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.

Episode 124: Avalon15 Bravo (Yet more Avalon Airshow Goodness)

The Australian International Airshow (aka Avalon Airshow) may well be over for 2015 but our collection of content recorded at the show is still being worked on. Here’s another hour of interviews & discussions and we suspect there may be another two episodes before we’re through with all of it. This is what happens when you let Steve, Grant & Maikha run loose with audio recorders at an airshow :)

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15

 

Steve kicks us off with an overview of the episode which unfolds as:

  • 0:02:42 – Grant caught up with Richard Woodward but instead of chatting in his usual ride (an A380), they’re chatting about the new coaxial rotor helicopters he’s working on with Coax Helicopters. They’re amazing machines that are being targeted at those who like to ride sports bikes without fairings.
     
  • 0:10:45 –
    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it's a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it’s a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Peta Denham Harvey is the vice president of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (Victorian Branch) and she tells Maikha about the Round Australia Relay which features women pilots flying around australia to raise money for the Cancer Council. The relay started during the Avalon Airshow and will conclude in April at the AWPA conference in Launceston (Tasmania).
     
  • 0:16:21 – Grant talks with GPCAPT Guy Adams regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems within the Australian Defence Force ranging from backpack units Army squads can use through to Global Hawk & Triton. The discussions also covers how the Heron UAV is operating with the RAAF after Afghanistan, the Scan Eagle platform trials, operations with Reapers in the USA and what was involved in getting a Global Hawk to land at Avalon Airport.
     
    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

  • 0:38:04 – Craig Duncan from the Airline Academy of Australia has come down from Queensland for the show and he talks with Steve about their training operations at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba.
     
  • 0:49:03 – Maikha’s managed to get into the belly of an RJ85 Fire Fighting aircraft that’s been derived from a BAe146. He’s with Ray Horton from ConAir in Canada and they’re talking about Ray’s career, ConAir’s operations, the RJ85 and fire bombing in Australia.
     
  • 1:01:06 – Grant got to take a break with Jodi Davis and review what she’s been up to over the last 18 months including her aerobatic flying and working as Matt Hall Racing’s domestic business development manager based at Belmont Airport in Pelican (New South Wales).
     
  • 1:06:18 – With a live-to-the-mic intro from Allan Van’t Padje, Timbo joins Grant to give us yet another Timbo’s Tarmac with the inside word on the Avalon warbird tarmac, some fun with soft ground and storing aircraft in the now empty ex-Qantas hangars.
     
  • 1:09:47 – Steve wraps up the episode
ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

PCDU Episode 74: Kiwi User Fees … and other issues

We’re joined by our mate Dan Morris from New Zealand to discuss some news from the Land of the Long White Cloud. Topics include:

  • Air Traffic Control in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, especially the problems they encountered due to centralising all area controllers in one location
  • How user fees in New Zealand have lead funding being removed for weather briefing service: pilots must now pay an annual fee to access the weather service
  • What the Air NZ Aviation Academy and student loan funding by the New Zealand government (which remains interest free if you stay in NZ) mean for flight training in NZ
  • Air New Zealand’s latest earnings report
  • The rapidly approaching Flair 2011 industry innovation showcase & airshow
  • The Will it Fly project that is working to produce a replica of the Pearse Flyer from 1903 with updates on the Will It Fly Facebook page

Brentword's LogoNext up, Steve travels back to his old high school to discover that it’s a lot better than when he was there (and NOT just because his class photo has been hidden :) Thanks to Chris Barry at Brentwood Secondary College and our friends at Aus Air Services, kids at the school have the opportunity to learn to fly as part of their studies. Steve chats with Chris, Angelina from Aus Air Services and some of the kids about this fantastic project.

Our final interview in this episode is a quick chat with Mark Pracy Sr from JetRide Australia and Pracy Racing as he gets ready to head to the 2011 Reno Air Races to fly his L39 low, fast & turning left. We discuss what it’s like to fly the course and how he’s going about keeping himself ready for it.

We wrap up the episode with a quick chat about Dale Watson’s Tiger Airways song on YouTube (thanks to Chris Fenlon for pointing us at it) and the fact that Tiger Airways are back flying, albeit at a reduced level. We also discuss how Crawford Rix was replaced by Tony Davis who is, in turn, leaving the airline shortly after working hard to bring it back from the brink.

Finally, we have some shoutouts, including:

  • Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio show is currently in the Mayo clinic under going chemotherapy to fight Leukemia – good luck & get well quick, mate!
  • Zyola T Mix from the Mile High Flyers has spun off her own project, a podcast about women pilots called The BoXXoffice
  • The Uncontrolled Airspace podcast has just celebrated its five year anniversary on August 23rd! Woo hoo! Go guys! Congrats to Jack, Jeb & Dave!
  • There’s a new aviation podcast with us from Canada called Cleared Enroute with hosts Danny Vacar & Chris Johnson (on Twitter as clearedenroute)
  • Jamie Dodson who writes the Nick Grant Adventures novels and sent us a couple of copies

NOTE: You can find Dan Morris on Twitter as TheGrandVizier, on Facebook and at his blog which mixes aviation & coffee in copious quantities.

PCDU Episode 68: Flyabout to Memory Lane

We open this episode having a chat with James Williams of the LifeStyle PodNetwork, Australia’s global podcast network. We are very happy to announce that we’ve been invited to join and we talk with James about the network, why they invited us to join and what it means to be a part of their community of podcasters.

We then transition to a chat with Monika Petrillo and Elliott Schiffman who came to Australia in the late 90’s to fly around the country as part of a one month air safari with Mal Shipton’s GOANA (Great Outback Air Navigation Adventure) Australian Air Safaris. After returning to the USA, Monika spent a number of years producing the movie FlyAbout, a documentary film based on her adventures during the air safari.

You may also have heard Monika on other podcasts such as The Pilot’s Flight Podlog, The New Pilot Podblog and the Mile High Flyers. Each of these podcasts have chatted with Monika and presented their own unique approach to her movie & her story.

Who are we to be different, then? :)

In chatting with Monika & Elliot we touch on the following aspects of their adventure:

  • What it was like for Monika to edit & produce the movie
  • Why did they come to Australia for this adventure?
  • Monika’s learning to fly & then flying on the safari with her father, an even more inexperienced pilot
  • Elliott’s background in flying
  • Getting to know each other while on safari
  • What it was it like flying in the Australian outback without needing radios, having the freedom to deviate from track and so on
  • The scenery they encountered and experiences with the locals as they travelled around
  • How have the others from the safari gone since their big adventure?
  • Comparing Australia’s aviation culture with that of the USA
  • Dealing with certification, maintenance, paperwork
  • A side track into ballooning (gee, thanks Grant :)
  • The non flying activities they got up to during the safari
  • What flying they’re currently doing
  • Elliott’s involvement with Bonanzas to Oshkosh, the mass arrival of 100+ Bonanzas at Oshkosh

Following our chat with Monika and Elliott, we introduce Don McLean, an air traffic controller from New Zealand who also happens to be Grant’s 2nd cousin. Like Grant’s father, Don went through the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) flying P3 Orions then went on to Bristol Freighters before winding up in a desk job at which point he decided to leave. From there he started working as an Air Traffic Controller at Ardmore near Auckland before moving to Auckland International Airport and then on to Hong Kong. After many years working in Hong Kong he returned to New Zealand where he worked at Palmerston North airport before moving to Hamilton where he’s currently working in the tower.

In addition to a discussion of Don’s career, our chat includes:

  • Oceanic Control
  • ADSB in New Zealand
  • Working the old school radar equipment
  • What it was like working in Hong Kong – especially Kai Tak
  • How airspace is structured in New Zealand
  • The GAAP to Class D transition here in Australia
  • Radar coverage of New Zealand airspace
  • The process of centralisation in Christchurch and whether Auckland could provide a good fall back position

We then wrap up the episode with a chat about Grant & Bas joining the Bonanzas to Oshkosh group for a rather stylish arrival while they’re over there. We then get some great listener mail from Mark Fraser in Canada who has a great story about an early flying experience in his life. Finally, Steve gives Grant a Shout Out for editing the interviews then another to Glen Philp from Steve’s CFA past who recently contacted us via the podcast.

Music supplied from the royalty free production music at JewelBeat.