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 37: It’s “Flight Attendant,” Grant

It seems that Grant has always had troubles with the label “Flight Attendant” ever since his sister joined Australian Airlines and mistakenly told him she would be a “Trolley Dolly.” Ooops :)

In this episode we’re joined by Janene Murdoch, Tania Tracey and Amelia Kelly. Janene used to be a flight attendant with Ansett in the 70’s & 80’s, Tania was with Australian Airlines & Qantas in the 90’s and Amelia is currently working in the industry. We have a great chat with them comparing “then & now” in recruitment, work environments, passenger expectations and challenges.

It was a great chat and we hope to have the ladies back with us again in the future to continue exploring the “then & now” of being a flight attendant.

For those of you who want to keep up with Amelia’s latest news, you can follow her on Twitter (traytablestrvls) or through her blog (Tray Tables Travels).

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 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).