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.

Avalon coverage begins (Episode 130) and we went back to school (Episode 129)

We’ve launched our first episode of Avalon 2017 coverage and it contains the following items:

  • Kimberley Turner from Aerosafe
  • Patrick Coleman from Garmin
  • Associate Professor Andrew Kornberg and the Fly for the Kids charity
  • Matt Hall on the F-35A and also on his new aircraft for the Red Bull Air Race
  • Kurt Lyall from RocketRoute and Alan Wilson from AirBP
  • Steve’s F-35A news bulletins for AIR News
  • Kreisha Ballentyne-Dickes from Cirrus Australia
  • Heidi Fedak from Gulfstream
  • Timbo’s Tarmac

You can access the episode and its show notes here: PCDU Episode 130: Avalon 2017 – Alpha

As if that wasn’t enough, previously back in February we’d also released Episode 129 which had both Steve & Grant going back to school on separate occasions. For this episode, Steve spent some time at his old Secondary Collage (Brentwood) with the RAAF F/A-18A simulator and then Grant spent some time with TVSA out at Bacchus Marsh aerodrome discussing options for learning to fly (and flying the very sexy Bristell LSA tail dragger :) ).

You can access the episode and its show notes here: PCDU Episode 129: Going Back to School.

PCDU Episode 130: Avalon 2017 - Alpha

Steve, Grant and Maikha were on-site at Avalon recording plenty of content and this episode is our first collection of audio content covering some of the companies, people and aircraft we encountered while there. Steve & Grant have already started editing the next batch of content for Episode 131 and Maikha’s starting to wade through all the video he collected so we can show you a few of the sights from the event (and there were many!).

For now, enjoy Episode 130 (Avalon 2017 – Alpha) which unfolds as:

  • 0:03:18 – Grant meets with Kimberley Turner, CEO and founder of Aerosafe, and chats about her love of aviation, founding Aerosafe twenty years ago and the company’s operations in the aviation safety and risk management environment.
     
  • 0:19:18 – Steve catches up with Patrick Coleman from Garmin to review a number of their products including the G1000 & glass cockpits, ADSB transponders, the G5 digital primary attitude indicator, the status of ADSB deployment in the USA and Australia and interfacing with their systems via tablets and cards.
     
  • 0:26:14 – Maikha talks to Associate Professor Andrew Kornberg about his flying experiences, the Fly for the Kids charity that he runs and the month long circumnavigation of Australia flight he is about to start to raise funds for the charity.
     
  • 0:40:02 – Steve chats with Matt Hall about the F-35A compared to the F/A-18A Classic Hornet then tells us about his new aircraft for this season’s Red Bull Air Race.
     
  • 0:49:00 – Steve reminds you to leave us a review on iTunes or help support the show via our Patreon page.
     
  • 0:50:22 – Grant walks through the Rocket Route fuel app with Kurt Lyall and then talks with Alan Wilson about AirBP‘s sponsorship of the app.
     
  • 1:00:23 – During the show Steve was exercising his radio reporter voice and provided a number of F-35A related bulletins for Australian Independent Radio News, one of which we’ve included here.
     
  • 1:00:52 – Steve tries to get Kreisha Ballentyne-Dickes’ awesome job with Cirrus Australia but she was too quick for that so instead they talk about Cirrus aircraft, training packages and the SF50 Vision jet.
     
  • 1:07:22 – Grant once again gets to hang out with Heidi Fedak, Gulfstream‘s Director of Corporate Communications, as they chat inside a G650ER. It’s an amazing corporate jet and the perfect location to talk about Gulfstream’s biggest & fastest jet, their range and the current corporate market.
     
  • 1:16:42 – It wouldn’t be PCDU’s Avalon coverage if we didn’t have a Timbo’s Tarmac section and this time Steve joins Grant to chat with Timbo and he braves the background noise of a BAE Hawk 127 flying past then an F-16 starting up to tell us what’s been happening air-side at the show.
     
  • 1:20:24 – Steve wraps up the episode.

Gulfstream G650ER Interior

RAAF F-35As parking for the media briefing

Maikha mixing it up with the media camera folks

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 123: Avalon15 Alpha (It's Avalon Airshow Time :) )

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.Ep123 Cover

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

    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

The Pilatus PC24 Mock Up

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 118: Can you fly to NatFly 2014?

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)

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 firing the burners during inflation

    Grant firing the burners during inflation
    (Photo by Greg Maunder Sports Photography)

    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.

    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

VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight

Balloons flying over Leeton (Grant's in there somewhere :) )

Balloons flying over Leeton
(Grant’s in there somewhere :) )

PCDU Episode 116: High Performances

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 & 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? :)

    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 :)

    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

      The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J’s ramp

       
      Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)

      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”
       
  • The view from the C130J's cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    The view from the C130J’s cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    We have some shout outs:
    • 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:

PCDU Episode 101: Avalon 2013 – Day One

Steve & Grant with Matt Hall at Avalon 2013It’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

PCDU Episode 100: The Ton

Our 100th Episode – a Ton of great content

When we began producing this show WAY back in July 2009, we had no idea that we’d make it to 100 episodes, have travelled to multiple events within Australia, been to Oshkosh and be just about to cover a second Avalon Airshow with a bigger team than ever before. We’ve learned so much about producing a quality & enjoyable aviation show, had aviation related experiences we never dreamed of, dabbled with video production and even spun off a few side-projects for other shows. We’re also very appreciative of you, our audience. The fact that you’re all still here with us, telling us what we’re getting right (& wrong :) ) and enjoying the results of our efforts makes the late nights all worth while.

For this episode we’ve resisted the temptation to do a retrospective or rehash earlier content (except for a bit at the start & the end of the episode :) ). Instead, we’ve put together some interviews with well known people about a couple of up-coming events and a discussion about the dreaded Biennial Flight Review (BFR), now known as an Aeroplane Flight Review (AFR).

Here’s how Episode 100 unfolds:

  • 0:06:09 – Grant talks a little about his recent trip to Malaysia as a guest of Malaysia Airlines
     
  • 0:11:54 – ATC Ben talks about the proposed new Australian ATC Management system called oneSky with Lockheed Martin being demonstrating their SkyLine Enterprise system as a contender
     
  • 0:15:46 – We chat with Peter Meehan about his career as a RAAF Reserve media officer, doing air show commentary, being the “Voice of Avalon” and even learning to fly
     
  • Paul McKeown is a CFI with Recreational Flying Company in Gympie, QLD

    0:35:48 – Damien Rose talks about his recent Aeroplane Flight Review (AFR) that was previously referred to as the Biennial Flight Review (BFR). He then interviews Paul McKeown, CFI with Recreational Flying Company in Gympie, QLD & his instructor for the AFR
     
  • 1:19:14 – Matt Hall joins us once again to discuss a few things he’s working on including a day-long fly past of aircraft from Super Hornets to Tiger Moths as part of the Bicentennial celebrations for the first crossing of the Blue Mountains in Sydney. He also chats about his new book (The Sky is Not the Limit) and gives us an updated on whether the RedBull AirRace will ever return
     
  • 1:58:19 – We return to summarise the episode and review a few of the key points
     
  • 2:01:34 – Listener mail!
    • David Neafsey sent us a letter and a 100th birthday card – all via snail mail! Yes, remember that? Good thing we have a snail mail address, eh? (PO Box 70, Cranbourne VIC 3977)
    • Ian Kershaw from Calgary sent in an audio message
    • Steve at Warneet asks us to organise an interview with Judy Pay
    • “Mick from the Frankston Line” has sent us a number of great emails that have been a LOT of fun to read. Awesome stuff, mate!
    • Ryan Hothersall writes in to express his disdain of NIMBYS. No argument from us on that one!
    • We give a Shout Out to Carl Valeri from the Stuck Mic Avcast for gaining his A320 type rating! Well done, mate! :)
       
  • 2:10:57 – Steve’s wife Cathey finally joins us on the podcast and, of all events, it’s to help with the drawing of the winner of our “First to 750” competition. The lucky winner is Gary Murphy who has scored himself a free Trial Introductory Flight with Aus Air Services at Tooradin (YTDN). WOO HOO! :)
     

So there you go, our 100th episode! Thanks to all our supporters for keeping us motivated and lets see how many of you are able to make it to Avalon 2013 :)

NOTE: Check out the blooper reel: It’s a quick montage of glitches from the past four years including our Australia Desk and Flying Down Under shows.

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