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 114: AusFly 2013 - Back Together Under One Sky

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

September 2013 rolled around and it was time for the second AusFly event at Narromine in New South Wales. Team PCDU squeezed into a bus that was loaded with Analog Al’s airshow PA system, our gear and a certain trade stand then drove over 800km in a day to get there. Whew!

Once there we cleared out the studio, set up the sound system & got ready to run AusFly Radio & do the air display commentary. We applied the lessons we learned from AusFly 2012 and, over the course of the event, wound up learning all new lessons so AusFly 2014 will be even better. We also recorded a stack of content and have packaged some of it up into this first AusFly 2013 episode. Even though it’s over 2 hours long, there’s still more yet to come but we’ll save that for later episodes.

For now, here’s the AusFly 2013 content we have for you in this episode:

  • 0:02:13 – Ben Jones joins us for a recap of AusFly 2013 with David Brown from the SAAA.
     
  • 0:09:32 – Rob Fisher from Superior Air Parts covers the aviation components & parts they’re able to supply
     
  • 0:15:01 – Anton Meier from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand talks about the Triton Sport, a derivation of the Sport Cruiser
     
  • 0:21:27 – Russell Milton from Atlas Aviation Australia talks about their SkyLeader aircraft
     
  • 0:26:22 – Stephen Gale talks us through learning to fly the SIA Marchetti S211 jet with input from Willie “Godfather” Chew (ex-RSAF instructor). We’re also joined by Jodie Davis from SkyThrills who went flying with Stephen in the jet.
     
  • 0:34:13 – Allan Barton from Zenair Australia tells us about the Zenith aircraft they’re importing from the USA
     
  • 0:37:11 – Dianne McNamara produces custom aircraft covers for Punkin Head Air Sports
     
  • 0:43:08 – Michael Coates represents Pipistrel in Australia
     
  • 0:51:36 – David Baddams runs Snow Goose International and ferries aircraft around the world. He also flew David Brown’s RV10 in an RV formation at AusFly
     
  • 1:00:31 – Grant & Ben chat with Dick Smith and Ryan Campbell about flying solo around the world
     
  • 1:09:50 – Amanda Pond from Puddle To Pond Financial talks about life insurance for pilots
     
  • 1:13:45 – Steve & Ben talk to Paul Holler & Norm Edmunds from the SAAA about home building aircraft
     
  • 1:38:17 – Bas Scheffers went up with Jeremy from SkyThrills to do some aerobatics in their Super Decathalon. He also tells us a bit about the latest OzRunways news
     
  • 1:46:14 – Steve, Grant, Ben & David Brown wrap up their AusFly 2013 review

Don’t forget to go & support Steven Pam’s Airheads documentary, a movie that desperately needs to be made.

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 65: Innovative Ideas

There’s no denying that aviation has been the home of many innovative ideas when it comes to aerodynamics, systems and so on. Sometimes we even get to hear about innovation in many of the business & training aspects of aviation and this episode is bringing us a few of them, from new ways to bring aviation education to kids through to recognising the need to store aircraft in the Asia/Pacific area. We also have a number of other content items including a few more of our Avalon interviews.

Eagle Microlight at Porepunkah

This episode contains:

  • Tom Vincent from Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) talking about the new “boneyard” facility they are creating at Alice Springs in the middle of Australia
  • Angelina Morino from Aus Air Services joins us again to review their past year of operation and discuss their involvement with Brentwood College (Steve’s old high school) to provide aviation study to students. They’re also planning to extend this out to other high schools in the area. NOTE: As with Peter Dow at TVSA, it’s great to see local flying schools thinking outside the box to make it easier and/or cheaper to learn to fly)
  • Some more content from Avalon, including:
    • The crew of a KC135 tanker
    • Flying Officer Johnno Pearson on flying the F/A-18 Hornet
    • Flight Lt Liam Webler, a techo who helps to keep the F/A-18 Hornet in the air
  • Steve & Lisa Ruffles talk about their Eagle School of Microlighting at Porepunkah

The view of the runway and "ramp" at Porepunkah

We wrap up with the following Listener Mail and Shout Outs:

  • Miles Rados wrote in about gliding at Tocumwal
  • Toby Robb wrote in about Steve’s recent microphone levels and had some comments on our recent chat with Dick Smith
  • The Airplane Geeks podcast reaches episode 150 – well done, guys!
  • Kudos to the RAAF social media team for helping to promote our work via the “I love jet noise” Facebook page
  • There’s a new aviation podcast – The Stuck Mic AvCast – from the folks at The Pilot Report. They’re two episodes in and have been producing great content so far
  • PCDU can now be found on Stitcher & SlapDash Radio
  • Thanks to all those who’ve left feedback at the iTunes store – much appreciated and keep it up!
  • Don’t forget to check out our website where we’ve made some recent layout changes plus we’ve also been loading more videos on our YouTube channel.

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 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways

Dick Smith is an entrepreneur well known to most Australians, ranging from the country wide chain of Dick Smith Electronics stores he created to Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic.

Another very important aspect of Dick’s life has revolved around aviation. In addition to owning & flying his own aeroplanes & helicopters, he has also flown around the world multiple times, made the first helicopter landing at the North Pole, and flown balloons across Australia as well as from New Zealand back to Australia (against the prevailing winds). He was on the board of (and then director of) both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Dick is also a very vocal champion of air space reform in Australia and aviation safety in general.

We were very fortunate to have been given some of Dick’s valuable time to discuss his early days learning to fly, his adventuring around the world and his thoughts on a number of different aircraft he’s owned & flown. We also touch briefly on his time with the CAA/CASA and his thoughts on aviation safety & airspace reform, all of which will be covered in more detail in future interviews we hope to bring you as soon as Dick’s schedule permits.