie & for riding shotgun the whole way up & back. We couldn’t have done half as well without you, mate! :)

Lilly Warra, Southern Biplane's Boeing Stearman

Southern Biplane's Stearman

With luck, we’ll recover in a few weeks and be ready for the next epic journey, but for now, we’re already working on the next couple of episodes :)

Notes:
* Cover art image courtesy of Cameron Hines