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

Joining the 787 DreamTour in Melbourne

Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime

At the invitation of Qantas & Jetstar, we spent some time today exploring the 787 ZA003 with its demonstration customer interior. The aircraft is visiting Australia & New Zealand as part of the DreamTour and today’s leg brought it to Melbourne.

In addition to getting to walk around & through the aircraft, we had some time to enjoy the cockpit, record a great interview with Captain Todd Abraham from Boeing and also have some casual chats with a few of the Boeing Flight Test Engineers who were on the tour.

It was a great experience and we’d like to thank Boeing, Qantas & Jetstar for helping to make it happen.

Steve & Grant on the Flight Deck of 787 ZA003

You can see all the photos we took today in our PCDU Flickr Stream.

We’ll be releasing our chat with Todd in our next episode. Watch this space :)

Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime

PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

In this episode we join noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands from Plane Talking to review the latest news & information. When we called Ben, he was experiencing a heat wave of 11 degrees Celsius at his home in the mountains near Canberra. Meanwhile, here in Melbourne we were thinking winter was upon us as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees Celsius. Four degrees of separation but a very different pair of perspectives on cold vs hot.

Fortunately, we were all spot on with our news analysis, including such topics as:

  • Use of composites in airliners and the indications that it won’t really be effective for another 10 to 20 years
  • QANTAS still claiming that they’re going to get their 787-9s on a date that would be before Air New Zealand (the launch customer) despite Boeing making a statement contradicting this
  • The changes that are afoot with the Virgin Blue group being under new leadership:
    • Brett Godfrey’s farewell bash
    • John Borghetti not getting the top job at QANTAS but, perhaps, getting something better with running Virgin Blue
    • Fleet choices and the possibility that they’ll get A330s or B767s, especially on high density routes like Sydney to Melbourne
    • The likelihood that they’ll rebrand the group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue) under a single name
  • Singapore Airlines having veto rights over the name Virgin for any new international airline
  • Tiger Airways recording a profit and becoming more of a stable, solid threat in the market
  • Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese wanting to restrict cockpit access to only the two pilots flying and any check pilots or safety reviewers
  • The F35 and how Australia seems to be one of the few countries NOT getting upset about all the delays and problems

After chatting with Ben, we have an interview with James Baldwin & Glen Somerville from EmptyJets, an organisation that gives you the chance to get rides in charter aircraft that would otherwise be flying empty on positioning flights. From helicopters to Gulfstream Vs, they’re all on the list and well worth checking out.

After that we dive into the mail bag where:

  • Matt McCabe compares the cost of learning to fly here in Australia against the USA
  • Errol Cavit enjoyed the Red Bull show and will be catching up with us when he comes over from New Zealand (for a Sci Fi convention, no less)
  • Vince Bezzina who volunteers at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook was checking if we knew about the DC6 coming to Australia from South Africa. Oh yes, do we ever!

We also have a couple of shout outs to:

  • Damien Rose who is now a private pilot and on his way to a commercial license (and speaking of the cost of learning – Damien sold his house to fund all this! He must have a VERY understanding wife, that’s for sure :)
  • Steve Cooke from the Flying Podcast in the UK has released his latest episode on a topic that’s very important for Grant: ballooning