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.

F-35: From the Cockpit with F-35 Program Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman

F35 Cockpit Demonstrator

F35 Cockpit Demonstrator

Exclusive PCDU F-35 event limited to 30 places – first in first served

Plane Crazy Down Under is proud to present:

F-35: From the Cockpit with F-35 Program Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman

 

When: 5:20PM, Thursday, 17 March 2016

Where: Dialogue, 4 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

 

You’re invited to learn more about the unique capabilities of the F-35, the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft.  At this exclusive event, you’ll have an opportunity to ask Al questions, before Al puts Grant through his paces in Lockheed Martin’s F-35 interactive cockpit demonstrator, a visually and audibly interactive simulator that highlights the fighter aircraft’s advanced technology and combat capabilities.

This is an exclusive opportunity open only to PCDU followers.  Spaces are limited so please send an email to contact@planecrazydownunder.com to secure your spot. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Light refreshments will be served.

 

Chief F35 Test Pilot Alan Norman

Chief F35 Test Pilot Alan Norman

A bit about Al

Prior to assuming his F-35 Chief Test Pilot responsibilities in 2011, Al was a Lockheed Martin Experimental Test Pilot for the F-22 Program for 12 years as well as Lockheed’s Chief Pilot for the TX program.  Al has flown more than 6,000 flight hours in over 70 different kinds of aircraft. He was an operational F-4 and F-16 fighter pilot in the USAF in Korea and Germany. He served as an F-16 RTU instructor pilot at MacDill AFB for 5 years and then attended the USAF Test Pilot School in 1994. Subsequently, Al was an F-16 experimental test pilot for the USAF.

 

A big thanks to Lockheed Martin for making this happen.

PCDU Episode 120: History & Records

Steve’s very happy to have finally started converting currency into currency as he’s logging hours in a Flysynthesis Texan and progressing towards getting his RA-Aus license. Grant’s been too busy with work to get many hours but did finally get to log some “special shape” time in his balloon logbook. Naturally, both Steve & Grant are VERY happy to have finally released another episode.

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

This episode the boys are joined by Kathy Mexted and Maikha Ly so you know the blooper reel at the end will be “interesting” to say the least. Kathy & her hubby have been flying their Piper Cub while Maikha’s been flying for work but, thanks to Adelaide’s weather lately and a recent house purchase, he’s not been able to do any personal flying.

For this episode we’re bringing you a mixed bag of content from the RAAF’s Pt Cook Centenary of Military Aviation airshow (including Steve’s chat with AIRMSHL Geoff Brown), Kathy’s chat with Kingsley Just about his new world record, catching up with John Fisher to talk L39s & USAF and Grant’s recent visit to the B24 restoration project in Werribee for their heritage recognition award ceremony

  • 0:13:15 – Steve chats with Air Marshal Geoff Brown (Chief of Air Force) about the Royal Australian Air Force’s celebration of their centenary at Point Cook, his career with the RAAF, the RAAF’s fleet upgrades & current operations, the C-27J & F-35, flying gliders and transitioning from flying CH-47 Chinooks to flying fast jets.
     
  • 0:30:34 –
    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Grant visited the B24 restoration project at Werribee for their Heritage Recognition award ceremony and recorded a few chats with the following people:
    • Doug Lindsay (President of the B24 Restoration project)
    • Professor Alex Baitch (National President, Engineers Australia)
    • Andrew Elsbury MLC (Member of State Parliament)
    • Dan O’Connell (Volunteer)
    • Before chatting with Tony Maher (volunteer), Grant also recorded the sound of Tony demonstrating the electrically driven mid-upper turret
       
  • 0:50:41 – Kathy chats with Kinglsey Just about setting the Guinness World Record for the most continuous rolls performed in an aircraft (an amazing 987 in his Pitts Special!). They talk about the planning & preparation, the method, the reason and how it all worked out (complete with a dramatic ending). They also talk about his interest in aviation including his gliding & flying tow planes in Europe.
     
  • 1:05:08 –
    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Maikha was with us at the RAAF’s Pt Cook event and he spent most of his time with the antiques and warbirds where he recorded the following:
    • Chris Shine with his Beech Staggerwing
    • Kevin Bailey and his Stinson Reliant
    • Allan Harding and his MkIII Auster
    • Allan’s young assistant Lloyd Galloway talks about flying, the RA-Aus scholarship he was awarded and his involvement with the Auster
    • Steve Death talks about the Southern Knights formation team
    • Maureen Massey is the Vice President of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) and she talks about the C-47, DHC-4 Caribou and PBY Catalina
    • Robert ‘Bob’ StJohn, a Vietnam veteran, volunteers with HARS to help keep the Caribou flying. He talks about what’s involved in keeping it going and his experiences in Vietnam with “Wallaby Airlines” (the RAAF’s Caribou operations)
    • Warren Gengos flies the HARS PBY Catalina
       
  • 1:42:55 – John “Viper” Fisher from Top Gun Australia talks about Top Gun Australia’s operations, flying the L-39, being a WSO on the F-4 & flying the A-10 with the USAF plus his exchange rotation with the French
     
  • 1:59:04 – We come back for some shout outs:
    • Thanks to Barry Moore for suggesting we chat with John Fisher
    • Shane Simpson has recently completed his first solo in a Cessna 152 at Moorabbin (YMMB). Onya mate!
    • Congratulations to Anthony Crichton-Browne and his wife Prudence for the recent arrival of their son Andrew
    • Our friend Owen Zupp who is making the transition from Boeing 737s to a command position with Jetstar A320s as well as releasing his new book “50 More Tales of Flight” and his new site “The Pilots Blog
    • Maikha recommends that everyone should check out the South Australian Aviation Museum in Adelaide
    • Grant’s ecstatic to hear that OzRunways are producing an Android version of their app (“Project Marvin” – awesome! :) ). With AvPlan also producing an Android version, Grant is very happy to not need to buy an iThing :)
    • Congratulations to Steven Pam who has done a marathon effort producing the Tyabb Airshow DVD and also to Karl von Moller from the Broken Wings project who’s been helping out as well
       

 

Music for this episode was “Short Change Hero” by “The Heavy” (2009 on Counter Records)

PCDU Go In-Depth on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

PCDU Episode 119 Cover Art: F-35A, B & C models (Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

PCDU Episode 119 Cover Art:
F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

Australia has recently confirmed that it will purchase a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for use in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but how will these high-tech new aircraft be integrated with our current operations? Will someone just click their fingers and voila?

Naturally, there’s lots of items to consider ranging from staffing & training through to tarmac upgrades and there’s something about ALIS…

We’re joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT to discuss the F-35 aircraft, the program and its potential operations within the RAAF. We also feature a number of interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and AVM Kym “Koz” Osley gives us an in-depth coverage of the huge project that will bring the F-35 to full operational status within the RAAF.

It’s a big topic and we’ve put together a big episode about it: Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach.

Click here to go to the show notes & play the episode

PCDU Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach

With Australia’s confirmed purchase of a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Steve & Grant are joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT (Communications Intelligence) to discuss the F-35 and its operation within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). We also feature a number of great interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and an in-depth discussion with Air Vice Marshall Kym “Koz” Osley regarding the work required to integrate the F35 into the RAAF.

F-35A, B & C models (Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)

After an introductory discussion on the F35 between Andrew, Steve & Grant, this episode features:

  • 0:09:49 – Excerpts from the press conference held at RAAF Base Pt Cook in March 2014 where AVM Kym Osley discussed the F35 purchase and Deputy Chief of Air Force (DCAF) AVM Leo Davies introduced the first two RAAF pilots to go to the USA for F35 training: SQN LDR David “Belly” Bell & SQN LDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson.
     
  • 0:13:19 – Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn talks to us about his career from a Canadian F18 pilot seeing combat in Kosovo to a test pilot on the Eurofighter Typhoon and on to the F35.
     
    Australia's first two F35 pilots: SQN LDR Andrew 'Jacko' Jackson & SQN LDR David 'Belly' Bell

    Australia’s first two F35 pilots:
    SQN LDR Andrew ‘Jacko’ Jackson & SQN LDR David ‘Belly’ Bell

  • 0:23:17 – Graham Bentley is ex-RAAF and the Lockheed Martin Business Development Manager in Australia. We talk to him about his career from flying P3 Orions to commanding the Australian Forces in the Middle East and on to his role as Air Attache in Washington, USA. He also discusses LockMart’s preparations to bring the F35 to Australia and the technologies it’ll bring with it.
     
  • 0:32:42 – Steven L Over, Lockheed Martin’s Director of F-35 International Business Development, talks to us about component manufacturing being undertaken within Australia.
     
  • 0:40:44 – Billie Flynn returns to talk with Grant in more detail regarding the F-35’s new high-tech helmet.
     
    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

    Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35

  • 0:52:39 – Grant catches up with AVM Kym “Koz” Osley for an in-depth discussion on the work involved in bringing the F-35 into the RAAF, including infrastructure construction at airports, staffing & training, support equipment and perhaps the most complex part of the F-35’s support environment: Autonomic Logistics Information System (aka “ALIS”)
     
  • 1:52:49 – We wrap up the episode with a further discussion between Andrew, Steve & Grant on the F-35 aircraft, the program and the potential for Australia to operate the F-35B on our new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships (gotta use that ski-ramp, right?)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like his hot air balloon :)

Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like a hot air balloon :)



 

Cover image thanks to Lockheed Martin

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

PCDU Episode 44: Hannes, Bas and the Rhino

In an effort to reassure you that we’re not trying to cut any corners as we build towards our 50th episode, this episode comes in at over 2 hours in length (our longest ever, in fact). It’s jam packed with great content, including:

  • A chat with Bas Scheffers about:
    • The impact of the Class D changes at Parafield
    • The flying he’s been doing lately in his Evektor Sportstar
    • The Parafield Airshow
    • How the Aeroscene Flying Group is going
    • A review of some of the latest RA-Aus developments (Recreational Aviation Australia)
       
  • A chat with Hannes Arch (Red Bull Air Race pilot) where we discuss his 2010 season and his plans for 2011/2012
     
  • An interview with an F18F pilot that David Vanderhoof recorded at the Oceana Air Show
     
  • A discussion between Steve & David about the history of the F18, its current status with the Super Hornet (aka Rhino) and the implications of the F35 JSF
     
  • Controllers Corner #2
     
  • The View from the Lounge: “Monkey in Business”
     
  • We read some mail & forum items:
  • We give a set of Shout Outs to:
    • The Flying Ant podcast by Anthony Crichton-Browne (a 767 pilot) who also has a blog
    • The Flaps Podcast from the UK is an awesome new show – we highly recommend it
    • Andrew Offen from Brisbane took Grant & Nykolai for a flight in his Cirrus SR22 with the new Avidyne Release 9 package – an amazing aircraft & systems and a lot of fun catching up with Andrew for a flight
    • Brendan Viti is getting his IFR rating – wow!

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

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

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 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.