PCDU Episode 103: Avalon 2013 – Day Three

Grant & Steve are sorting out the RAAF C-17 flight deckDay Three of Avalon 2013 brought us a busy schedule of interviews and aviation experiences. From a Gulfstream G650 to the RAAF’s C17 heavy transport, we’ve been running around shooting even more video and recording interviews, such as those that make up today’s episode:

  • We talk to Flight Lieutenant Tony O’Neil & Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stade about being the crew who fly the RAAF’s F18F Super Hornet solo demonstration
  • Grant chats with Mike Jarrett (Gulfstream’s Large Cabin demo pilot) while sitting in the cockpit of the G650
  • Grant chats with Charles Cheesman from ECO 2000 about their Zi-400 aircraft cleaner
  • ATC_Ben talks to Gerhard Jordaan (Company Development Pilot for GippsAero) about the experimental GA-10 prototype
  • We talk to Flight Lieutenant Robert Cousland & Flying Officer Paolo Neri about being crew in the four-aircraft RAAF F18F Super Hornet formation display team
  • Flight Lieutenant David “Dash” Lee & Flight Lieutenant Rhys Brown talk to us about the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft’s entry into service and its recent appearance at Cope North in Guam
  • Grant gives us a quick tarmac summary as the alignment of our schedules with those of Papa Smurf & Timbo didn’t give us any time to meet with them.

PCDU Episode 35: Perseverance & Persistence

These days it’s quite common to find ladies in command of commercial airliners, bizjets and combat aircraft. Thirty years ago, however, this was certainly not the case here in Australia and a female required a stubborn streak & thick skin to push through and gain acceptance in a very male dominated world.

While the situation for ladies in aviation is still not completely balanced it is significantly improved over the scene in the mid-70s. One reason for that improvement was thanks to the efforts of Deborah Lawrie (aka Deborah Wardley) who was the first female pilot with Ansett Airlines, one of Australia’s biggest airlines until it’s demise in 2001.

Deborah’s story is one of determination and a drive to achieve her goals, no matter what obstacles society and some organisations put in her path. We are fortunate enough in this episode to have had Deborah join us for a great chat about her interest in aviation, learning to fly, her early commercial days, getting into Ansett, the Australian Pilots’ Dispute of 1989 and her subsequent career working with KLM before returning to Australia where she is currently working with Jetstar as their manager of Safety Investigations (while still also flying their A320s).

It’s an incredible chat and we think that in addition to learning about Deborah’s life, you’ll also learn a lot about the Australian airline environment of the past & present.

PCDU Episode 32: Switch to Plan Delta

This episode features a discussion with Peter Gibson, the manager of corporate communications at CASA. He’s joined us to explain the airspace changes that will come into effect on June 3rd, changes which will impact Class D, see the transition of GAAP to Class D and introduce the mandatory carriage of radios at all certified, registered or military non-towered aerodromes (plus any others as designated in the ERSA).

We also talk to Owen Zupp just before he departed on his There and Back trip around Australia as well as Tim Pryse and Ken Evers a few days prior to the start of their Millions Against Malaria trip around the world. We feature another “View from the Lounge” and introduce ATC_Ben‘s new “Controllers Corner” segment.

As we wind up the show, we discuss the Australian Capital Territory funding yet another feasibility study for a much needed secondary airport near Canberra. You can read more about it in an news entry from Australian Aviation and also follow up progress through the Canberra Region Aviators Association web site.

If you want to see a 737-200 land at Jandakot (Perth’s secondary airport), check out the video of the landing that Ed Stubbs pointed us at. Not bad.

Just in time to make our cut off for this episode, we had a quick chat with Owen as he was half way around his trip. A great update on his progress and how things have been going.

PCDU Episode 29: What’s in a Checklist?

Some in-cockpit audio provided by a listener triggered a discussion on the differences in pre-landing checklists (GUMPS vs BUMFTH vs BUMFOH vs whatever). All of Grant’s aviation books & manuals are still in boxes after moving house so he had to rely on his memory with predictable results. Talk about incentive to go out and get current again…

Given we couldn’t do a whole episode around the concept of “gas” in different countries, we also discuss recent aviation news items (so many to chose from lately) and have a collection of interviews we recorded at the RAAF’s Air Pageant at Point Cook.

Here’s how the episode hangs together this time:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 25: Fan Boys

Yes, Steve & Grant are Fan Boys (big Fan Boys, in fact :) and this episode we demonstrate it once again by interviewing Matt Hall and hanging out with some more fans at the Flight Experience Melbourne Facebook fan page open night in their 737 flight simulator. Seems we’re not the only ones who think a publically accessible 737 simulator is a great thing :)

Here’s how this episode flows:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

Ten minutes of fame in a 737 Simulator?

The crew at Flight Experience Melbourne are having an Open Night on the 27th January and we’re going along. They’re giving away 10 minute sessions in their 737 sim to the first 20 people in the door (need to register before hand).

We’re going to be there to interview people for a future episode as well as have some fun (and enjoy the drinks & nibbles :)

If you’re in Melbourne, Australia and can get to the QV Building in the city from 6pm on the 27th January, you really should get yourself there. More information about the event and the registration form is available on their blog.

Hope to see you there :)

PCDU Episode 16: Rant on Steve, Rant on

Steve & Grant discuss all the latest news items that were of interest over the past couple of weeks. Steve also gets to have a few “c’est la vent” moments on some topics that were annoying him.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have a chat with Owen Zupp and reveal the winner of our first ever give away competition. Sorry, you’ll have to listen to the episode to discover who were the close runners up and who was the winner :)

So, sit back, relax and enjoy episode 16, in which we discuss:

As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 15: And now for something completely different, here is the news

We’re back to being our opiniated selves with a backlog of news stories to work through and discuss. Once again Bas Scheffers joins us for some of the news and to discuss a number of RA-Aus items. From Beavers to Tigers and even Kiwi Skyhawks doing battle with bureaucracy, we cover a diverse range of topics including:

As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 13: The Only Way is Zupp

Of all the times for the technical gremlins to strike, it had to be for our “Lucky” 13th episode. We recorded a great discussion with Owen Zupp and, despite a fault in the call recorder that made us repeat a part, we thought we had it in the bag. We even feature our first ever give away in this episode and it’s a beauty (see the notes below for details).

However, it seems that it’s not just the Apollo missions that have problems at 13 as, sadly, the sound quality in this episode is not at all up to our usual levels of quality. Poor Steve has been tearing what’s left of his hair out but has managed to work his magic once again and produce an episode that preserves most important part of all, our guest’s great content.

We start off discussing Owen’s early work with the Ambulance Service of New South Wales and how that provided a foundation for dealing with flying’s more “interesting” moments. Moving into flying, Owen talks about learning to fly with his father, an ex-RAAF instructor, then moving on to instructing others with the Royal Aero Club of NSW (sadly no longer in existence) and eventually shifting to his times flying with Ansett Airlines.

During this discussion we review the pros & cons of the Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) and various aircraft, including the Skycraft Scout. Owen also discusses Bert Hinkler, the town of Bundaberg, Hinkler House and the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

With the collapse of Ansett, Owen moved into flight instruction and also started writing articles. A regular contributor to Australian Aviation (our favourite flying magazine, thank you :) and other publications, Owen has also written a book called “Down to Earth,” the story of Squadron Leader McGlashan, a pilot during WWII.

There And Back, a charity flight for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Next year (2010) will mark the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Australia so Owen is flying a light aircraft around Australia, visiting various historic landmarks and promoting aviation in Australia as well as raising funds for the RFDS. His sponsors include:

Our First Ever Give Away

Owen has graciously donated a signed copy of his book, Down to Earth, for one of our lucky listeners to win. All you have to do is go to the There and Back website and see where Owen’s journey is taking him (check out The Route for details). Then, suggest a location you think Owen should go to during his journey and say why he should go there.

Send your recommendation to us at PlaneCrazyDownUnder@gmail.com” and we’ll review them with Owen. He will then select a winner and we’ll contact them to send them the book.

Easy, isn’t it? So, what are you waiting for? It doesn’t matter where you live, come up with a suggestion and send it to us.

Please note that Owen’s decision is final and that all submissions become the property of Owen to use as he sees fit.


As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 11: Recreationally Yours

This episode we’re joined by Bas Scheffers, a Recreational Aviation Australia pilot (our version of the US Sport Pilot rules) who flies out of Parafield airport (YPPF) in Adelaide, South Australia. We have a great chat about flying RA-Aus aircraft, GAAP issues, the benefits of learning to fly under RA-Aus instead of the usual GA, the information available from the recreational flying community and even discuss the new AAAF Forum (Forum for free speech on industry: AAAF – Steve Creedy @ The Australian).

After our great chat with Bas, we move on to our usual opinionated regional news review which includes the following items:

Please note that our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).