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 104: Avalon 2013 – Day Four

USAF F22 Raptor on the combat jet tarmacThe sun came out in force on Day 4 of Avalon 2013 and with mostly clear blue skies we finally felt like we’d arrived at a real airshow. With aircraft putting on some amazing performances, the F22 once again took to the skies and let us experience the “High Show” and what a fantastic show that was!

For today’s episode, we have the following content:

  • Master Sergeant Bo Brewer talks about maintaining the F22 & its systems
  • Major Henry Schantz is the current F22 demo pilot & he compares its handling with an F15C, walks us through the manoeuvres in the demo and talks about the experience of flying it
  • Damien Rose chats with Stephen Buckle about the Carbon Cub
  • Steve & Grant get to hang out & chat with the Breitling Wing Walker team
  • Grant chats with Stewart Wilson from Aero Australia magazine
  • We corner listener Ben Wickham & ask how Avalon 2013 is going for him
  • This time it’s ATC_Ben heading out to bring us Timbo’s Tarmac and In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf

PCDU Episode 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun

Serge’s “Fighter Pilot” book cover

It takes a special breed to push an F18 out to the edge of the envelope, fly missions ranging from surface attack to dog fights and then blow off steam with your squadron mates. It’s certainly not Top Gun but it does make amazing fodder for a book that highlights the good, the bad and the crazy.

Just such a book has been written by ‘Mac “Serge” Tucker‘ and it’s called “Fighter Pilot: mis-adventures beyond the sound barrier with an Australian Top Gun

Steve & Grant chat to “Serge” about being a fighter pilot, flying & partying hard, blowing off steam and dealing with bureaucrats. We also cover:

  • The size of the fighter community in Australia and the camaraderie that has developed among them
  • The mentoring that occurs within the community covering both technical & behavioural aspects of being a fighter pilot
  • The interaction of fighter pilots with pilots from other parts of the RAAF
  • Serge’s career progressing from high school through basic training in the CT4, progression to the Aermacchi MB 326H (the Macchi) and on to the F18 via a stint on the Nomad.
  • Wing Commander Ross Fox’s influence as Serge’s mentor and the impact of his death in an F18 mid-air collision
  • Serge’s thoughts on the Australian Army & Royal Australian Navy
  • Working with the fighter pilots from the USA & comparing USA pilots with RAAF pilots
  • Old timer stories and their influence on current procedures
  • RAAF exchange pilots flying F15s & F22s with the USAF
  • The F35 JSF and its issues with kinematics
  • Drones and their use in the military environment
  • How the military have missed out on changing their operations & equipment to deal better with the Middle East environment & the modern political power dynamics
  • Serge’s love of hang gliding
  • Transitioning from being a fighter pilot to being an airline pilot
  • His final flight: a one-on-one dogfight with Matt Hall