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JQ’s new 787 arrives at Melbourne
The past month has included a number of events related to the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review 2013 as well as the arrival of Jetstar’s new 787-8. Grant’s been visiting a few ships & interviewing their aircrew while Kathy’s had a flight on Australia’s brand new MRH-90 Taipan transport helicopters. Not long after that, Grant was in Sydney to watch the mass-flypast of aircraft as the fleet steamed into Sydney harbour then both Steve & Grant were on the tarmac in Melbourne for the new Jetstar 787 arrival celebrations.
HMS Daring’s Lynx
Naturally this generated lots of great new content and we’ve packaged it all up as follows:
- 0:06:43 - LT Hamish Walker, Lynx Pilot on HMS Daring
- 0:13:37 - LT CDR Teilo Elliot-Smith, Air Warefare Officer on HMS Daring
- 0:27:15 - CDR Angus Essenhigh, Commanding Officer of HMS Daring
- 0:34:37 - LT David Roderick, Seasprite Pilot on HMNZS Te Mana
- 0:46:17 - LT Hamish Liddy, Seasprite Observer on HMNZS Te Mana
- 0:57:22 - Leading Hand Zach Taylor, Seasprite crew on HMNZS Te Mana
1:06:29 - David presents Grant with their 6 Squadron patch & explains its symbolism
6 SQN is combined RNZAF & RNZN
- 1:07:43 - Grant chats with listener “Mick from the Frankston line”
- 1:14:45 - Kathy Mexted chats with Steve about flying in the MRH-90
- 1:17:45 - LT Jack Wadey, MRH-90 Taipan Pilot
- 1:31:40 - CPT Brett Chandler, Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell
- 1:38:27 - Kathy chats about how she knew Brett Chandler from some time ago
- 1:43:20 - David Hall, CEO of Jetstar Australia & New Zealand
- 1:48:53 - Captain Jeremy Schmidt, lead pilot on Jetstar’s 787 programme
- 1:55:19 - Gordon Rich-Phillips, Victoria’s Minister for Aviation Industry
- 1:59:23 - We wrap it up and sign off
Kathy’s aircraft for her media flight
Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted getting ready to board the MRH-90
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Grant about to take Kathy flying in a hot air balloon
All good things take time & so do our episodes, with this one taking perhaps the longest to produce of any of them. It’s also packed full of great content covering magazine editors, wing walkers, AOPA, another give-away competition, antique aircraft, solo trips around the world & even hot air balloons. Make use of the pause button where you need to but be sure to listen right through to the very end of the episode for another set of classic “Kathy Mexted Bloopers” :)
This episode is indeed a basket full of flight & it unfolds as:
- 0:03:30 – We chat with Kathy Mexted about her father, Pat Whitty, who passed away recently. She mentions his influence on her flying and their flights in VH-MAU, a 1978 Piper Warrior
- 0:11:35 – Kathy joins with us to chat with Kreisha Ballantyne-Dickes, the Publications Editor at AOPA Australia and their Australian Pilot magazine. She also has her own blog (Girl with a Stick) and we chatted about a number of topics including:
How Kreisha got into flying, especially her first solo
Pat Whitty with VH-MAU
- Her love of Bonanzas
- Avalon 2013 & why people don’t fly
- Kreisha’s career in writing and becoming editor of the Australian Pilot magazine
- Wingwalking with the Breitling team on the top of their Stearman
- Working with AOPA, their efforts to get more people flying, the benefits of being a member, the “new approach” of AOPA and Andrew Andersen’s open letter to everyone involved in General Aviation
- Getting involved with CASA’s regulation changes
- 0:50:32 – Maikha Ly went to the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia’s annual fly-in at Echuca and recorded some great content for us. You can find the photos he took on his Echuca Flickr collection
- 1:34:48 – Steve chats with Ryan Campbell two days prior to starting his TeenWorldFlight adventure
1:45:52 – Grant recently took Kathy for a balloon flight over Bacchus Marsh while listener Evan Schoo tagged along with the ground crew & got some great photos of the flight. During the flight, Grant & Kathy recorded a quick in-flight chat that we listen to here, after which, Steve asks Kathy just how the flight really went!
Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330
- 2:14:30 – We announce the winners of our first 50 Tales of Flight eBook give-away competition:
- Gary Clarkson
- Will Coleman
- Darren Eastwood
- Brad Rule
- Mitchell Royal
- Graham Slingsby
- Trent Stewart
- Lahra Warry
2:15:34 – We have another give-away this episode with Owen Zupp‘s second (& trickier!) question about famous Australian aviators. The first five (5) people to email us the correct answer at email@example.com will win a copy of Owen’s “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking
- 2:17:47 – Listener Mail:
- SoapyHB noted that the Concorde prototype was in Melbourne in 1972 while British Airways ran some proving flights in 1975 with a production aircraft. He also really enjoyed our Avalon 2013 coverage and admits to being a real fan of Anthony’s The View from the Lounge segments. Finally, he wonders how we manage to do all this and yet still stay married … yup, so do we! :)
- Justin Sarda sent us through a link to a beautiful set of HD cockpit photos
- Mick (aka Bom1) sent through some great comments on lap belts in aircraft having the potential to cause severe abdominal & spinal injuries in a crash (note: rather topical given the reports of similar injuries in survivors of the Asiana crash at San Francisco)
- Brian Grinter sent through a link to photos of Peter Jackson’s Lancaster that will be used for his remake of The Dam Busters. As Brian says: “It’s not your average Airfix kit!” :) :)
2:22:49 – Kathy mentioned that Col Griffin (ex RAAF Mosquito pilot) recently passed away. We interviewed Col back in Episode 61 (The Great Pilgrimage) and you can read more about him in Kathy’s articles in Australian Flying and Outback Mag
Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans
- 2:24:07 – Shout Outs:
2:26:39 – We’ve been hearing from many people about issues at RA-Aus and are considering producing a show dedicated to the topic. Do you have any recommendations for people & issues you’d like to have covered in such an episode?
Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace
- 2:29:09 – We’re now producing a weekly 1 hour radio show for Kinglake Ranges Radio, a local community radio station. You can tune in at 9am on Saturday’s (Melbourne time) via 94.5FM or via their livestream feed
As noted, the Kathy Mexted driven bloopers can be found at 2:34:25 – definitely worth checking out :)
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We have a variety of content for you in this episode including:
- 0:03:50 – A great chat we recorded with Andrew McLaughlin, previously co-owner and deputy editor of Australian Aviation and now a freelance aviation writer
- 1:00:59 – Kathy Mexted went flying with Anatole Mills from Warbird Air Adventures and got to experience some aerobatics in a Nanchang (NOTE: Kathy can also be found at kascribe & Kathy Mexted Photography)
- 1:33:48 – Grant had a chat with Mike Dunn, General Manager & Chief Pilot of Heli-Serv after being an air-to-air photo shoot with one of HeliServe’s aircraft
- 1:43:07 – We review some of our listener emails:
- Daniel Pearson asked about where to find a list of Australian air shows so we pointed him at Allan Van’t Padje’s “Australian Air Shows” page on Facebook
- Mick (aka Bom1) is jealous of Steve’s C130H ride
- Rob Lawrie pointed us to the SAAA’s Chapter 1 in Sydney and linked us to their Facebook page
- Grant gives a shout out to the gang at the Stuck Mic Avcast and the Hangar 49 podcast to say thanks for the birthday wishes
- Steve notes that Larry Beyer (USAF Retired), a friend of his from the USA when he was living in Arkansas, passed away recently & will be greatly missed
The music featured in Kathy Mexted’s segment is “Pool Party” by CC Martini.
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The Apron at Aropa
We’re joined by Kathy Mexted and her brother Geoff Whitty who is a real adventurer, having worked in Papua New Guinea managing aviation operations. As we learn in this episode, he has a LOT of very interesting tales to tell.
Starting with Ansett in their reservation system, Geoff moved to Qantas and then in 1989 got a job working with Air New Guinea in Papua New Guinea (PNG). He’s now working with PNG’s 2nd largest RPT carrier managing airports & operations.
While there are some well built roads in parts of PNG (mostly thanks to the mining companies), air travel is one of the only viable methods of transporting people & equipment regularly about the rugged landscape. From Chevron’s “C130 Air Bridge” through to current “Fly In, Fly Out” (FIFO) mining operations, flying in PNG offers some amazing experiences for pilots with some saying 1 year in PNG is worth 10 years mustering cattle in the outback.
Customs & Quarantine Staff at Kieta
In addition to supply chain management & keeping mining operations happy, Geoff has also managed the training of PNG nationals who operate the airline, learn to fly and also do aircraft maintenance in-country (except for heavy maintenance). Thanks to the demands of the mining companies and CASA, they are, perhaps, the most audited aviation operation in the world.
A major aspect of having a foreign company in PNG is that they are required to train PNG nationals to fly aircraft, run the airline, and perform maintenance in-country (except for heavy maint). They are flying ATRs & Dash8s and Geoff believes the ATR is more suited to their needs than the Dash8, although they’re running both at the moment. They’ve also had Caribous & Dash-7s and are running a diverse range of helicopters as well as lighter aircraft from Twin Otters down.
As if the rugged environment and rapidly changing weather systems weren’t enough to cause problems flying or running an airline, people in Papua New Guinea also have to contend with tribal warfare, the volcano at Rabaul and local ground staff throwing as much cargo on an aircraft as they can. Weight & balance? What’s that? :)
It’s a fascinating chat with Geoff and we really enjoyed learning more about life in our northern neighbour. We’d like to thank Geoff for his time chatting with us in the studio and with Kathy for introducing us to him.
On Finals at Aropa
After our chat with Geoff & Kathy, Steve talks with Tammy Augostin, the Promotion & Marketing Manager of the Parafield Airshow. They discuss the acts that have been lined up for the show and the issues involved in putting it all together.
Many of our listeners in Sydney have been commenting to us about seeing a number of Army Blackhawk helicopters flying around Sydney Harbour. It turns out they were part of a training exercise that was also open to media to ride along & experience a typical training flight. Sadly, Steve & Grant weren’t able to get up to Sydney for the flight (despite their best efforts) but Anthony Crichton-Browne was. In addition to getting lots of great photos, Anthony also recorded a quick chat with one of the pilots.
Finally, we wrap up the episode with another of Anthony Simmons’ “View from the Lounge” segments. This time, Anthony is looking at aviation in the media, ranging from movies through to jingles.
You can find Kathy’s work in many places, including:
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Steve’s finally picked up his instructor’s rating although it’s in trains, not aircraft, but don’t worry, we’re not switching the show over to Train Crazy Down Under :)
Once again we’re joined by Kathy Mexted and this time we’re discussing what’s involved in being an Ag Pilot and how the industry has developed here in Australia. We then switch to Kathy’s interview with Georgia Maxwell in Gunnedah. Georgia is the first female ag pilot in Australia qualified to fly the Air Tractor 802 with Pay’s Air Service. Georgia discusses what it’s like working in the Aerial Application world (aka being an Ag Pilot).
After the interview we talk about the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia and how the season is booming following the breaking of the drought. Anthony Crichton-Browne joins us to continue talking about Ag pilots & the nature of their work.
Anthony has recently been at Red Baron Australia’s open day chatting with Joel Haski and the guys from Combat Dragon who are now basing their A37 at Red Baron’s hangar. We get to sit in on a Combat Dragon briefing, then listen to the sound of the A37 starting its engines before discussing the A37′s typical departure from Bankstown (YSBK).
We then play Anthony’s chat with Joel Haski about the latest developments at Red Baron and their new hangar facility. Anthony talks briefly with Jeff from Combat Dragon about their missions and working with Red Baron. You can hear more about Combat Dragon from an interview Anthony had with them in episode 2 of his podcast, Flying Ant.
Next up, Pieter Johnson from XTP Media in the UK takes time out from his “Across the Pond” segment in the Airplane Geeks to bring us his first “From Up Here to Down There” report. In today’s report, he provides an interview with Matt Falcus about his Far East and Australasia airport spotting guide. If you’re spotting in the Asia/Pacific area, you should check out Matt’s book.
Having listened to Pieter’s chat with Matt, Anthony chats with us about a pilot’s view of the ‘plane spotters’ he sees at most of the major Australian airports.
After the break, we return to Grant’s chat with Geoff Morrison from GT Gyroplanes at Echuca. We talk about Geoff’s background in aviation in New Zealand hunting deer & working on warbirds before he came over to Australia to work on gyroplanes with his brother Alistair. After that we get into a discussion about gyroplanes in general, the Australian Sports Rotorcraft Association (ASRA) and their Kruza gyroplane in particular.
We then have a discussion about gyrocopters before bringing Pieter Johnson back onto the show to chat with us about his background in aviation, his goals for linking Australian/NZ flying with the UK and his interview with his father.
Moving onto Listener Mail, we have:
- Andrew Brown from the UK talking about our Qantas Grounding episode
- Voice mail from Ian Kershaw in Canada
- Chris Howard-Bath who likes the C130 & works with ATC Ben
- Peter Anderson talks about our website
If you want us to send you a CD copy of our content, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
PO Box 70
Cranbourne VIC 3977
Don’t forget about our Aus Air Services + PCDU BBQ & Fly In on December 17th at Tooradin Airport (YTDN). Come on down and say HI, folks :)
The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3
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It’s been a while since we got down & dirty with the Australian commercial airline scene so with that in mind, we called up Ben Sandlilands from the PlaneTalking blog on Crikey.com.au for a chat. There’s some amazing developments going on in the “big iron” side of people moving here in Australia and we went through the following subjects:
- The joys of ash clouds (Thanks Chile!)
- Virgin Australia taking on Qantas & Jetstar with their new pricing structures & business class, including just what kind of passenger they were targeting at the front of the cabin
- Qantas & JetStar’s industrial issues with their unions
- Tiger regrouping & focusing on routes where it can do the most damage to the others (watch out Melbourne <-> Sydney and maybe even the Golden Triangle of Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane)
- Strategic’s foray into the Pacific
In this episode we also include an interview with Kathy Mexted, a freelance writer who we met *way* back at the Centenary of Flight airshow in 2010. Flying is in Kathy’s blood by birth & by marriage and she’s been writing articles for a variety of aviation magazines as well as working on a book about being the spouse of an airline pilot. We’re very happy to announce that Kathy’s also going to be producing some content for us in the near future mostly covering Recreational & General Aviation areas.
Finally, we’re including some new music in our show as Steve’s found out about the royalty free production music by JewelBeat. Watch out for whole new background tracks & cross-over music in this & future episodes :)