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 128: Unprecedented

From Grant’s collection of ballooning interviews to a chat with Owen Zupp about his latest book and our tribute to Hannes Arch, this episode is our biggest yet (yes, even bigger than Episode 51, our tribute to the RAAF’s F-111s!). We’ve even captured Anthony “The Infrequent Flyer” Simmons’ first ever viewing of the movie TopGun (in IMAX 3D no less :) ).

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 00:00:00 – Our tribute to Hannes Arch, the Red Bull Air Race champion pilot who tragically died in a helicopter crash in September, 2016.
     
  • 00:04:54 – Show start & introduction.
     
  • 00:14:12 – We talk with Owen Zupp about his new book: Without Precedent. It’s the biography of his father that covers his time as a commando in World War 2, flying Meteors during the Korean War, flying Constellations with QANTAS and later flying in General Aviation. It’s a fantastic read and highly recommended.
    We started by discussing Steve’s recent Tiger Moth flight with Vintage Airways at Lilydale and how much fun he had finally flying an aircraft he swore he’d never go in.
     
  • 01:05:22 – Grant talked with Phil Kavanagh back in 2013 about the early days of sport ballooning in Australia in the 60’s & 70’s, manufacturing balloons in Australia, teaching themselves to fly, setting up Kavanagh Balloons, sourcing materials, new developments and the future of ballooning technology.
     
  • 01:27:09 – After talking to Phil, Grant caught up with Sean Kavanagh about his career in aviation ranging from being an aircraft engineer with QANTAS through to flying & making hot air balloons. Sean has flown in competitions and also been a commercial pilot flying at various locations around Australia, including the challenging city of Melbourne. In 2013 Sean was designing new balloons and burners for the company, including producing the inevitable paperwork and dealing with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). We also discuss in some detail the effort that has gone into designing the new Series IV Crossfire burner.
     
  • 01:52:50 –
    Owen Zupp's "Without Precedent"

    Owen Zupp’s “Without Precedent”

    John Wallington is the Flight Director of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, an annual event which has been running since the 80’s. He talked with Grant in 2015 about the experience of flying over Canberra and keeping the flying side of the event running smoothly and safely.
     
  • 01:55:37 – Don Whitford is the meteorologist of choice for ballooning events in Australia and he spoke with Grant about his career of more than 40 years in aviation weather forecasting. They also talk about the impacts of the changing weather patterns that are being experienced recently.
     
  • 02:05:06 – Frank Wechter was at Canberra flying the Angry Birds special shape balloon.
     
  • 02:06:53 – SQNLDR Damien Gilchrist used to be with the RNZAF flying Strikemasters, Macchi 339s and A-4 Skyhawks before transferring to the RAAF about fifteen years ago and in 2015 & 2016 was the primary pilot of the RAAF hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:10:33 – Richard Turnbull is back from the UK flying for commercial operators around Australia and returns to the show to briefly talk about what he’s been up to lately.
     
  • 02:12:56 – Grant chats with Ruth Wilson, Australia’s first female commercial hot air balloon pilot who has been flying balloons for over 40 years and also has a fixed wing license. She was also the first Australian hot air balloon champion and represented Australia at events around the world. They talk about flying over Canberra and being involved in the Women Fly It Forward event by taking young ladies for their first flights.
     
  • 02:17:01 – Grant flew with Kevin Cooper in his Thunder & Colt Chariot balloon which is essentially a two seat chair lift hanging under a small balloon that is a LOT of fun to fly. They also talk about his career flying balloons around the world and the experience of flying over Canberra.
     
  • 02:23:43 –
    Cameron's "UP" Balloon was designed to look like a collection of small helium balloons.

    Cameron’s “UP” Balloon was designed to look like a collection of small helium balloons.

    Jeff Vella is an ex-RAAF pilot who currently flies airliners for Cathay Pacific and is based out of Hong Kong. He’s also one of the pilots flying the RAAF hot air balloon as well as flying the Cathay Pacific hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:32:58 – Nick Purvis is the Sales Director of Cameron Balloons and he talks with Grant about the “UP” balloon on its “Up Down Under” tour and the new 250kg RAAF special shape balloon. They also talk about building special shape balloons including printing graphics on envelope, the interior gusseting & supports that help to keep the shape and the “dead air” that doesn’t contribute to lift but helps pressurise the shape of the balloon. Nick also gives us a quick history of the Cameron Balloon company.
     
  • 02:46:05 – SQNLDR Damien Gilchrist returns to talk about flying the new RAAF special shape hot air balloon.
     
  • 02:49:24 – Grant, Ms Kitt and Steven Pam took Anthony “the Infrequent Flyer” Simmons to see TopGun in 3D at the giant IMAX cinema in Melbourne. They chat about their expectations before going into the cinema and then perform a debrief after the movie. We’ve got the need, the need for speed! Oh my!
     
  • 03:04:06 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode and discuss Grant’s recent commentary at the Wings Over Macleay air show at Kempsey in New South Wales plus the upcoming Angel Flight charity event at Lake Macquarie on November 6th with Matt Hall, OzRunways and AOPA. Steve will be MC for the event and Steven Pam will be there shooting stills and video.
    The boys also discuss how Steve’s trying to get used to flying a Cessna with a glass cockpit along with how Steve recently dobbed Kathy Mexted in as a guest host for the Plane Talking UK show. Finally, Grant’s getting his notes ready to do the commentary for OzKosh at Narromine. It’s all go especially as Steve’s getting ready to move into a new house that’s almost finished being built and will include a cool new studio for future recording.
Kevin Cooper about to take a friend for a flight in his Chariot.

Kevin Cooper about to take a friend for a flight in his Chariot.

Angry Birds with the Dodo balloon

Angry Birds with the Dodo balloon

Ruth Wilson took two young ladies up for their first flights as part of Women Fly it Forward.

Ruth Wilson took two young ladies up for their first flights as part of Women Fly it Forward.

The new RAAF "Flying Helmet" special shape hot air balloon

The new RAAF “Flying Helmet” special shape hot air balloon

PCDU Episode 93: Positive Moves

After three years of lamenting the hassles involved in getting to the West Coast of Australia to report on aviation happenings wwwaaayyy over there on the other side of the big empty, we’ve finally done something about it: we’ve set up a PCDU-WestCoast office and found someone just as aviation-crazy as we are to run it :)

In this episode we introduce Ben Jones who is based in West Australia and has a long and fascinating history of aviation. Clearly it’s in his blood as most of his family are into aviation while Ben himself is a pilot, home builder, member of the RAAF reserve and much much more. He’s even started a blog called WA Aviator to record his aviation activities ‘over there.’

There’s more to the episode than introducing Ben, however, and here’s what you’ll find in it:

  • 0:02:29 – We bring Ben in & start chatting about his background in aviation, the aviation scene in West Australia and his current projects.
     
  • 0:26:58 – We chat with Sussan Ley, Federal Member for Farrer, Commercial Pilot and one of the two people responsible for starting the “Friends of Aviation” group in Federal Parliament. With only a half hour window to chat with Sussan, we had to jump through a number of subjects in only a short time. Hopefully we can return to chat again with Sussan in the near future as it sounds like there are plenty of additional stories for us to listen to as well as updates on progress with Friends of Aviation group :)
     
  • 0:53:02 – Mark Pracy from JetRide Australia and Pracy Racing joins us to talk about their preparation for the Reno Air Races this year. We discuss the Galloping Ghost crash, the changes made to address the issues it raised and Mark’s training & preparation techniques.
     
  • 1:11:04 – David Brown from the Sport Aviation Association of Australia chats with Steve about the AusFly event being held at Narromine over September 14th to 16th.

We also have a very special announcement about AusFly: We’ve been invited to attend and provide commentary, narration and general radio services during the show. We’ll be there with a PA system, low powered FM transmitter and a live-stream to the Internet via LiveATC and our MyRadioStream link. Check it out at:

Finally, at 1:24:13 we have a few shout outs to cover:

  • Richard Pollard (the voice of the JetRide ads) is heading back to New Zealand to start a new chapter in his life.
     
  • Andrea Crook (our awesome voice-over lady) is launching her own podcast network: the Waffle Network
     
  • Steve gives HUGE thanks to Gary Mac for helping him with some voice-over training during the past couple of months. Check out Steve’s even more dulcet tones, folks! :)
     
  • Well done to the Airplane Geeks for getting sponsorship from AOPA
     
  • If you’re in West Australia, check out the Sport Builders Club of WA who are holding their annual fly-in on September 30th at Serpentine Airfield, which also happens to be right about the same time as the WestFly event
     
  • Thanks to JetRide Australia and OzRunways for renewing their sponsorship of our show!

PCDU Episode 87: Wings Over Illawarra 2012

HARS Connie flying at Wings Over Illawarra 2012The Great PCDU Road Trip of 2012 covered over 1,700km in the course of a single weekend. From late on Friday night to early on Monday morning, Steve, Grant & Allan drove from Melbourne up to Wollongong (just south of Sydney) to attend the Wings Over Illawarra 2012 air show. Firmly ensconced in the Southern Biplanes hangar with a great view of the show unfolding beyond “Lilly Warra” (their big red Boeing Stearman), the mobile studio was set up (thanks Allan! :) allowing Steve, Grant & Anthony Crichton-Browne to record stacks of great content.

Most of that content has wound up in this episode, although we have saved a couple of bits for later. For now, kick back & enjoy:

  • 0:03:19 – Flying Officer Daniel Kruger & Warrant Officer Brett Lewis from RAAF 37SQN talk about operating the C130J Hercules (& a bit about the C130H too)
  • 0:16:35 – Joel Haski (Red Baron) & Jeff Criddle (Combat Dragon) talk about flying the A37 Dragonfly to & from the show
  • 0:19:13 – Lieutenant Commander Todd Glynn & Lieutenant Rob McBeeth from the RAN walk us through their careers getting to the SH60B along with a few typical missions and the Kanimbla Blackhawk crash
  • 0:38:17 – Andrew Musgrove from Southern Biplanes talks about the company and the adventure flights they’re offering
  • 0:45:01 – Barry Sandry, Marketing Manager for NSW Air, talks about the Commercial Pilot training courses & charter/scenic flights they offer
  • 0:52:28 – Army Red Berets Parachute Jump Instructor Warrant Officer Adam Paris tells us what it’s like to become a paratrooper & get on the Red Berets demo team
  • 1:11:13 – Chris Clark, chief pilot for Southern Biplanes, tells us how he got into flying, why they got a Boeing Stearman (and where they found it) and what’s involved in their barnstorming adventures in rural NSW
  • 1:18:37 – Harry Mitchell from Australian Aerial Patrol talks about their history and current fleet
  • 1:28:34 – James Gray, Officer Commanding of the Australian Air League‘s Albion Park Unit (and brother of Dave Gray from the Lifestyle PodNetwork :) runs us through the benefits & goals of the AAL

Finally, at 1:40:07, we start to wrap up the episode with a series of big “Thank You’s” to:

  • Southern Biplanes for the use of their facility during the day
  • Owen Zupp for letting us take a break at his place on the way to Wollongong (ace hot cross buns, mate! :)
  • The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) for putting on such a fantastic event and also giving us full access to the show (thanks to Russell Field for the safety walk around & the parking permit :)
  • Josh Masterton for his help on the weekend
  • Allan Van’t Padge for his fantastic support as PCDU Roadie & for riding shotgun the whole way up & back. We couldn’t have done half as well without you, mate! :)

Lilly Warra, Southern Biplane's Boeing Stearman

Southern Biplane's Stearman

With luck, we’ll recover in a few weeks and be ready for the next epic journey, but for now, we’re already working on the next couple of episodes :)

Notes:
* Cover art image courtesy of Cameron Hines

PCDU Episode 75: Talking Aerobatics with Anthony Crichton-Browne

Today we’re joined by Anthony Crichton-Browne, a commercial airline pilot who also likes to take his Pitts Special out for a spin (and a few other fun manoeuvres :) In addition to chatting with Anthony, we also run a chat with Grant Piper (President of the Australian Aerobatic Club) about Australia’s recent involvement in the World Aerobatic Championship, discuss aerobatics in general and also have a chat about the recent horrific tragedy at Reno Air Races where the highly modified P51 “Galloping Ghost” lost control and plowed into specators.

We start off by hanging out with Anthony and talking about his career in aviation and more, including:

  • He has an older brother who’s also a pilot
  • He’s from Western Australia, learning to fly at Jandakot in Perth
  • He did the usual hour building & quickly found himself in a Cessna 310 then on to First Officer on a Brasillia before stepping up to Second Officer on 747-400, after which he proceeded to his current gig as First Officer on a 767
  • Anthony started flying aerobatics with friends and also scored a flight with Matt Hall
  • His aerobatic training really kicked in with a Pitts and he now has his own Pitts
  • We talk about G-Tolerance, G-LOC and beating the effects of high-G manoeuvres
  • We discuss the recent tragic accident at the Reno Air Races, including the NTSB’s preliminary report & talk further the effects of pulling-G’s
  • A discussion about stalls that leads into how advanced training really helps dispel some of the many myths, how the stall stick position works and standard GFPT training vs advanced training by groups like Red Baron in Sydney (Hi Joel! :)

You can find Anthony on his Flying Ant Online website as well as following him on Twitter where he’s known as AntCB.

We then move into the interview that Steve & Anthony recorded with Grant Piper, the President of the Australian Aerobatics Club, featuring:

  • An overview of aerobatic manoeuvre’s
  • How aerobatic competitions are managed & scored
  • Australia’s return to the World Aerobatic Championship
  • How to improve the standard in Australia with coaching by current champs
  • Grant’s career in aviation including his start in the RAAF
  • The benefits of including aeros in primary training

We then return to a chat with Anthony about:

  • The challenges of flying competition aerobatics
  • Standard aerobatic figures (loop, cuban-8, etc)
  • How scoring each manoeuvre starts at 10 points then deducts points for any errors
  • How it all has to look right from the ground
  • The issues in dealing with wind & power
  • What is the aerobatic box
  • Types of propeller blades and their benefits (blade numbers, sizes, etc)

Finally we start to wrap it up with some listener mail:

  • Ian Allen from New Zealand sent us some great ideas for more Kiwi Content
  • Errol Cavit points us at a possible Kiwi aviation podcast
  • Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and our forums on Downwind

We then wind up with some shout outs:

PCDU Episode 24: Misuse of Accents

Despite the annoying habit of our “day jobs” and families encroaching into our PCDU time, we’ve finally managed to get some time to record an episode. Steve even managed a marathon effort of post production to edit a coherent episode from our opinionated news discussion and an interview with Saj Ahmad. Go Steve! :)

Despite my best efforts to drone on endlessly, Steve’s also managed to keep the episode under 2 hours, but not by much. Hopefully this will give you heaps of fun listening as you travel to & from work, mow the lawns or do your household chores :)

Here’s how the show came together this time:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 21: London Calling

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

For the majority of our listeners it’s warm and getting warmer down here in the Southern Summer with Christmas just around the corner. Not so in London where it’s bleak and somewhat miserable (and that’s the economy, let alone the weather). Saj Ahmad from FleetBuzz Editorial is based in London and recently returned from the scorching skies of Dubai where he’d been attending the Dubai Airshow 2009. Saj generously took some time away from his family to record with us last Sunday (morning his time, evening our time), trying not to look out the window at the winter weather while we discussed the warmth Melbourne was experiencing. The discussion covers the Dubai Airshow, Middle East airlines and their flights to Australia, aircraft orders and the (then) pending first flight of the 787. It’s an enlightening chat and we’ll be sure to have Saj on again early in the new year.

In addition to our chat with Saj, we also recorded some news items to round out the episode. We actually recorded these on the same day the 787 flew and, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, have spliced it all together into a single show. Neat, hey! :)

Topics in this episode include:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 15: And now for something completely different, here is the news

We’re back to being our opiniated selves with a backlog of news stories to work through and discuss. Once again Bas Scheffers joins us for some of the news and to discuss a number of RA-Aus items. From Beavers to Tigers and even Kiwi Skyhawks doing battle with bureaucracy, we cover a diverse range of topics including:

As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).