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
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:
Anthony Crichton Browne
ATC Ben (aka Ben Ippolito)
Anthony Simmons, the Infrequent Flyer
Allan Van’t Padje
Mike Wilson who helped us at Oshkosh
We’d also like to say thanks to:
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.
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.
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
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 :)
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! :)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 :)
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?
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:
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:
Robinson R44 crashes on a mountain beside a massive drop
We review a recent “Traffic Report” from the Australian Aviation magazine (our favourite aviation magazine :)
VH-EBK (A330) withdrawn from QF domestic and repainted in JetStar colours in Manilla
VH-OGA (a 767-300ER) withdrawn from service
JetConnect withdrew it’s last 300 series 737 (ZK-JNC) which has gone to storage in Tucson – entered service with Australian Airlines on Dec 31, 1988 as VH-TJB “Fortitude” – transferred to JetConnect on Jul 29th 2004
Some new aircraft with funky names have arrived for Virgin Blue
E-190 VH-ZPO = “Portia Macquarie”
737-800 VH-VUT = “Yabba Dabba Blue”
737-800 VH-VUR = “Star City”
737-800 VH-VUS = “Chitty Chitty Broome Broome”
VB’s 737-800 VUA that was previously used for mile-high karaoke with the Black Eyed Peas as they toured Australia has been returned to normal configuration & colour scheme.
We have a chat with Saj Ahmad about 737/A320 re-engining and lots more
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.
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.
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.