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 111: Radio Killed the Podcast Star (Almost :) )

As the F111 was late & delayed by all sorts of issues, so too has our Episode 111 been late in arriving. Our big excuse has been discovering that the PCDU Radio Show has taken a LOT more effort than we expected. All this plus our day jobs, families AND our PCDU Commentary & Announcing gigs have, in turn, made it almost impossible to get an episode out. Suffice to say, we’re parking the radio show production for a while as we try to find a new way of working that lets us produce radio shows AND episodes. It’s very much a learning experience!

Meanwhile, we have managed to get this episode out and it’s packed with lots of great content, including:

  • 0:01:55 – Grant recently took a holiday in Bali & flew with Virgin Australia. He provides a review of their short-haul international business class service & the GA scene on Bali.
     
  • 0:12:50 – We chat with Mark Pracy from Pracy Racing about his preparations for Reno 2013 and the “feel” of the event now that it’s coming up on two years since the big crash back in 2011.
     
  • 0:34:46 – We present a summary of the chats Steve recorded with Dave Jacka as he made his solo-flight around Australia to become the first quadriplegic person to do so as part of his On A Wing & A Chair charity. These chats were recorded during Dave’s journey and after his return to Tooradin airport (YTDN), giving a great overview of the many issues & experiences he encountered.
     
  • 1:03:46 – During Exercise Talisman Saber, Damien Rose interviewed Jake Press a pilot with the KC135. He then went on to enjoy a great ride in a USAF C17 doing a low-level airdrop. You can watch his summary video posted to the PCDU YouTube channel:
     
  • 1:08:20 – Back in 2012, Grant had a great chat with David Cottee, the curator of the Qantas Heritage Collection
     
  • 1:29:28 – Also back in 2012, Grant had a fantastic chat with Paul Gianniotis, an ex-Cathay Pacific Flight Engineer who learned to fly in a Piper at Kai Tak in Hong Kong (no, really :) ) and even started flying hot air balloons in Hong Kong. As you could imagine, he’s got some amazing stories to tell!
     
  • 1:47:23 – We give some shoutouts:
    • The Stuck Mic AvCast has not only passed their 50th episode, they’re about to release their 55th! Awesome!
    • Dave Homewood is about to release his 50th Wings Over New Zealand podcast episode and it’s going to be a fantastic one!
    • We’ve released our 200th Australia Desk segment for the Airplane Geeks podcast
    • Bevan Anderson from AvSoft has seen his AvPlan application turn 2 years old
    • Steve’s daughter Rachel turned 18 and his wife now has her Yellow Belt in Karate
       
  • Australia’s Federal Election is coming up & once again we’re going to do some Election Quick Cast episodes to give you an insite to the aviation policies (if any) of the major parties

PCDU Episode 51: Pig Out!

In November 2010 the PCDU team were invited to attend the Media Day at RAAF Amberley where members of 6 Squadron were gathered to give us one final look at the F111 before it was retired from service. We have gathered the interviews we recorded during the Media Day and combined them with a couple of discussions to present our tribute to the F111 and all those who helped to keep them in the air.

This is our longest episode to date so you may want to make use of the PAUSE button to get through it all. Like the PIG, it’s big, but we think the content is just too good to leave any of it out. The F111 has been a major part of our lives over the last 30 years in Australia and New Zealand and anyone who has experienced the RAAF’s trademark “Dump & Burn” display will have some idea why we’re so sad to see them go.

From seeing an F111 doing 4-point hesitation rolls, aileron rolls and a loop at Avalon to watching them racing past while sitting on the beach on a summer’s day, the F111 became an icon of Australia’s military as they provided us with a long range projection of power. They leave a large gap in our force structure now that they have been retired and a hole in the hearts of many who kept them flying.

So long, pig and remember: That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do!

The contents of this episode include:

  • The Media Day’s opening press conference (starts at 06:08)
     
  • A discussion with David Vanderhoof about the history of the F111 including its inception and service with the USAF & RAAF (starts at 32:06)
     
  • We talk to Wing Commander Terry Deeth about his time as a bombadier/navigator (or Weapons Systems Officer) with the F111 while on rotation to the USAF (starts at 51:33)
     
  • We visited the F111 simulator on the base and got to meet:
    • Steve Clark, an ex-RAAF F111 pilot who has more hours in an F111 than almost anyone else in the world (starts at 1:05:40)
    • Brett Denton, a computer technician who helps to keep the simulator operating (starts at 1:11:29)
       
  • While everyone likes to focus on the guys in the cockpit, an F111 needs a lot of maintenance between flights so we managed to catch up with a few of the techos:
    • Flight Lieutenant Adam Firth & Sergeant Chris Walker (starts at 1:15:32)
    • Corporal James Morton (starts at 1:30:19)
    • Corporal David Bash, an American now living in Australia (starts at 1:35:50)
       
  • We talk with Flight Lieutenant Vlad Bismark about flying the F111 (starts at 1:47:25)
     
  • We have a chat with Brendan Cowan from ADF Serials about the history of the RAAF’s F111s and with Chris Daley from the Save the F111 page on Facebook about how the page developed and where it’s going now (starts at 1:55:28)
     
  • We interview Wing Commander Al Curr who ejected from an F111 on take off from RNZAF Ohakea in New Zealand (starts at 2:14:12)
     
  • Our final chat is with Wing Commander Michael (Micka) Gray, officer commanding 6 Squadron and the world’s last F111 unit commander (starts at 2:20:42)

We also have a couple of “Shout Outs” in this episode:

  • Flight Lieutenant Skye Smith for her tireless efforts in making the Media Day run smoothly, not to mention herding us about the base and ensuring we didn’t wind up where we shouldn’t be (wonder if there’s a “Keeping media on track” medal in the ADF??? :)
  • Listener Chris Whyte who we met at RAAF Amberley has produced an F111 tribute video called “RAAF F-111 tribute feat. TV Rock – ‘In the Air'” – you can find it on YouTube and it’s well worth watching a few times

Our Tribute Episode to the F111 is out!

Steve & Grant standing behind F111C, A8-134

Our F111 Tribute Episode (Episode 51: Pig Out!) has been released and is getting great reviews. It’s packed with awesome content from our visit to RAAF Amberley and covers pilots, maintainers and simulator staff as well as a speach by the CO.

(Click on the image to view a larger copy)

PCDU Episode 16: Rant on Steve, Rant on

Steve & Grant discuss all the latest news items that were of interest over the past couple of weeks. Steve also gets to have a few “c’est la vent” moments on some topics that were annoying him.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have a chat with Owen Zupp and reveal the winner of our first ever give away competition. Sorry, you’ll have to listen to the episode to discover who were the close runners up and who was the winner :)

So, sit back, relax and enjoy episode 16, in which we discuss:

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

PCDU Episode 12: It’s not that late in Adelaide…

Despite his better judgement, Bas Scheffers comes back to hang out with us once again as we discuss some of the news items from the past week or so. Topics of discussion in this episode include:

Please note that our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 9: Airplane Geeks Down Under

Andrew Temby

Andrew Temby

This episode we’re joined by Dan, David & Rob from the Airplane Geeks podcast to discuss airline news and have a great discussion about air traffic control issues here & in the USA. We also have interviews with Dr Bruce Searle, dean of the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation, and Andrew Temby, aerobatic pilot & owner of a YAK-52TW. Both were recorded at the Mission Aviation Fellowship airshow held at Coldstream Airport (YCEM) a few weeks back.

While Max Flight from the Airplane Geeks couldn’t be with us, having the other guys from the show record with us was a hoot and certainly generated a LOT of content for a future “Bloopers Only” episode. We’re definitely looking forward to recording with them again once our sanity recovers.

Dr Bruce Searle

Dr Bruce Searle

 

The topics discussed in this episode include:

Please note that our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 1: And so it begins…

Weighing in at a whole 27 minutes and 18 seconds, here’s the first episode of the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. During this episode, we discuss the following news items:
Continue reading PCDU Episode 1: And so it begins…