PCDU Episode 30: Antarctica: The Last True Wilderness

The first aircraft to be used in Antarctica was Henry Mawson’s Vickers REP monoplane. Sadly, it had been damaged in Australia before arriving in Antarctica and was used as an “air tractor” to pull sleds. Even that didn’t work out and it was dumped, eventually being found again only recently.

Given that inauspicious start, it’s hard to believe that there are multiple ice & snow runways in Antarctica receiving visits from C130s, C17s and now an Australian A319 carries scientists on regular flights to the ice. It is also possible to go on one of the QANTAS sight seeing flights that are proving to be very popular with their great views of the ice & mountains.

With all this in mind, we decided to put together a special episode focusing on the land that’s even more “down under” than we are. To kick things off we have an interview with Captain Dan Colborne of Skytraders. Dan flies the Airbus A319/ACJ from Australia to the Wilkins Blue Ice runway in Australian Antarctic territory. He also flies the CASA 212-400 aircraft that are based in Antarctica for the summer, including the long ferry flights at the start & end of the season.

We chat with David Vanderhoof about Air New Zealand Flight 901, the DC-10 that tragically crashed on Mount Erebus during a sight seeing tour over Antarctica in the 70’s. We also discuss some of the other runways on Antarctica and the aircraft that visit them.

The final section in this episode has a discussion with Phil Asker from The Captain’s Choice Tours and Croydon Travel who has been arranging Antarctic sight seeing flights for many years. Working with QANTAS, the flights are in Boeing 747 or Airbus A380 aircraft and are very much in demand, especially the New Years Eve flight.

We talk with Phil about what’s involved in preparing the flights and what passengers can expect to encounter. We also talk with David Halls about what it was like as a passenger on the New Years Eve flight on Dec 31st, 2009. Finally, we prove that nepotism is alive & well in podcasting by bringing Grant’s sister Tania on the show to talk about her time working as a Trolley Dolly (sorry, Flight Attendant) on an Antarctic flight. She also gives Steve LOTS of material to use against Grant, much of it unfit for public consumption (even in the outtakes).

So, put your survival suit on and prepare to meet some penguins as we talk about Antarctica.

PCDU Episode 26: Enjoying the Views

You can always count on this podcast to have some interesting, opinionated and, occasionally, diverse points of view. This episode really brings them all and (bonus!) includes a whole new view as we introduce Anthony Simmons and the “View from the Lounge” segment for your listening pleasure.

We’ve also got another great discussion with Owen Zupp as his trip around Australia draws closer, a quick chat we recorded with David Optimal (one of our listeners) and Bas Scheffers returns (at last) with his friend John Squires to tell us about a fly-away trip they did not too long ago.

Here’s how this episode unfolds:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 23: Australia: A TSA free zone (for now)

Even down here in Australia we’re being impacted by the out-of-control antics of the TSA, so what the heck, we’ll have a bit of a c’est la vent moment about it. We also have our usual opinionated discussion on some other news items and chat with Shashank Nigam from SimpliFlying.

Here’s how the show proceeds:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 21: London Calling

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

For the majority of our listeners it’s warm and getting warmer down here in the Southern Summer with Christmas just around the corner. Not so in London where it’s bleak and somewhat miserable (and that’s the economy, let alone the weather). Saj Ahmad from FleetBuzz Editorial is based in London and recently returned from the scorching skies of Dubai where he’d been attending the Dubai Airshow 2009. Saj generously took some time away from his family to record with us last Sunday (morning his time, evening our time), trying not to look out the window at the winter weather while we discussed the warmth Melbourne was experiencing. The discussion covers the Dubai Airshow, Middle East airlines and their flights to Australia, aircraft orders and the (then) pending first flight of the 787. It’s an enlightening chat and we’ll be sure to have Saj on again early in the new year.

In addition to our chat with Saj, we also recorded some news items to round out the episode. We actually recorded these on the same day the 787 flew and, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, have spliced it all together into a single show. Neat, hey! :)

Topics in this episode include:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 16: Rant on Steve, Rant on

Steve & Grant discuss all the latest news items that were of interest over the past couple of weeks. Steve also gets to have a few “c’est la vent” moments on some topics that were annoying him.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have a chat with Owen Zupp and reveal the winner of our first ever give away competition. Sorry, you’ll have to listen to the episode to discover who were the close runners up and who was the winner :)

So, sit back, relax and enjoy episode 16, in which we discuss:

As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 11: Recreationally Yours

This episode we’re joined by Bas Scheffers, a Recreational Aviation Australia pilot (our version of the US Sport Pilot rules) who flies out of Parafield airport (YPPF) in Adelaide, South Australia. We have a great chat about flying RA-Aus aircraft, GAAP issues, the benefits of learning to fly under RA-Aus instead of the usual GA, the information available from the recreational flying community and even discuss the new AAAF Forum (Forum for free speech on industry: AAAF – Steve Creedy @ The Australian).

After our great chat with Bas, we move on to our usual opinionated regional news review which includes the following items:

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 8: Riding Our Segways

We thought we’d have this episode out within a few days of our previous one, but there was so many news items to review, so much to discuss and so many bits to splice together that it took a whole week to bring it to you. Weighing in at almost 2 hours, this episode has interviews, GA, follow ups and much much more.

Continue reading PCDU Episode 8: Riding Our Segways