PCDU Episode 97: Journos & Aeros

We have a variety of content for you in this episode including:

  • 0:03:50 – A great chat we recorded with Andrew McLaughlin, previously co-owner and deputy editor of Australian Aviation and now a freelance aviation writer
     
  • 1:00:59 – Kathy Mexted went flying with Anatole Mills from Warbird Air Adventures and got to experience some aerobatics in a Nanchang (NOTE: Kathy can also be found at kascribe & Kathy Mexted Photography)
     
  • 1:33:48 – Grant had a chat with Mike Dunn, General Manager & Chief Pilot of Heli-Serv after being an air-to-air photo shoot with one of HeliServe’s aircraft
     
  • 1:43:07 – We review some of our listener emails:

     

  • Grant gives a shout out to the gang at the Stuck Mic Avcast and the Hangar 49 podcast to say thanks for the birthday wishes
     
  • Steve notes that Larry Beyer (USAF Retired), a friend of his from the USA when he was living in Arkansas, passed away recently & will be greatly missed

The music featured in Kathy Mexted’s segment is “Pool Party” by CC Martini.

PCDU Episode 80: Farewell 2011 (aka “Tom Cruise wraps my Dolmades” :)

All good things must come to an end and so too must the year 2011. It has been an amazing year of growth for PCDU as we’ve covered Avalon 2011, NatFly 2011 and Oshkosh 2011 along with a number of major events (eg: Qantas grounding) and added some new voices to the team. So as the year draws to a close and 2012 is waiting in the wings,  Steve,  Grant and Anthony  “The Infrequent Flyer”  bring you our Farewell 2011 episode:

  • Steve &  David Vanderhoof discuss the Royal Australian Navy  (RAN)  Sea King helicopters at the time of their decommissioning, developments with the C130 Hercules and a special Christmas greeting from David
  • We chat with Mo Ferrando from High Alpha Media about the Hexacopter and Octocopter units he was displaying for us at Tooradin
  • David Pilkington talks with us about his career in aeronautical engineering and aerobatics
  • David &  Grant go up in David’s Decathlon to fly an aerobatic routine above Tooradin (YTDN) and broadcast the manoeuvres and sensations during the flight
  • Adam Wooley from JoeyGlide chats with us about the National Junior Gliding Championships recently held in Queensland

As usual we have some great listener mail, including:

  • Ryan Hothersall sent us a link to the 2011 STOL competitions – amazing stuff!
  • Congrats to the AirStig who is celebrating the arrival of a new Stigette
  • Thanks to Keane Bourke for his Merry Christmas wishes
  • Thanks also to Garry Collins for his train jargon & congrats for Steve
  • Big shout out to Owen Zupp for his Owen Zupp Author page on Facebook and his new OwenZupp.com.au blog

Given it’s our end of year episode, we have a list of people & groups to thank:

  • Our sponsors over the course of the year:
  • All the listeners who donated to help us cover the costs of being at Oshkosh &  producing the show all year
  • The contributors who have helped us create content for the show:
    • Bas Scheffers
    • Anthony Crichton Browne
    • Kathy Mexted
    • ATC Ben (aka Ben Ippolito)
    • David Vanderhoof
    • Dan Morris
    • Pieter Johnson
    • Anthony Simmons, the Infrequent Flyer
    • Adam Visscher
    • Steven Pam
    • Allan Van’t Padje
    • Mike Wilson who helped us at Oshkosh

We’d also like to say thanks to:

  • AusAir Services
  • Ian Kershaw for his help with the survey
  • James Williams &  Dave Gray from LPN
  • Milford &  Charlie from Flight Time Radio
  • Max Flight & Courtney Miller for making this happen
  • Rob Mark for his hospitality at Camp Jetwhine
  • Mike Miley &  Rod Rakic from MyTransponder for the help at Oshkosh
  • Stu Stevenson for his hospitality post Oshkosh
  • Special thanks to Kitt &  Cathey for their continuing status as podcast widows!

So thanks again to our growing audience who have been with us as we’ve expanded PCDU over the course of 2011. Happy holidays and here’s to a whole new year of bringing you the most amazing aviation experiences & information from Australia &  New Zealand that we can.

PCDU Episode 79: Flying Low

Steve’s finally picked up his instructor’s rating although it’s in trains, not aircraft, but don’t worry, we’re not switching the show over to Train Crazy Down Under :)

Once again we’re joined by Kathy Mexted and this time we’re discussing what’s involved in being an Ag Pilot and how the industry has developed here in Australia. We then switch to Kathy’s interview with Georgia Maxwell in Gunnedah. Georgia is the first female ag pilot in Australia qualified to fly the Air Tractor 802 with Pay’s Air Service. Georgia discusses what it’s like working in the Aerial Application world (aka being an Ag Pilot).

After the interview we talk about the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia and how the season is booming following the breaking of the drought. Anthony Crichton-Browne joins us to continue talking about Ag pilots & the nature of their work.

Anthony has recently been at Red Baron Australia’s open day chatting with Joel Haski and the guys from Combat Dragon who are now basing their A37 at Red Baron’s hangar. We get to sit in on a Combat Dragon briefing, then listen to the sound of the A37 starting its engines before discussing the A37′s typical departure from Bankstown (YSBK).

We then play Anthony’s chat with Joel Haski about the latest developments at Red Baron and their new hangar facility. Anthony talks briefly with Jeff from Combat Dragon about their missions and working with Red Baron. You can hear more about Combat Dragon from an interview Anthony had with them in episode 2 of his podcast, Flying Ant.

Next up, Pieter Johnson from XTP Media in the UK takes time out from his “Across the Pond” segment in the Airplane Geeks to bring us his first “From Up Here to Down There” report. In today’s report, he provides an interview with Matt Falcus about his Far East and Australasia airport spotting guide. If you’re spotting in the Asia/Pacific area, you should check out Matt’s book.

Having listened to Pieter’s chat with Matt, Anthony chats with us about a pilot’s view of the ‘plane spotters’ he sees at most of the major Australian airports.

After the break, we return to Grant’s chat with Geoff Morrison from GT Gyroplanes at Echuca. We talk about Geoff’s background in aviation in New Zealand hunting deer & working on warbirds before he came over to Australia to work on gyroplanes with his brother Alistair. After that we get into a discussion about gyroplanes in general, the Australian Sports Rotorcraft Association (ASRA) and their Kruza gyroplane in particular.

We then have a discussion about gyrocopters before bringing Pieter Johnson back onto the show to chat with us about his background in aviation, his goals for linking Australian/NZ flying with the UK and his interview with his father.

Moving onto Listener Mail, we have:

  • Andrew Brown from the UK talking about our Qantas Grounding episode
  • Voice mail from Ian Kershaw in Canada
  • Chris Howard-Bath who likes the C130 & works with ATC Ben
  • Peter Anderson talks about our website

If you want us to send you a CD copy of our content, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:

PO Box 70
Cranbourne VIC 3977
Australia

Don’t forget about our Aus Air Services + PCDU BBQ & Fly In on December 17th at Tooradin Airport (YTDN). Come on down and say HI, folks :)

The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3

PCDU Episode 75: Talking Aerobatics with Anthony Crichton-Browne

Today we’re joined by Anthony Crichton-Browne, a commercial airline pilot who also likes to take his Pitts Special out for a spin (and a few other fun manoeuvres :) In addition to chatting with Anthony, we also run a chat with Grant Piper (President of the Australian Aerobatic Club) about Australia’s recent involvement in the World Aerobatic Championship, discuss aerobatics in general and also have a chat about the recent horrific tragedy at Reno Air Races where the highly modified P51 “Galloping Ghost” lost control and plowed into specators.

We start off by hanging out with Anthony and talking about his career in aviation and more, including:

  • He has an older brother who’s also a pilot
  • He’s from Western Australia, learning to fly at Jandakot in Perth
  • He did the usual hour building & quickly found himself in a Cessna 310 then on to First Officer on a Brasillia before stepping up to Second Officer on 747-400, after which he proceeded to his current gig as First Officer on a 767
  • Anthony started flying aerobatics with friends and also scored a flight with Matt Hall
  • His aerobatic training really kicked in with a Pitts and he now has his own Pitts
  • We talk about G-Tolerance, G-LOC and beating the effects of high-G manoeuvres
  • We discuss the recent tragic accident at the Reno Air Races, including the NTSB’s preliminary report & talk further the effects of pulling-G’s
  • A discussion about stalls that leads into how advanced training really helps dispel some of the many myths, how the stall stick position works and standard GFPT training vs advanced training by groups like Red Baron in Sydney (Hi Joel! :)

You can find Anthony on his Flying Ant Online website as well as following him on Twitter where he’s known as AntCB.

We then move into the interview that Steve & Anthony recorded with Grant Piper, the President of the Australian Aerobatics Club, featuring:

  • An overview of aerobatic manoeuvre’s
  • How aerobatic competitions are managed & scored
  • Australia’s return to the World Aerobatic Championship
  • How to improve the standard in Australia with coaching by current champs
  • Grant’s career in aviation including his start in the RAAF
  • The benefits of including aeros in primary training

We then return to a chat with Anthony about:

  • The challenges of flying competition aerobatics
  • Standard aerobatic figures (loop, cuban-8, etc)
  • How scoring each manoeuvre starts at 10 points then deducts points for any errors
  • How it all has to look right from the ground
  • The issues in dealing with wind & power
  • What is the aerobatic box
  • Types of propeller blades and their benefits (blade numbers, sizes, etc)

Finally we start to wrap it up with some listener mail:

  • Ian Allen from New Zealand sent us some great ideas for more Kiwi Content
  • Errol Cavit points us at a possible Kiwi aviation podcast
  • Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and our forums on Downwind

We then wind up with some shout outs:

PCDU Episode 67: Team Pracy: Racing, JetRides & Aircraft Imports

We’re joined by Mark Pracy Sr and Mark Pracy Jr to talk about the many aviation endeavours they’re involved in, including JetRide Australia, Pracy Racing and Aircraft Imports. We also have Bas Scheffers sitting in from Adelaide for the interview as well as a fantastic announcement to make towards the end of the show :)

We start by talking with Mark Sr about his background in aviation including how he grew up in Scone seeing warbirds all the time, was taught aerobatics by Col Pay and then eventually became an aerobatics instructor. He’s also got a low-level aerobatics waiver and is an airshow pilot displaying a number of warbirds at events around the country.

Eventually progressing to jets, the Pracys purchased a Czechoslovakian Aero L-39 Albatros two seat aircraft. We discuss with them it’s handling, speeds and the typical manoeuvres they’ll perform when taking passengers up as part of their JetRide Australia flights. We also discuss some of the more interesting folks they’ve had on board before moving into their other main operation: Aircraft Imports.

Mark Jr is a certified LAME & pilot who runs the Aircraft Imports business, working with his father to scout aircraft, flight test & inspect them and arrange their purchase for clients. With the AUS$ being so high compared to the US$, they’re being kept very busy arranging purchases for Australians at the moment (although we’re not sure using a container to bring a Cirrus into Australia is the best way of doing it :). Mark Jr is able to run the entire operation from the inspections to dismantling & packing then on to reassembly, test flights & certification back here in Australia.

The work Team Pracy do in JetRide Australia and Aircraft Imports all helps support their latest endeavour which is racing their L39 at the Reno Air Races. They’ve recently completed their qualifications and are now certified to race this year in September. We talk to them about the qualification & selection process, dealing with emergencies and the mechanics of reducing weight to help compete. Fascinating stuff.

Team Pracy also note that they’re happy to take on sponsors of their L39 in Reno so if you or an organisation you represent are interested in getting space on a very sexy aircraft, contact Mark Sr via mark@jetride.com.au.

Finally, we have our big announcement for the show:

Thanks to the generous support of Team Pracy, we’re being sent to Oshkosh 2011. That’s right, after 2 years of having to miss Oshkosh because of insufficient funds and looking like we were going to miss this one as well, Mark Sr & Mark Jr have offered to get us over there (mostly, we think, so they can see our heads explode as we’re surrounded by aviation :)

We’d like to thank Team Pracy for their most wonderful offer as it’s thanks to them that we’re going to finally be able to meet up with our online friends and experience the wonder that is AirVenture Oshkosh. We’re also receiving additional sponsorship funding from other groups including the fine folks at Aviation Advertiser who are helping to chip in some additional funds to cover our camping gear while we’re on site.

Watch this space as we’ll have more news & updates about how our trip to Oshkosh is progressing over the next few weeks :)

As if all this wasn’t enough, we wrap up the episode with a quick chat with Bas about the latest news on the OzRunways application and he points us at a cool video of OzRunways being demonstrated.

Music supplied from the royalty free production music at JewelBeat.

Video 001: Steve’s Flight in JetRide’s L39

Here’s a quick teaser video of Steve’s flight in JetRide’s L39 down at Tooradin airport recently. We’re still working on the full “Adventure Flights” video so this one’s a bit of a teaser and a test of putting videos in our feed.

Let us know how it works for you. Do you want videos in the feed or a separate feed for video entries?

You can find photos from the flight on our Flickr Collection, a bit of a write-up in our Talk to Me, Goose post and see lots of comments about the flight on our Facebook Page.

Talk to me, Goose!

Yee hah! Jester’s dead!

Steve scored a ride in an L39 Albatros with Mark Pracy from Jetride Australia, flying from Tooradin airport (YTDN) in the south east of Melbourne. Mark ran them through a combination of horizontal & vertical manoeuvres during which Steve experienced a sustained peak of 5G’s. Best of all, he didn’t even hurl!

In flight video was captured along with the briefing and a few interviews. We’ll be putting together a special video episode that combines Steve’s jet ride and Grant’s 8G RedBull aerobatics ride last year with Joel Haski from Red Baron. We’ll also be putting together an audio episode on high-thrill adventure rides. Watch for these to come out in the PCDU feed in the near future.

Meanwhile, here’s a quick video of Steve returning to the ramp in the L39:

www.flickr.com

Steve's JetRide Adventure Flight Steve’s L39 JetRide Adventure photoset

PCDU Episode 24: Misuse of Accents

Despite the annoying habit of our “day jobs” and families encroaching into our PCDU time, we’ve finally managed to get some time to record an episode. Steve even managed a marathon effort of post production to edit a coherent episode from our opinionated news discussion and an interview with Saj Ahmad. Go Steve! :)

Despite my best efforts to drone on endlessly, Steve’s also managed to keep the episode under 2 hours, but not by much. Hopefully this will give you heaps of fun listening as you travel to & from work, mow the lawns or do your household chores :)

Here’s how the show came 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 18: Tally Ho, it’s the Red Baron!

The Red Barons Pitts Special

The Red Baron's Pitts Special

If you’ve ever looked skyward in Sydney, there’s a high chance you’ve seen a bright red aircraft with old-style German crosses on the wings. Originally flying an old Tiger Moth, the Red Baron flew out of Bankstown and gave joy flights to members of the public, flying over Sydney’s beaches and occasionally doing aerobatics.

Roll forward to today and Red Baron scenic & aerobatic flights is now owned by Joel Haski (RedBaronSydney on Twitter) with a number of aircraft, including Pitts Specials, Robins/Alphas, an Extra and a new Airvan. Some are painted in Red Baron colours while others fly under the Red Bull logos.

Extra over Sydney

We were fortunate enough to get some of Joel’s time for a chat about his flying history, running the Red Baron operation, being involved with Red Bull and the recent New South Wales Aerobatic competition.

The new Airvan
Pitts Specials in Formation

PCDU Episode 10: On the Podium with Matt Hall

Matt Hall

Matt Hall

Once again we get to interview Matt Hall, Australia’s Top Gun RAAF pilot who’s making a big hit in the RedBull AirRace as the first rookie to ever score a podium. We talk with Matt about his performance at Porto, his preparations for Barcelona, how visualisation plays a major role in his flying and flying his P51 Mustang.

As with our previous interview session with Matt, time blurs and we have a great time chatting and listening to his fascinating comments. We’re looking forward to seeing how he goes in the final race at Barcelona and hopefully will get a chance to chat with him again afterwards.

You can find Matt on his home page, Wikipedia, FaceBook, Flickr and Twitter. Be sure to join up to follow his progress in the races and show your support.