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 117: Holler for a Marshall, an AIR Marshal

With the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show only a couple of days away, we thought we’d mix up some content that promotes the event as well as some chats Grant recorded with a number of past & present members of the RAAF at the Temora Aviation Museum’s “Warbirds Down Under” event back in November. To round the whole thing off, we’ve also got Steve’s chat with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event that will be running from March 3rd to 9th around the world.

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

The episode’s content run is:

  • Steve & Grant give an overview of what to expect in the episode
     
  • 0:09:42 – Grant catches up with Air Marshal Mark Binskin at the Temora Aviation Museum to discuss his career, the role of Vice Chief of the Defence Force and flying his Cessna O-1 Birddog
     
  • 0:15:57 – Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore talks to us about flying the Bristol Boxkite replica
     
  • 0:20:33 – Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies (Deputy Chief of Air Force) tells us about the Centenary of Military Aviation air show, his career and the type of work he does in his role
     
  • 0:28:17 – Keith Webb explains the Temora Aviation Museum‘s “Unsung Heroes” project and the work involved in collecting the reminiscences of veterans
     
  • 0:34:42 – Grant catches up with Captain Jack Curtis, DC3 pilot extraordinaire and perhaps the only pilot flying DC3s who’s actually older than the aircraft he’s flying :)
     
  • 0:43:01 –
    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook (Photo by James Kightly)

    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook
    (Photo by James Kightly)

    Dick Simms talks about being an Officer Cadet in the RAAF & flying Mustangs, Vampires & Meteors then his career selling aircraft and his restoration of a 1930’s Ryan STM that can now be found at the Temora Aviation Museum
     
  • 0:58:10 – Mick Haxel (DFC) chats with Grant about his career in the military and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the time that it became the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before winding up with his current position with Flight Safety Pty Ltd. He also talks about how he was awarded DFC for his flying in Vietnam (Audio courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
     
  • 1:16:50 – Steve talks with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event and her involvement with CCT Racing, one of the Australian jet racing teams at the Reno Air Races
     
  • 1:47:44 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode
GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built

GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built
(Photo by James Kightly)

PCDU Episode 77: Qantas Crisis: After the Grounding

Almost one year after the QF32 incident, Qantas is again in the news around the world and for a short time again appeared to be on the brink of a major disaster. At 5pm on Saturday the 29th of October, Alan Joyce (CEO of Qantas) announced that he & the board of directors had decided to ground all of Qantas’ domestic & international flights (about 108 aircraft). This unprecedented step disrupted the travel plans of almost 70,000 passengers in order to avoid a “death by a thousand paper cuts” due to ongoing damage from industrial disputes with three unions.

The three unions represented the pilots, engineers and baggage handlers working for Qantas’ “mainline” operations. The Jetstar, QantasLink and JetConnect operations were not involved in the grounding.

We have assembled a collection of discussions with a number of people involved in the disputes or monitoring it from the outside. It is our intention that we provide you with an overview of what has happened, why it happened and where things might go from here. Unlike the commercial broadcast media, our time is not rigidly controlled so our guests are able to take their time to explain their views & concerns without being restricted to sound bites.

While we also express our own views during this episode, we have tried to present enough information for you to get a better understanding of the situation & form your own decisions.

The discussions in this episode include:

We’d also like to thank Colin Lipiatt, the Manager of Coporate Communications at Virgin Australia, for taking the time to chat with us about their ability to quickly respond with extra capacity to help affected travellers. While we couldn’t include him in the show, he provided plenty of useful information for us.

While putting this episode together we did attempt to contact Qantas’ media department to arrange a representative who could talk to us about the items raised during the discussions listed above. Unfortunately we did not hear back from them and can only assume that, like Anthony Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure & Transport), they were too busy dealing with the big issues and the mainstream media to spare any time for us.

We trust that you’ll enjoy this special episode of content specifically covering the Qantas Grounding situation. It’s been a marathon effort to arrange & record the interviews then put it all together for you. It has certainly been educational & eye opening for us as we discussed the issues with our guests, and that’s got to be a good thing :)

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

PCDU Episode 64: Dick Smith – Setting it Straight

We are fortunate to have Dick Smith return to PCDU, joining us to discuss his views on Australia’s aviation environment. We talk about his time as chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority and then his return as chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. He mentions some of the initiatives he started that worked as well as some that didn’t quite work as planned. Dick also gives us a rather candid look at his views on user fees, ministers and what’s going wrong with aviation today.

Once again this discussion with Dick is sure to generate divided commentary from those in aviation, both old & new. If you’ve not already listened to our previous chat with Dick about his early flying adventures, you really should check it out now.

Following our chat with Dick we have a dramatic change of scene as the Infrequent Flyer (aka Anthony Simmons) returns to give us his View From the Lounge angle on the Avalon Airshow. Then, to answer Anthony’s question of “How it all flows together” we have ATC_Ben return to present his latest Controller’s Corner where he explains just what went on at Mercat Manor.

Following that we have a few interviews recorded at Avalon:

  • FLT LT Pete Komar, an F-18F Super Hornet pilot with the RAAF
  • BAe Hawk Mk127 techo LAC Brian Dick
  • Pilot Officer Emmanuel “Muz” Murray talks about flying the BAe Hawk Mk127
  • SGT Kerry Dimar who works in logistics with the BAe Hawk Mk127

To keep with the Fast Jets angle, we’ve thrown in some cockpit audio from Steve’s flight with Mark Pracy in JetRide’s L39 Albatros.

For this episode, we’ve dived into the mailbag to bring out:

We also give a shout out to:

PCDU Episode 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways

Dick Smith is an entrepreneur well known to most Australians, ranging from the country wide chain of Dick Smith Electronics stores he created to Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic.

Another very important aspect of Dick’s life has revolved around aviation. In addition to owning & flying his own aeroplanes & helicopters, he has also flown around the world multiple times, made the first helicopter landing at the North Pole, and flown balloons across Australia as well as from New Zealand back to Australia (against the prevailing winds). He was on the board of (and then director of) both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Dick is also a very vocal champion of air space reform in Australia and aviation safety in general.

We were very fortunate to have been given some of Dick’s valuable time to discuss his early days learning to fly, his adventuring around the world and his thoughts on a number of different aircraft he’s owned & flown. We also touch briefly on his time with the CAA/CASA and his thoughts on aviation safety & airspace reform, all of which will be covered in more detail in future interviews we hope to bring you as soon as Dick’s schedule permits.