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The Australian International Airshow (aka Avalon Airshow) is held every two years and runs for 6 days with the first 3 being trade-only. The 4th day of the show is always on a Friday and the public start coming in around midday then stay for the night show, a feature of Avalon for well over 15 years. The final two days are the weekend and, as you might expect, are packed with public enjoying the action and static displays.
Once again Team PCDU are at Avalon every day gathering plenty of content for your listening pleasure. This episode holds the first block of interviews we’ve prepared while the show is still going. At the rate we’re going we’ll have another two episodes of Avalon content but for now, here’s how this one unfolds:
- 0:03:38 – Sergeant Xavier “X” Sheriff is a loadmaster on the C130J and he’s recently returned from Red Flag at Nellis.
- 0:11:47 – Flying Officer “Guns” was also at Red Flag but while he is command rated on the C130J, he spent the duration of Red Flag performing the tactical planning for each mission.
- 0:21:07 – Steve caught up with Simon Hackett in his PC12 (VH-TCP) and they talk about gliding, the Cirrus SR22, the PC12 and Simon’s next aircraft, the Pilatus PC24 jet.
- 0:46:37 – Maikha Ly caught up with Graeme Horne from Cirrus and they review the Cirrus Jet, the market for Cirrus aircraft in Australia and the “Australis” version of the SR22
Pilatus PC24 Cockpit Mockup
- 0:57:40 – Steve talks to Basil Lenzo about Evektor Aircraft’s Sportstar & Harmony aircraft, the scene at their home base in Perth and their new operation at Moorabbin
- 1:02:57 – Grant & Steve ran into Matt Hall and had a good chat about his recent podium finish in the Red Bull Air Race, his new winglets & aircraft handling, developments at Belmont airport (YPEC) that Matt & a consortium recently purchased and QBE’s Airmanship program.
- 1:17:08 – Following on from his chat with Simon in the PC12, Steve caught up with Andre Zimmerman to discuss the Pilatus PC24.
- 1:24:40 – We wrap up the episode and talk about the Airbus A400M transport. We also mention that in addition to Steven Pam taking lots of amazing images, Maikha’s running around with his selfie-stick & distinctive hat. If you get your photo taken with Maikha, you’ll be in the running to get some prizes :)
The Pilatus PC24 Mock Up
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Just to be different, this episode Steve joins ATC Ben on a BenAir flight from Essendon (YMEN) to Temora (YTEM) to attend the NatFly 2014 event. With the Cirrus SR20’s autopilot keeping them on track, Captain Ben & FO Steve introduce the show before opening up their packed lunches. Sadly, Sierra Juliette Alpha (VH-SJA) did not include a flight attendant so they had to arrange their own drinks.
BenAir’s VH-SJA after arriving at Temora (YTEM)
Meanwhile, as you may have heard on a recent Australia Desk Segment
, Grant was flying hot air balloons in Leeton, about 60 nautical miles south west of Temora. While Steve & Ben were at NatFly & recording a few interviews, Grant managed to corner a pilot for a chat in Leeton.
This episode unfolds with the following content:
- 0:03:54 – Paul Goard from Brumby Aircraft Australia (based in Cowra, New South Wales) talks about their high-wing aircraft, the change to the Rotax engine and their production schedule.
- 0:08:49 – Robin Lowe from Lowe Flight (based at Kilcunda, Victoria) talks about the Fresh Breeze XCitor Paratrike which subsequently won the “Best Powered Parachute” award at NatFly 2014.
It also turns out that Robin is looking for an instructor to join his team so if you’re interested, his contact details are on the website :)
- 0:14:54 – Bob & Marya Phillips at AvTours Australia have been in the aviation tours business since 1989. They talk about the tours they’ve previously run to Oshkosh and their plans for this year’s tour.
- 0:24:57 – Matt Hall from Matt Hall Racing talks about pylon hits, assessing the other competitors, the removal of the knife-edge pass pylons from the Red Bull Air Race‘s track design and his schedule for the next month or two.
- 0:31:31 –
Grant catches up with Niall Higgins after another fun morning flying hot air balloons over Leeton. Niall talks about his background in aviation and why he flies fixed wing AND hot air balloons. In addition to flying a Yak52 with the Russian Roolettes, Niall also flies Tiger Moths and he talks about a very special gig on ANZAC Day this year: as part of the lead up to the Great Tiger Moth Air Race, Niall flew one of 4 Tigermoths up Sydney Harbour with WWII veterans on board.
Grant firing the burners during inflation
(Photo by Greg Maunder Sports Photography)
While we recorded the chat before ANZAC Day, this episode came out a few days after, allowing us to give you this link to an ABC News report on the flight :)
- 0:38:17 – As ATC Ben flies the Sierra Juliet Alpha back to Essendon, he records a NatFly 2014 wrap up with Steve while they were somewhere over Mt Kosciuszko.
VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight
Balloons flying over Leeton
(Grant’s in there somewhere :) )
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After a break due to injuries, surgery & a wedding, we’re back on deck and our first episode for 2014 is packed with Down Under aviation goodness :)
From Matt Hall & the return of the Red Bull Air Race to flying in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne
From Matt Hall
and the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race
to our media flight in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne to promote the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show
, this episode really got us exited for the year ahead.
Our first episode for 2014 unfolds as:
- Steve & Grant chat about surgery, a wedding and some recent media publicity after a couple of unusual hot air balloon landings in Melbourne
- 0:12:35 – We chat with Matt Hall about the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race and get lots of great info about the changes to the race itself, his new team, how they’ve been preparing and the telemetry system he’s using.
Is ATC Ben excited or nervous to be on the C130J media flight? :)
Steven Pam is clearly excited to be on the C130J media flight :)
- 0:46:20 – Steven Pam & ATC Ben got to represent PCDU at a recent RAAF C130J media flight over Melbourne to promote the Centenary of Military Aviation air show at Pt Cook on March 1st & 2nd. In the process they recorded the following content:
- Air Commodore Phil Byrne (RAAF’s Head of Special Events) talking about the historical significance of Pt Cook and the RAAF’s preparations for their Centenary of Military Aviation air show
- David Gardner (Director, RAAF Museum) talks about the Bristol Boxkite replica
- Flight lieutenant Matt Fleet, an RAF C130J pilot on exchange with the RAAF
- Sergeant Greg Milne, an RAAF C130J loadmaster
The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J’s ramp
Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)
- We have some announcements:
- PCDU will be at the Tyabb Airshow 2014 (A Salute to Veterans) on Sunday, March 9th and are looking forward to catching up with any of you who can be there
- We want your stories, especially “grass roots” content and, as Steve Riley wrote in about, more “stories about flying”
We have some shout outs:
The view from the C130J’s cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation
- Thanks to Steve’s surgical staff for doing his knee reconstruction, including Mr Eden Raleigh, Dr Peter Larkins & Dr Joshua Hoppe from the Epworth Hospital
- Thanks to Pieter Johnson & David Vanderhoof for the long-distance support from around the world to help Steve get through some difficult times
- Steve wants to thank Grant & the rest of the PCDU team for helping out with the Australia Desk episodes while he was recovering
- Thanks to the Hangar 49 & Aviation Xtended podcasts for being brave enough to let Grant join them when recording their latest episodes (Hangar 49’s “G’Day Mate” … Aviation Xtended’s “Plane Crazy”)
- Good luck to Dave Gray (formerly from the Lifestyle PodNetwork) who is currently battling melanoma
- Thanks to the RAAF for inviting us to attend the C130J media flight
- Twitter user 555UHZ is posting the movie Top Gun as a series of frames (with subtitles), one every half hour or so. Now that’s dedication! :)
Here’s the video Steven Pam put together following the C130J media flight:
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It’s been a good start to the Avalon 2013 Airshow with Team PCDU recording a few interviews and setting up their schedule for the rest of the week. For our first day’s coverage we present:
- Grant talks with John McCormick (Director of Flight Safety at CASA) about his military & airline experience, flying his Yak50 and how that all links into managing CASA.
- Steven Pam talks to Mal Hurman about the Eclipse 500 at the Air Show, and to Heath Okely from Airflite about the new Eclipse 550 they are marketing.
- Matt Hall talks to Grant about his Avalon 2013 display routine
- Timbo’s Tarmac
- In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf
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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
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After a long break from the show, Ben Ippolito (aka ATC Ben – ATCBen.PCDU@gmail.com) returns in this packed episode to tell us about getting current again, wrap up the Tyabb airshow and answer some of your ATC questions. We also bring on a new sponsor (OzRunways) who helped us get to the recent Parafield airshow (more on that in a later episode).
We start by chatting with Ben about the steps he took to regain currency after spending a few years focussing on becoming an Air Traffic Controller. After this, we move into our Tyabb Airshow content:
- 08:32 – Peter Bernardi & John Brett from the Peninsula Aero Club discuss the history of the show, the challenges in making it happen (the paperwork!), their involvement in the show and their aviation histories
- 22:46 – Grant chats with Paul Bennett from MaxxG Aerobatics about his aviation background, winning aerobatic competitions, flying his Pitts Special and flying warbirds
- 29:37 – Jim & Jenny Wickham talk to Grant about their 3/4 scale P51s & the latest news in Wicko’s world
- 34:56 – Scott Taberner talks about flying his 1941 Ryan ST3-KR & his flying history
- 39:44 – Mark Pracy from JetRide Australia gives us an update on the 2012 race, his perspective on the Reno crash and their expanding fleet of L39s & their new Glasair
- 47:51 – Doug Thomas talks about the Pelican Amphibian, a Russian designed seaplane and the only one in Australia
- 53:22 – Squadron Leader Adrian Burge talks about the CT4
- 57:29 – Peter Clements & Steve Death tell us about the history of the Southern Knights
- 61:04 – Guy Bourke talks to us about flying the T6 Harvard (or Texan if you’re from the USA :), the P51, the Spitfire, the P40 and the Lockheed Hudson as well as which aircraft he dreams of flying
- 67:48 – Matt Hall on making it down to Tyabb despite the weather, his recent back surgery, how his routine has modified since Avalon, his first aircraft vs car race, his new projects for 2012 & his rotary license
- 79:46 – Tim Connell returns to reprise his Timbo’s Tarmac sessions from Avalon 2011
- 81:13 – Peter Bernardi – post show
Following all this great content, Steve, Grant & Ben review their experiences & highlights of the Tyabb show then at 88:42 Ben answers a few ATC questions that have come in:
- Handling emergencies
- Who decides whether an airport is closed
- Who decides runway configurations during operations
Big thanks to Allan VP, ATC Ben, Steven Pam & Chris for their help on the day at Tyabb.
* The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3
* Cover art by Chris Visscher & David Vanderhoof
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Today we’re joined by Anthony Crichton-Browne, a commercial airline pilot who also likes to take his Pitts Special out for a spin (and a few other fun manoeuvres :) In addition to chatting with Anthony, we also run a chat with Grant Piper (President of the Australian Aerobatic Club) about Australia’s recent involvement in the World Aerobatic Championship, discuss aerobatics in general and also have a chat about the recent horrific tragedy at Reno Air Races where the highly modified P51 “Galloping Ghost” lost control and plowed into specators.
We start off by hanging out with Anthony and talking about his career in aviation and more, including:
- He has an older brother who’s also a pilot
- He’s from Western Australia, learning to fly at Jandakot in Perth
- He did the usual hour building & quickly found himself in a Cessna 310 then on to First Officer on a Brasillia before stepping up to Second Officer on 747-400, after which he proceeded to his current gig as First Officer on a 767
- Anthony started flying aerobatics with friends and also scored a flight with Matt Hall
- His aerobatic training really kicked in with a Pitts and he now has his own Pitts
- We talk about G-Tolerance, G-LOC and beating the effects of high-G manoeuvres
- We discuss the recent tragic accident at the Reno Air Races, including the NTSB’s preliminary report & talk further the effects of pulling-G’s
- A discussion about stalls that leads into how advanced training really helps dispel some of the many myths, how the stall stick position works and standard GFPT training vs advanced training by groups like Red Baron in Sydney (Hi Joel! :)
You can find Anthony on his Flying Ant Online website as well as following him on Twitter where he’s known as AntCB.
We then move into the interview that Steve & Anthony recorded with Grant Piper, the President of the Australian Aerobatics Club, featuring:
- An overview of aerobatic manoeuvre’s
- How aerobatic competitions are managed & scored
- Australia’s return to the World Aerobatic Championship
- How to improve the standard in Australia with coaching by current champs
- Grant’s career in aviation including his start in the RAAF
- The benefits of including aeros in primary training
We then return to a chat with Anthony about:
- The challenges of flying competition aerobatics
- Standard aerobatic figures (loop, cuban-8, etc)
- How scoring each manoeuvre starts at 10 points then deducts points for any errors
- How it all has to look right from the ground
- The issues in dealing with wind & power
- What is the aerobatic box
- Types of propeller blades and their benefits (blade numbers, sizes, etc)
Finally we start to wrap it up with some listener mail:
- Ian Allen from New Zealand sent us some great ideas for more Kiwi Content
- Errol Cavit points us at a possible Kiwi aviation podcast
- Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and our forums on Downwind
We then wind up with some shout outs:
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It’s time once again for the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (aka Avalon 2011) and Team PCDU are there to arrange interviews with people & organisations that catch our eye. On the third day of the show we have been particularly busy interviewing aircrew, maintainers and other folks on site, frequently while sitting in their aircraft. The content we selected for this Quick Cast includes:
- Catching up with Matt Hall to discuss the new show he’s performing at Avalon in his MXS-R (it’s choreographed to music) and how he’s filling his days without the Red Bull Air Race being around
- An interview with a USAF F22 Raptor pilot and maintainer while standing on the tarmac as close as we were allowed to get to their aircraft
- Today’s updates from Timbo & Papa Smurf on movements at the Warbird and Keyhole tarmacs
These Avalon Quick Cast episodes are being sponsored by Aviation Advertiser and supported by Red Baron and Temby Automotive.