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.

Balloons, books and TopGun: Episode 128 is live!

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)

Grant’s pulled out a big collection of ballooning interviews including discussions with military & commercial fixed wing pilots who enjoy the challenge of flying hot air balloons. We’ve also got a fun chat with Owen Zupp about his new book: Without Precedent, our tribute to Hannes Arch and the Infrequent Flyer finally gets to see TopGun (in 3D at the IMAX, no less).

This is our biggest episode ever (even bigger than Episode 51’s “Farewell to the Pig” tribute to the RAAF’s F-111s.

Click here to access the episode.

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 122: Farewell 2014

As the final hours of 2014 draw to a close, we’re getting our last episode for 2014 out the door. The boys have been kept pretty busy with their day jobs lately but, despite this, they’ve managed to do some flying:Ep122 Cover

  • Grant’s been taking friends on their first balloon flights including Evan Schoo and Darren Craven
  • Fred Samson took Steve for a fly over San Francisco while he was there a back in October
  • Steve got to fly a 172 in Las Vegas thanks to Rod Rakic & AirWork Las Vegas, an OpenAirplane member
  • The PCDU aeroplane fleet has expanded thanks to Jonesy picking up a 1974 model Cessna 172

After the hangar talk settles down, we get into the episode itself which includes the recent Avalon Airshow Media Launch, Steve’s time at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas and Grant’s trip to Auckland in New Zealand for the Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet up. The episode stacks up in the following list:

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

  • Grant attended the media launch for the Avalon Airshow which was held in the old Qantas hangar where they used to park a 747 while doing heavy maintenance on it. There was wind on the hangar walls, doors opening, vehicles moving and people talking which all made it a rather “interesting” place to record the following chats:
    • 0:16:29 – Jeff “Trappo” Trappett finally gets a chance to appear on PCDU (that or he couldn’t run away fast enough :) ) and talks to Grant about his P51, his C47 & his Sabre
       
    • 0:22:34 – Paul Bennet talks about his new Wolf Pitts aircraft, the manoeuvres it’s letting him do and where things are at with Paul Bennet Airshows (sounds like he’s got a bit of an airforce happening :) )
       
    • 0:26:36 – Darren Craven talks about owning & flying a Winjeel
       
    • 0:33:30 – Gordon Robinson talks about flying Australia’s only Fokker Dr.1 triplane replica all the way down to Melbourne from Brisbane
       
    • 0:39:38 – Andrew Carter owns & flies the Dr.1 replica that Gordon flew down. He talks to us about setting up the Australian Vintage Aviation Society to commemorate WW1 & bring to life aircraft of the era.
       
    • 0:48:28 – Of course, there wouldn’t be aircraft at Avalon without a session on Timbo’s Tarmac and Grant made sure to record one at this event
       
  • Back in October, Steve went to the USA to experience the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas (his family still thinks it was a family trip :) ). While at the event he recorded the following interviews:
    • Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      0:54:27 – Matt Hall talks about his results in the Fort Worth race & the challenges he’s found this season
       
    • 0:59:33 – Eric Cieslar & Peter Wezenbeek are Matt Hall’s race technician & race tactician and they talk about their roles in keeping Matt flying in top form during the races
       
    • 1:05:30 – Hannes Arch talks about standardised engines and how they’ve highlighted the pilot’s skills as opposed to engine power
       
    • 1:09:06 – Kirby Chambliss talks about the challenges he’s faced this season and the changes he’ll be making for the next season
       
    • 1:13:42 – Mike Goulian talks about his involvement with Cirrus aircraft and the hassles he’s worked through this season
       
    • 1:19:48 – Steve catches up with Matt once again just prior to the start of the second day to discuss qualifying
       
    • 1:21:55 – Steve presents a wrap up of the race after the winds came up and they had to cancel the day’s flying (audio courtesy of the Red Bull Air Race content pool)
       
    • 1:24:21 – Rod Rakic talks about OpenAirplane
       
  • As Steve was on a Qantas A380 heading to the USA, Grant was on an Air New Zealand A320 heading to New Zealand to attend the Wings Over New Zealand Forum gathering at Ardmore Airport near Auckland. More than just a gathering, this event included plenty of presentations on great topics, all hosted within the New Zealand Warbirds hangar. While Dave Homewood is releasing much of the content from the event on his Wings Over New Zealand show, Grant recorded a few items of his own:
    • 1:33:54 – Brett Nicholls talks about owning two ex-RNZAF BAC 167 Strikemasters and what it’s taken to get them running for publically available joy flights with Jetfighter Military Adventure Flights
       
    • Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      1:42:20 – Grant got the opportunity to take a ride in a DH.83 Fox Moth along with fellow passenger Grant Newman. In addition to recording some of the sounds from the flight, he also chatted with Graham Wood about his career and flying the DH.83
       
    • While Grant didn’t get a chance to record with Melanie Salisbury from Aviation Tours NZ, she did pass on some information about their “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” tour of the UK in July 2015 which includes Duxford’s “Flying Legends” airshow. It looks like a great tour with plenty of aviation goodness packed into it :)
       
  • Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    1:48:38 – Steve & Grant wrap up the year including a couple of items from the mailbag (including Luke Murphy, Andrew Brown & Shaun Dwyer) and a few shout outs for the end of the year:
    • Steve & Grant have been enjoying the new Spotters Mag, an eMag for aviation spotters with a version just for Australia & New Zealand. Highly recommended!
    • Carlos Stebbings from the Plane Talking UK show is doing his pilot’s license: onya, mate!
    • Steve would like to thank Captain Harry Wubbin for his hospitality on board QF93
    • Steve & Grant thank Paul Burfitt from 64 for his great help this year
    • Don’t forget that the Avalon Airshow 2015 is coming up in a few months and we’re looking forward to seeing you there
    • With tickets on sale already, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the Temora Aviation Museum‘s Warbirds Down Under event coming up in November

PCDU Episode 47: Bull Me!

The 2010 RedBull AirRace season was exciting, eventful and disappointing all at once. From Adilson Kindleman’s crash in Perth to Hannes Arch’s pylon hit and Matt Hall’s “walk on water” incident, G-Stalls were everywhere. Then came the news that the last two races were cancelled and, finally, that the whole 2011 season was cancelled. As if the end of the season wasn’t bad enough, we were all stunned by the news that Alejandro Maclean had died in an aerobatic training accident.

We have already presented our “End of Season” chats with Hannes Arch and Matt Hall in previous episodes so in this one, we present our chats with Nigel Lamb and Pete McLeod.

We also officially announce the winners of our Flight City Simulator Centre B777 sim session prize (Graham Neal) and two runners up (Greg Spencer & David Mitchell), both of whom win PCDU T-Shirts.

We talk briefly about Qantas’ recent 90th Birthday event at Melbourne airport and play the quick chat we recorded with Juan Serrano, John Travolta’s chief pilot.

After another View from the Lounge segment, this time paying tribute to those serving in the military, we dive into our mailbag:

  • Steve Horton form Perth is worried that the RedBull AirRace will never return to Perth and lets us know about his great photo site
  • Peter Baxter wrote in asking about jet engine technology and again to share a great story about an Air New Zealand DC10 that helped a ferry flight in trouble over the Pacific
  • “brettkp” has some great feedback about episode 46 in our forums on Downwind

We give a shout-out to Pieter Johnson (@NascotHornet) in the UK who has just become a very proud father: welcome Beatrice :)

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 34: Arching over the Swamp

This episode we feature an interview with Hannes Arch, the Austrian Red Bull champion in 2008 who came second in 2009 and is currently second on points for 2010. We have a great chat with Hannes (starting at 0:05:38) about his involvement in extreme sports, his love of flying and his approach to the Red Bull racing world.

We were also fortunate to get some time with Gary Clark (starting at 1:01:30), the creator of the Swamp cartoon strip. Gary’s experiences in learning to fly and his on going adventures in the air have provided a solid source of inspiration for many of the characters & moments depicted in the Swamp series. It is not uncommon to find his cartoons on the walls in flying clubs & schools, hangars and aviation organisations.

This episode also includes the following:

  • A discussion with Angie Morino from Aus Air Services (starting at 0:33:14) about the changes they’ve made at the Tooradin Flying School (YTDN).
     
  • Grant’s quick chat with Richard Turnbull (starting at 0:45:31), a hot air balloon pilot from the UK
     
  • Anthony Simmons’ latest View from the Lounge segment (starting at 0:54:12)
     
  • Our listener mail, including:
    • Stephen Silk points us at Ask the Pilot
       
    • Steven Pam provides still more checklist examples
       
    • Trent Donnovan from WA shows that Jandakot (YPJT) is only just behind Bankstown (YSBK) for total movements in February

  • We give a few shout outs:
    • The Airplane Geeks podcast reaches 100 episodes – well done guys!
       
    • We’ve launched our PCDU Commentaries blog (UPDATE 2017-02-4: After years of inactivity, the blog has been shut down & its posts moved to Grant’s Fly Me Friendly blog)
       
    • Kathy Mexted mentioned us in her article about the Melton Centenary Air Show that appeared in AOPA’s Australian Pilot magazine
       
    • Milford & Charlie from the Flight Time Radio Show over in Florida
       
    • Don’t forget to give PCDU a good comment (or two :) ) over at the iTunes store

PCDU Episode 31: Red Bull all The Way

The Red Bull Air Race came back to Perth this year and Steve was there, flexing his newly minted press credentials and discovering the amazing world of the Red Bull media centre. Sadly, Grant was working in Indonesia and so couldn’t be there to help hang out, rub shoulders with the stars and quaff a few cans of Red Bull.

Fortunately Steve was well & truly up to the task and managed to capture a few interviews while he was there. First up in this episode we have Steve’s summary of the race, including his interview with Hannes Arch, the press conference at the end of the race and a collection of content from the Red Bull Media Pool.

After the break we get to hear a great chat with Nigel Lamb recorded while he was in Rio getting ready for the third race. We learn about how he flies the race and just what benefit he is getting from those amazing winglets. Grant drops a clanger during the interview but fortunately Steve cut that bit out, putting it at the very end of the episode in the bloopers ‘cos hey, no one ever listens to them, right? Right? (“Please don’t!” says Grant) :)

The final pair of interviews are with Lenny Raulson, Matt Hall’s mechanic at the time of the Perth race. He finished up with Matt’s team just after the race and they’ve now transitioned to an Australian mechanic, Jack Moshovis. After Steve’s chat with Lenny, we have a chat with David Lyall, Matt’s team coordinator. He tells us what it’s like to work with Matt, why they changed from Lenny to Jack and much more.

We hope you enjoy the episode. Feel free to leave us feedback via email, comments on the site or on our forum on Downwind.com.au.