PCDU Episode 42: Wings Down Under

This episode we’re joined by Will Horton from the Wings Down Under blog to chat about recent aviation news items. We also have Anthony Simmons returning for another View from the Lounge segment and a chat with Damien Rose about his flight training up in Toowoomba. The episode wraps up with some listener mail and a shout out so it’s a little long but that should make up for the three Election QuickCast episodes we released recently :)

The list of topics we discussed with Will Horton include:

  • A review of the recent Asia/Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit in Sydney
  • The Asia/Pacific outlook for airlines includes a prediction for strong growth
  • “Buy local” for Russia (Sukhoi) & China (Comac) plus India building up its local aeronautics capabilities along with Mahindra & Mahindra buying into Australian aviation companies such as Gippsland Aeronautics
  • Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A350-900 order
  • V Australia’s 777 useage in Fiji & Bali plus the use of wide bodies (eg: 767/A330) on domestic routes due to slot restrictions
  • Qantas wanting to fly 787s into China & on to Europe
  • Jetstar being boosted over Qantas (if it’s new it’s JQ) and using Singapore as a hub into Europe
  • Qantas’s new smart card system for check-in that relies on elite frequent flyers who are with Qantas, not Jetstar
  • AirAsia setting up a Frequent Flyer program
  • Crawford Rix @ Tiger Airways is against frequent flyer programs as they’re anticompetitive and is hinting that Tiger could go down the RyanAir path (standing seats, pay loos, etc) – at least for the publicity :)
  • Customers in Australia and Asia/Pacific wanting a higher level of standards
  • Tiger setting up a franchise in Thailand (51% Thai owned but still Tiger Thailand)
  • China more likely to have standing seats as the Chinese can lay down the law for their own operations – no need to align with FAA/EASA standards although they’re investing in highspeed trains)
  • AirAsia wants to enter the Australian domestic & trans-tasman market
  • The high quality of the AirAsia experience (a discount carrier that doesn’t nickle & dime their passengers) will hit Jetstar hard
  • Pacific Blue is pulling out of the New Zealand domestic market
  • Repurposing of V Australia’s 777s off the Fiji route
  • United is not worried about Delta-V
  • Qantas’ financial results

Steve & Grant also talk afterwards about Virgin Blue’s financial results which came out after we spoke with Will, along with their news about adding A330s, dropping the E170s (while keeping the E190s) and linking up with Etihad.

PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

In this episode we join noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands from Plane Talking to review the latest news & information. When we called Ben, he was experiencing a heat wave of 11 degrees Celsius at his home in the mountains near Canberra. Meanwhile, here in Melbourne we were thinking winter was upon us as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees Celsius. Four degrees of separation but a very different pair of perspectives on cold vs hot.

Fortunately, we were all spot on with our news analysis, including such topics as:

  • Use of composites in airliners and the indications that it won’t really be effective for another 10 to 20 years
  • QANTAS still claiming that they’re going to get their 787-9s on a date that would be before Air New Zealand (the launch customer) despite Boeing making a statement contradicting this
  • The changes that are afoot with the Virgin Blue group being under new leadership:
    • Brett Godfrey’s farewell bash
    • John Borghetti not getting the top job at QANTAS but, perhaps, getting something better with running Virgin Blue
    • Fleet choices and the possibility that they’ll get A330s or B767s, especially on high density routes like Sydney to Melbourne
    • The likelihood that they’ll rebrand the group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue) under a single name
  • Singapore Airlines having veto rights over the name Virgin for any new international airline
  • Tiger Airways recording a profit and becoming more of a stable, solid threat in the market
  • Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese wanting to restrict cockpit access to only the two pilots flying and any check pilots or safety reviewers
  • The F35 and how Australia seems to be one of the few countries NOT getting upset about all the delays and problems

After chatting with Ben, we have an interview with James Baldwin & Glen Somerville from EmptyJets, an organisation that gives you the chance to get rides in charter aircraft that would otherwise be flying empty on positioning flights. From helicopters to Gulfstream Vs, they’re all on the list and well worth checking out.

After that we dive into the mail bag where:

  • Matt McCabe compares the cost of learning to fly here in Australia against the USA
  • Errol Cavit enjoyed the Red Bull show and will be catching up with us when he comes over from New Zealand (for a Sci Fi convention, no less)
  • Vince Bezzina who volunteers at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook was checking if we knew about the DC6 coming to Australia from South Africa. Oh yes, do we ever!

We also have a couple of shout outs to:

  • Damien Rose who is now a private pilot and on his way to a commercial license (and speaking of the cost of learning – Damien sold his house to fund all this! He must have a VERY understanding wife, that’s for sure :)
  • Steve Cooke from the Flying Podcast in the UK has released his latest episode on a topic that’s very important for Grant: ballooning

PCDU Episode 19: Interview with a Vampire … Pilot (& Other Stories)

Steve’s out sick (he must have eaten the fish :) so Grant’s flying solo on this one and cheating madly by assembling a few interviews and a slightly modified version of the Australia Desk segment we recorded for the Airplane Geeks’ Thanksgiving episode. The interviews include:

  • Matt Hall & Nigel Lamb
  • Carlo Santoro from Flight Experience Melbourne
  • Nick Brau on flying hot air balloons over Melbourne city

The news items we covered include:

  • British Airways again discussing a merger with QANTAS
  • The US FAA wil be conducting an Air Safety examination of Australia’s air operations
  • 30th Anniversary of Air New Zealand’s DC10 crashing on the side of Mt Erebus in Antarctica
  • Virgin Blue likely to have a profit in FY09/10
  • QANTAS to purchase additional aircraft and will be assigning more of their 787s to Jetstar
  • QANTAS introduces the airport of the future concept
  • Airport capacity in Sydney and the need for a second airport
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau provides interim reports on the QANTAS A330 ADIRU issues and QANTAS 747 oxygen bottle incidents
  • RAAF to purchase 14 F35 fighters even though Lockheed has admitted the project is running late
  • The first two Wedgetail AEW aircraft have been delivered
  • Last flight of the Caribou in Australia & it’s potential replacement

We hope you enjoy the show and we will return to our usual levels of interviews, discussions & opinionated news reviews in a week or so.

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 12: It’s not that late in Adelaide…

Despite his better judgement, Bas Scheffers comes back to hang out with us once again as we discuss some of the news items from the past week or so. Topics of discussion in this episode include:

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

PCDU Episode 9: Airplane Geeks Down Under

Andrew Temby

Andrew Temby

This episode we’re joined by Dan, David & Rob from the Airplane Geeks podcast to discuss airline news and have a great discussion about air traffic control issues here & in the USA. We also have interviews with Dr Bruce Searle, dean of the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation, and Andrew Temby, aerobatic pilot & owner of a YAK-52TW. Both were recorded at the Mission Aviation Fellowship airshow held at Coldstream Airport (YCEM) a few weeks back.

While Max Flight from the Airplane Geeks couldn’t be with us, having the other guys from the show record with us was a hoot and certainly generated a LOT of content for a future “Bloopers Only” episode. We’re definitely looking forward to recording with them again once our sanity recovers.

Dr Bruce Searle

Dr Bruce Searle

 

The topics discussed in this episode include:

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

PCDU Episode 1: And so it begins…

Weighing in at a whole 27 minutes and 18 seconds, here’s the first episode of the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. During this episode, we discuss the following news items:
Continue reading PCDU Episode 1: And so it begins…