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 Go In-Depth on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

PCDU Episode 119 Cover Art: F-35A, B & C models (Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

PCDU Episode 119 Cover Art:
F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

Australia has recently confirmed that it will purchase a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for use in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but how will these high-tech new aircraft be integrated with our current operations? Will someone just click their fingers and voila?

Naturally, there’s lots of items to consider ranging from staffing & training through to tarmac upgrades and there’s something about ALIS…

We’re joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT to discuss the F-35 aircraft, the program and its potential operations within the RAAF. We also feature a number of interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and AVM Kym “Koz” Osley gives us an in-depth coverage of the huge project that will bring the F-35 to full operational status within the RAAF.

It’s a big topic and we’ve put together a big episode about it: Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach.

Click here to go to the show notes & play the episode

PCDU Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach

With Australia’s confirmed purchase of a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Steve & Grant are joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT (Communications Intelligence) to discuss the F-35 and its operation within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). We also feature a number of great interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and an in-depth discussion with Air Vice Marshall Kym “Koz” Osley regarding the work required to integrate the F35 into the RAAF.

F-35A, B & C models (Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

After an introductory discussion on the F35 between Andrew, Steve & Grant, this episode features:

  • 0:09:49 – Excerpts from the press conference held at RAAF Base Pt Cook in March 2014 where AVM Kym Osley discussed the F35 purchase and Deputy Chief of Air Force (DCAF) AVM Leo Davies introduced the first two RAAF pilots to go to the USA for F35 training: SQN LDR David “Belly” Bell & SQN LDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson.
     
  • 0:13:19 – Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn talks to us about his career from a Canadian F18 pilot seeing combat in Kosovo to a test pilot on the Eurofighter Typhoon and on to the F35.
     
    Australia's first two F35 pilots: SQN LDR Andrew 'Jacko' Jackson & SQN LDR David 'Belly' Bell

    Australia’s first two F35 pilots:
    SQN LDR Andrew ‘Jacko’ Jackson & SQN LDR David ‘Belly’ Bell

  • 0:23:17 – Graham Bentley is ex-RAAF and the Lockheed Martin Business Development Manager in Australia. We talk to him about his career from flying P3 Orions to commanding the Australian Forces in the Middle East and on to his role as Air Attache in Washington, USA. He also discusses LockMart’s preparations to bring the F35 to Australia and the technologies it’ll bring with it.
     
  • 0:32:42 – Steven L Over, Lockheed Martin’s Director of F-35 International Business Development, talks to us about component manufacturing being undertaken within Australia.
     
  • 0:40:44 – Billie Flynn returns to talk with Grant in more detail regarding the F-35’s new high-tech helmet.
     
    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

  • 0:52:39 – Grant catches up with AVM Kym “Koz” Osley for an in-depth discussion on the work involved in bringing the F-35 into the RAAF, including infrastructure construction at airports, staffing & training, support equipment and perhaps the most complex part of the F-35’s support environment: Autonomic Logistics Information System (aka “ALIS”)
     
  • 1:52:49 – We wrap up the episode with a further discussion between Andrew, Steve & Grant on the F-35 aircraft, the program and the potential for Australia to operate the F-35B on our new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships (gotta use that ski-ramp, right?)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like his hot air balloon :)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like a hot air balloon :)



 

Cover image thanks to Lockheed Martin

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.