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 127: From the Vault

We’ve gone back into our archives to pull out some great content that we never got around to releasing before. We have some more interviews from Avalon 2015 (yes, we recorded lots didn’t we? :) ) and we also have WGCDR Tim Alsop (now a GPCAPT :) ) walking us through planning & implementing an F-18 Hornet handling display and doing a pre-flight walk-around.

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127


Thanks to the heroic efforts of Maikha (the king of the aviation selfie stick), the collection of content has been edited and put together ready for Steve to finalise and Grant to make the show notes. Send your thanks his way for having the time & energy to get it put together :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 00:01:29 – Steve & Grant take a break from Steve’s daughter’s birthday to introduce the episode.
     
  • Avalon Coverage:
    • 00:06:54 – Grant talks to SQNLDR Adrian about flying the PC-9 in the Forward Air Control role.
       
    • 00:16:48 – Maikha catches up with Dave Wheatland from Mahindra about the GA10.
       
    • 00:27:29 – Mike Seers from Northrop Grumman describes how the Triton UAS is providing Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).
       
    • 00:32:42 – Maikha speaks to three dedicated Mission Aviation Fellowship volunteers, long serving MAF Pilot Ron Watts, State MAF Advocate and retired MAF Pilot Max Chapman and MAF Promotional volunteer Daniel Prowse.
       
    • 00:48:14 – CMDR James Walker of the US Navy talks about the upgraded Fire Scout UAS which is produced using the Bell Long Ranger helicopter.
       
    • 00:56:38 – FLGOFF Moles talks to Grant about being a load master on the RAAF C-17.
       
    • 01:00:58 – Grant discusses flying the RAAF C-17 with FLTLT Marshall.
       
    • 01:06:49 – Maikha speaks to members of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) during their visit to Avalon 2015, starting with JASDF Staff Sergeant Yoshi Uesugi (translated by Public Relations officer Major Shigenari Tomioka) regarding the JASDF’s travelling Taiko Drums band, followed by an interview with Lieutenant Colonel Takahiro Seki, the Pilot In Command of the visiting JASDF KC-767 and also the Commander of 404th Squadron from Komaki Air Force Base in Japan.
       
  • RAAF F18 Handling Display Interviews:
    • 01:15:17 – WGCDR Tim ‘Slops’ Alsop discusses his flying career from learning to fly at Tyabb and Moorabbin to his current role as CO 3SQN.
       
    • 01:38:21 – WGCDR Tim Alsop discusses the planning and performance of the RAAF F-18 Handling Display performed for the Tyabb Air Show 2014.
       
    • 02:06:19 – Grant catches up with FLGOFF Michael ‘Newbs’ Newby to discuss his flying background and career to date the with RAAF.
       
    • 02:14:47 – WGCDR Tim Alsop walks us through an F-18 Hornet preflight.
       
  • 02:26:14 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode.

PCDU Episode 121: Exercise Pitch Black 2014

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

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 –
    GPCAPT "Micka" Gray - Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    Grant’s coverage of 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 –
      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
       
    • 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 –
      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
       
    • 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

RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking's F4U-5N Corsair

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair


CHC's Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter

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)

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)