Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:27:18 — 101.8MB)
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
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 –
Grant’s coverage of Exercise Pitch Black 2014
GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding 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 –
WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport
- 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 –
Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin
- 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
Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair
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)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:38:38 — 109.3MB)
Grant about to take Kathy flying in a hot air balloon
All good things take time & so do our episodes, with this one taking perhaps the longest to produce of any of them. It’s also packed full of great content covering magazine editors, wing walkers, AOPA, another give-away competition, antique aircraft, solo trips around the world & even hot air balloons. Make use of the pause button where you need to but be sure to listen right through to the very end of the episode for another set of classic “Kathy Mexted Bloopers” :)
This episode is indeed a basket full of flight & it unfolds as:
- 0:03:30 – We chat with Kathy Mexted about her father, Pat Whitty, who passed away recently. She mentions his influence on her flying and their flights in VH-MAU, a 1978 Piper Warrior
- 0:11:35 – Kathy joins with us to chat with Kreisha Ballantyne-Dickes, the Publications Editor at AOPA Australia and their Australian Pilot magazine. She also has her own blog (Girl with a Stick) and we chatted about a number of topics including:
How Kreisha got into flying, especially her first solo
Pat Whitty with VH-MAU
- Her love of Bonanzas
- Avalon 2013 & why people don’t fly
- Kreisha’s career in writing and becoming editor of the Australian Pilot magazine
- Wingwalking with the Breitling team on the top of their Stearman
- Working with AOPA, their efforts to get more people flying, the benefits of being a member, the “new approach” of AOPA and Andrew Andersen’s open letter to everyone involved in General Aviation
- Getting involved with CASA’s regulation changes
- 0:50:32 – Maikha Ly went to the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia’s annual fly-in at Echuca and recorded some great content for us. You can find the photos he took on his Echuca Flickr collection
- 1:34:48 – Steve chats with Ryan Campbell two days prior to starting his TeenWorldFlight adventure
1:45:52 – Grant recently took Kathy for a balloon flight over Bacchus Marsh while listener Evan Schoo tagged along with the ground crew & got some great photos of the flight. During the flight, Grant & Kathy recorded a quick in-flight chat that we listen to here, after which, Steve asks Kathy just how the flight really went!
Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330
- 2:14:30 – We announce the winners of our first 50 Tales of Flight eBook give-away competition:
- Gary Clarkson
- Will Coleman
- Darren Eastwood
- Brad Rule
- Mitchell Royal
- Graham Slingsby
- Trent Stewart
- Lahra Warry
2:15:34 – We have another give-away this episode with Owen Zupp‘s second (& trickier!) question about famous Australian aviators. The first five (5) people to email us the correct answer at email@example.com will win a copy of Owen’s “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking
- 2:17:47 – Listener Mail:
- SoapyHB noted that the Concorde prototype was in Melbourne in 1972 while British Airways ran some proving flights in 1975 with a production aircraft. He also really enjoyed our Avalon 2013 coverage and admits to being a real fan of Anthony’s The View from the Lounge segments. Finally, he wonders how we manage to do all this and yet still stay married … yup, so do we! :)
- Justin Sarda sent us through a link to a beautiful set of HD cockpit photos
- Mick (aka Bom1) sent through some great comments on lap belts in aircraft having the potential to cause severe abdominal & spinal injuries in a crash (note: rather topical given the reports of similar injuries in survivors of the Asiana crash at San Francisco)
- Brian Grinter sent through a link to photos of Peter Jackson’s Lancaster that will be used for his remake of The Dam Busters. As Brian says: “It’s not your average Airfix kit!” :) :)
2:22:49 – Kathy mentioned that Col Griffin (ex RAAF Mosquito pilot) recently passed away. We interviewed Col back in Episode 61 (The Great Pilgrimage) and you can read more about him in Kathy’s articles in Australian Flying and Outback Mag
Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans
- 2:24:07 – Shout Outs:
2:26:39 – We’ve been hearing from many people about issues at RA-Aus and are considering producing a show dedicated to the topic. Do you have any recommendations for people & issues you’d like to have covered in such an episode?
Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace
- 2:29:09 – We’re now producing a weekly 1 hour radio show for Kinglake Ranges Radio, a local community radio station. You can tune in at 9am on Saturday’s (Melbourne time) via 94.5FM or via their livestream feed
As noted, the Kathy Mexted driven bloopers can be found at 2:34:25 – definitely worth checking out :)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:50 — 30.8MB)
It’s been a good start to the Avalon 2013 Airshow with Team PCDU recording a few interviews and setting up their schedule for the rest of the week. For our first day’s coverage we present:
- Grant talks with John McCormick (Director of Flight Safety at CASA) about his military & airline experience, flying his Yak50 and how that all links into managing CASA.
- Steven Pam talks to Mal Hurman about the Eclipse 500 at the Air Show, and to Heath Okely from Airflite about the new Eclipse 550 they are marketing.
- Matt Hall talks to Grant about his Avalon 2013 display routine
- Timbo’s Tarmac
- In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:59:52 — 82.6MB)
As 2012 draws to a close come & spend a bit of time with Steve, Grant, Bas & ATC Ben as they wrap up the year with some new content, some discussions and a bit of fun. It’s another long episode but we think it’s a pretty good way to send out the year :)
The episode unfolds as:
- 0:03:30 – We discuss issues CASA are having with RA-Aus that has seen a number of LSA grounded due to administrative issues, one of which was Bas’ own aircraft
- 0:21:35 – An update on the fight to save Aldinga Aerodrome
- 0:29:10 – An interview Steve & Grant recorded with Brian & Rick from Commando Skydivers at the recent Tooradin Aviation Day
- 0:40:33 – a chat we recorded with Dan O’Donnell (RAAF F18 pilot who also flies with Matt Hall Racing) and Angie Morino (from Aus Air Services)
- 0:57:42 – Anthony Simmons returns at last with The View From The Lounge #13: The Phantom Dolmades Roller
- 1:03:14 – Steven Pam has sent us a Christmas Greeting
- 1:04:54 – Steve, Grant, Bas & ATC_Ben discuss the View from the Lounge and Top Gun
- NOTE: The Collective View From The Lounge is a compilation audio CD featuring 14 TVFTL segments that you can package for AUS$7.50 (posted within Australia) or AUS$12.50 (posted internationally). It’s a great collection of Anthony Simmons at his best & makes for a lot of enjoyable listening. You can purchase it by using our “Donate” button to send through your $$$ & note that you’re buying a copy in the “Purpose” message box. We can sort out your address via emails once the order is in :)
- 1:07:17 – Bas talks about the latest updates to the OzRunways app and gives us his response to the “OzRunways for Android” lobby on Facebook
- 1:16:51 – ATC_Ben talks about becoming an On Job Trainer Instructor in the ATC world
- 1:21:34 – CASA have introduced a Notice of Final Rule Making regarding the use of EFBs in Australian skies (PDF) – and the news is good, according to Bas
- 1:32:12 – Tech in the cockpit comes up along with the inevitable IOS vs Android vs Windows 8 with Bas in the Blue Corner and Grant in the Red Corner. DING!!!!
- 1:33:16 – Ben Jones sends us a Christmas greeting
- 1:33:39 – Damien Rose also sends us a Christmas greeting
- 1:25:12 – We spend some time reviewing the highlights of 2012, including:
- Grant got his balloon license
- ATC_Ben went to the USA and Oshkosh 2012
- Steve got a C130 ride over Sydney
- Bas changed his work and lifestyle to focus on OzRunways, allowing him to work for himself and move to a property where he’s setting up a runway on the front yard (now, where have we heard *that* phrase before? :) )
- 1:43:49 – We look forward to 2013 and talk a little about our Avalon 2013 plans and how we’re always up for new sponsors for our Avalon coverage
- 1:50:13 – We give shout-outs to those who have helped us over 2012, including:
- Sponsors & Advertisers: JetRide Australia, OzRunways, , AvSoft & Adventure Wings
- Those who helped make AusFly such a success: QBE Insurance, Aero Refuellers & Narromine Shire Council
- Courtney Miller & Max Flight for inspiring PCDU
- Cathey Visscher & Kitt Loughman for their on-going support behind the scenes and their endless roles as “podcast widows”
- Of course, a big thanks goes out to our audience for doing us the honour of listening to our programme, supporting it, interacting with us and much much more
With 2013 practically on top of us, we’re going to enjoy some New Year celebrations and then get back to work on completing Episode 99 which covers the C130H retirement & is due out in late January.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:48:18 — 74.4MB)
Always give way to Balloons :)
After a number of years and the inevitable stumbling blocks that life throws at us, Grant has finally become a balloon pilot having completed his check flight up at Mildura just the other day. From how the final stages of solos & check flight unfolded to a comparison of “first solo” moments, Steve & Grant talk briefly about the realisation that a new license & $5 can now buy you a beer…
While Grant would no doubt like the entire episode to be about the new horizons he’s just opened up, there’s a lot more to this episode so we really should get into telling you about it:
* Episode introduction by Andrea Crook from Scripts & Voices
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (58.7MB)
Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser returns to join us in a discussion of current events in the Australian aviation scene. Following a quick intro, the first topic we discuss is the Carbon Tax our government is proposing to implement. We do try to keep the discussion coming back to the impacts this tax is likely to have on aviation but it’s a very hot topic and is certainly bringing out concerns for a number of people.
Once we get through the Carbon Tax and calm down a little, we move onto the sad state of affairs with Tiger Airways, currently grounded for failure to meet the requirements of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and a number of safety related issues. This is the first time CASA have grounded an all-jet airline and its timing was certainly drastic (right on the eve of the school holidays). We discuss the implications, some potential results and whether the Australian public will ever trust the airline again (very likely if there are cheap fares to be had).
Finally we discuss Aviation Advertiser’s sponsoring the PCDU Team in their “Up & Over to Oshkosh 2011” tour and the updates we’ll be providing on their website while we’re at Oshkosh.
After wrapping up our chat with Ben, we present another View From the Lounge segment, this time comparing public transport access to airports at Melbourne and various cities around the world. We then point listeners at Steve Price from Melbourne Talk Radio (MTR) having a great chat with astronaut Andy Thomas as well as similar coverage from the ABC StarStuff podcast.
Finally, we’d like to thank all the listeners who have donated to our “Up & Over to Oshkosh 2011” tour. We’ve had lots of suggestions for coverage and lots of donations that all help round out the support of our sponsors. Thanks to you we’ll be able to provide a more comprehensive coverage of Oshkosh 2011 than we could have if it were just Steve & Grant on site. Once again, we are amazed at the level of support we’ve received from our audience. You folks definitely make it all the hard work & late nights worthwhile :)
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (71.4MB)
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: