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 110: A Basket Full of Flight

Grant & Kathy are basket cases

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:
    • Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      How Kreisha got into flying, especially her first solo
    • 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
     
  • Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    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!
     
  • 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
       
  • Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    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 contact@planecrazydownunder.com will win a copy of Owen’s “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
     
  • 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!” :) :)
       
  • Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    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
     
  • 2:24:07 – Shout Outs:
  • Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    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?
     
  • 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 :)

PCDU Episode 101: Avalon 2013 – Day One

Steve & Grant with Matt Hall at Avalon 2013It’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

PCDU Episode 98: Farewell 2012

Dan O'Donnell & Grant getting ready to go fly Matt Hall's Extra 300As 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.

PCDU Episode 91: New Horizons

Give Way to Balloons

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:

  • 0:09:07 – Anthony Crichton-Browne & Bas Scheffers join Steve to discuss iPad aviation apps & their increased useage in cockpits (both small ones & large ones)
  • 0:36:10 – Having discussed apps in general, Bas then spends some time answering a number of OzRunways questions that Anthony had for him
  • 0:43:50 – Pieter Johnson presents From Up Here to Down There #4 with his interviews with Mark McNamara from GippsAero and Mark Shearer from Ferra Engineering on the Team Australia stand at Farnborough 2012

    Remember, if you’ve not checked out Pieter’s own podcast (Aviation Xtended) then you really should do so!

  • 0:55:04 – Steve & Bas chat with Peter Gibson from CASA about the new, easier to obtain (& cheaper) Class 2 fixed wing pilot medical that allows you to use a General Practitioner & be assessed like a standard drivers’ license (with a few extra checks). Of course, there are some restrictions such as: single engine piston, < 1,500kg MTOW, only 1 passenger, below 10,000' & no aerobatics
  • 1:10:13 – Andrew Rankin, Steve McCann & Jennifer Palmer join us from Aviation Australia to discuss their aviation training courses (Flight Attendants and Engineers) and their Aviation Careers Expo
  • 1:30:20 – Grant interviews Alan Joyce (no, really!!!!) about the Qantas experience, areas the company should focus on and flying hot air balloons
  • 1:34:15 – Steve & Grant review the show’s content, including the Class 2 Medical changes coming out just ONE DAY after Grant completed his expensive “old school” Class 2 assessment. DOH!
  • 1:39:00 – We’re going to AusFly in mid-September with the mobile studio and some new gear (watch this space :)
  • 1:40:32 – We got an email from Greg Leversher who shares his views on & experiences with aircraft ownership
  • 1:44:24 – Steven Pam sent in his thoughts on Episode 90 in a voice mail via our new Speakpipe system. You can access our Speakpipe system from our home page & our Facebook page.

Notes:
* Episode introduction by Andrea Crook from Scripts & Voices

PCDU Episode 78: Tim Smith: Flying Saved My Life

Many people in Australia know of Tim Smith, a Melbourne comedian who’s worked on television and in radio for years. What many people don’t know is that Tim is a pilot who is working towards his goal of running charter operations taking people around Australia, visiting places many folks have never heard of let alone visited.

We were fortunate enough to get some time chatting with Tim in one of the briefing rooms at Moorabbin Flying Services where we had a great time talking about a variety of topics, including:

  • The number of people in radio who have their pilots license
  • The difficulties of juggling radio work with learning to fly & the challenge of time management
  • What influenced him to become a pilot
  • How flying saved his life
  • Amusing flying stories about instructors, examiners and experiences
  • Aircraft he’s flown and ratings he has, including a great look at glass cockpits vs steam gauge
  • His interest in flying people around Australia on charter work, going to places like Fraser Island, Daly Waters, Alice Springs, Darwin, Birdsville, etc
  • How he’s often doing lots of exploring from the air & going to out of the way places & experiencing the outback scenery & friendliness
  • Aviation TV shows in Australia
  • The impact of government legislation and ideas to get more people flying
  • Flying in New Zealand

It’s a great chat and we’re very happy that Tim was able to give us so much of his time on the AFL Grand Final day (when almost the whole of Victoria and most of the rest of Australia stop to watch football).

You can find Tim online at:

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

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 69: Carbonated

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 :)

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 62: Advertising Advocacy

Aviation in Australia is experiencing a difficult time and General Aviation is especially being hit hard. User fees are continuing to increase, rules are being changed and airports are being shutdown or reduced in size due to encroachment by non-aviation construction. We’re joined in this episode by Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser to discuss these issues, highlight the need for people to take action and discuss what those actions might be. Ben’s certainly not holding back as the stakes are too high to be diplomatic.

We also have some other great chats in this show, including:

  • Steve Ahrens talking about the upcoming Barossa Airshow (May 1st, 2011)
  • A chat with the crew of an RAAF Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft that we recorded back at Avalon Airshow
  • A collection of quick chats with some RA-Aus pilots at Avalon, including:
    • Peter Harlow from Foxbat Australia
    • John Callahan with his Typhoon Glider
    • Peter Kane with his Kitfox
  • Ben Morgan then rejoins us to discuss the state of the second hand aircraft market in Australia and a couple of the aircraft available for sale on Aviation Advertiser