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 74: Kiwi User Fees … and other issues

We’re joined by our mate Dan Morris from New Zealand to discuss some news from the Land of the Long White Cloud. Topics include:

  • Air Traffic Control in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, especially the problems they encountered due to centralising all area controllers in one location
  • How user fees in New Zealand have lead funding being removed for weather briefing service: pilots must now pay an annual fee to access the weather service
  • What the Air NZ Aviation Academy and student loan funding by the New Zealand government (which remains interest free if you stay in NZ) mean for flight training in NZ
  • Air New Zealand’s latest earnings report
  • The rapidly approaching Flair 2011 industry innovation showcase & airshow
  • The Will it Fly project that is working to produce a replica of the Pearse Flyer from 1903 with updates on the Will It Fly Facebook page

Brentword's LogoNext up, Steve travels back to his old high school to discover that it’s a lot better than when he was there (and NOT just because his class photo has been hidden :) Thanks to Chris Barry at Brentwood Secondary College and our friends at Aus Air Services, kids at the school have the opportunity to learn to fly as part of their studies. Steve chats with Chris, Angelina from Aus Air Services and some of the kids about this fantastic project.

Our final interview in this episode is a quick chat with Mark Pracy Sr from JetRide Australia and Pracy Racing as he gets ready to head to the 2011 Reno Air Races to fly his L39 low, fast & turning left. We discuss what it’s like to fly the course and how he’s going about keeping himself ready for it.

We wrap up the episode with a quick chat about Dale Watson’s Tiger Airways song on YouTube (thanks to Chris Fenlon for pointing us at it) and the fact that Tiger Airways are back flying, albeit at a reduced level. We also discuss how Crawford Rix was replaced by Tony Davis who is, in turn, leaving the airline shortly after working hard to bring it back from the brink.

Finally, we have some shoutouts, including:

  • Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio show is currently in the Mayo clinic under going chemotherapy to fight Leukemia – good luck & get well quick, mate!
  • Zyola T Mix from the Mile High Flyers has spun off her own project, a podcast about women pilots called The BoXXoffice
  • The Uncontrolled Airspace podcast has just celebrated its five year anniversary on August 23rd! Woo hoo! Go guys! Congrats to Jack, Jeb & Dave!
  • There’s a new aviation podcast with us from Canada called Cleared Enroute with hosts Danny Vacar & Chris Johnson (on Twitter as clearedenroute)
  • Jamie Dodson who writes the Nick Grant Adventures novels and sent us a couple of copies

NOTE: You can find Dan Morris on Twitter as TheGrandVizier, on Facebook and at his blog which mixes aviation & coffee in copious quantities.

PCDU Episode 48: ADS-B: C’est un pétard! – with Bill Hamilton

While the technology behind ADS-B is nothing new, it is becoming the centerpiece of modern Air Traffic Management systems around the world. Unfortunately, CASA is once again taking a global concept and creating an entirely unique Australian implementation of it.

According to CASA’s Discussion Paper (DP) 1006AS
Proposed Strategy and Regulatory Plan in support of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper
, any aircraft added to the Australian register after 2013 must have an ADS-B out compliant Mode-S Transponder on board. This means large added costs for no real benefit beyond that already provided by Mode-C and Mode-S transponders.

This is creating no small level of concern in the aviation communities, including RA-Aus, ballooning and others, as can be seen from a recent discussion about DP 1006AS on the Recreational Flying site. Even the airlines who were pushing for ADS-B to improve safety at regional airports are now realising that the costs are huge (it’s not a simple upgrade of their avionics) and the benefits are minor.

With all this in mind, Bas & Grant chat with Bill Hamilton, past president & technical director of the Australian Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA). While Bill can appreciate ADS-B’s history and benefits, he doesn’t hold back when it comes to CASA’s attempt at creating yet another uniquely Australian implementation. We discuss the differences between the US, European and Australian implementation plans, the costs associated with our version and the lack of real benefit CASA’s proposal will provide.

As the title of CASA’s Discussion Paper shows, the proposal is implementing an aspect of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper. If, like many, you are concerned about the costs being applied to the aviation industry for little real benefit, it is important to respond to the DP by November 30th. It is also vital that Australian aviators write to their elected representatives, members of the opposition and their aviation organisations (eg: AOPA, RA-Aus, ABF, etc) to ensure politicians are aware that the proposed solution will cause more harm than good.

You can easily find who is representing you at the Australian Government’s “Who’s Who” page. You can also find a great guide to writing effective letters to politicians over on the Crikey website.

Don’t assume others will sort this one out for you. Don’t take the classic Australian “She’ll be right” approach. Get out there and tell CASA, the politicians and your aviation group what you think, otherwise the safe skies will be achieved thanks to the removal of any non-airline aircraft.