Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:27:18 — 101.8MB)
During August, Grant spent a week in Darwin covering Exercise Pitch Black 2014, a major multinational “war game” exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force.
RSAF F15 at dusk in Darwin
Held every two years, Pitch Black is Australia’s version of the Red Flag training exercises held in the USA and in 2014 the RAAF was joined by forces from the US, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, France and the United Arab Emirates.
Grant joined Andrew McLaughlin, Nigel Pittaway, Mike Yeo and Eng Tiong Ow to experience fantastic access to the local & visiting forces thanks to the efforts of FLTLT Eamon Hamilton. From meeting with representatives from each group attending Pitch Black to being beside the runways & taxiways at Darwin & Tindal, we were able to capture some fantastic photos, videos & interviews.
In addition to Grant’s collection of Pitch Black 2014 content, Steve & ATC Ben recorded a chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book and his ideas for future projects.
At the time we recorded the wrappers for this episode, Steve was about to head to the USA for a family holiday and to cover the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas while Grant was geting ready to go to Auckland for the Wings Over New Zealand forum gathering. Unfortunately there were delays in getting everything finished so the episode didn’t come out until after the boys had left on their flights. Go figure :)
The episode’s details are:
- 0:08:20 –
Grant’s coverage of Exercise Pitch Black 2014
GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014
- 0:09:22 – General media “door stop” interview with GPCAPT “Micka” Gray
- 0:17:05 – FLTLT Ben Daly talks about the roles of Air Combat Officer (ACO) and Fighter Combat Controller (FCC)
- 0:22:03 – FLGOFF Kathryn Koslowicz talks about the day to day tasks of an Air Combat Officer (ACO) and being deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO)
- 0:26:31 – FLTLT Ben Daly takes us through No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit’s operations cabins and how they’re used to deploy & manage operations in remote locations
- 0:31:25 – SQNLDR Tim Main reviews the RAAF’s new E7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft
- 0:40:15 – Lt Col Scott Arbogast is the commander of the US ANG F16s & he tells us about their role in the exercise
- 0:46:02 – CMSgt Joseph Smiley discusses the logistics behind getting the US ANG F16s to Australia, keeping them running here and then getting them back home afterwards
- 0:52:34 –
WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport
- 1:00:42 – SQNLDR Rob Crawford talks about the 37SQN C130J he brought up to Tindal
- 1:04:56 – WOFF Kyle Lovett is a refuelling operator (aka “boomer”) on 33SQN’s KC30A MRTTs and he walks us through a typical mission they’ve been flying
- 1:14:39 – FLTLT Adam Rouessart & FLGOFF Matthew Bleach were the crew for the F18F Super Hornet handling display during the week
- 1:18:52 – CASA CN235 crew from the French Armed Forces of New Caledonia
- 1:29:24 – RTAF WGCDR Titan
- 1:33:44 –
Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin
- 1:42:19 – Nobby has been part of the team restoring Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair & he lets us in on some of the effort required to bring it to flight status
- 1:48:05 – Steve & ATC Ben chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book “Born to Fly” and his ideas for the future
- 2:15:11 – Steve & Grant return to wrap up the episode with the following shout outs:
RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off
Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair
CHC’s Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter
Our small group of Aviation Media on the RSAF tarmac after our dusk-walk
(Eng Tiong Ow, Grant McHerron, Mike Yeo, 2 x RSAF, Andrew McLaughlin, Eamon Hamilton, Nigel Pittaway)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:13:20 — 91.9MB)
Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!
September 2013 rolled around and it was time for the second AusFly event at Narromine in New South Wales. Team PCDU squeezed into a bus that was loaded with Analog Al’s airshow PA system, our gear and a certain trade stand then drove over 800km in a day to get there. Whew!
Once there we cleared out the studio, set up the sound system & got ready to run AusFly Radio & do the air display commentary. We applied the lessons we learned from AusFly 2012 and, over the course of the event, wound up learning all new lessons so AusFly 2014 will be even better. We also recorded a stack of content and have packaged some of it up into this first AusFly 2013 episode. Even though it’s over 2 hours long, there’s still more yet to come but we’ll save that for later episodes.
For now, here’s the AusFly 2013 content we have for you in this episode:
- 0:02:13 – Ben Jones joins us for a recap of AusFly 2013 with David Brown from the SAAA.
- 0:09:32 – Rob Fisher from Superior Air Parts covers the aviation components & parts they’re able to supply
- 0:15:01 – Anton Meier from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand talks about the Triton Sport, a derivation of the Sport Cruiser
- 0:21:27 – Russell Milton from Atlas Aviation Australia talks about their SkyLeader aircraft
- 0:26:22 – Stephen Gale talks us through learning to fly the SIA Marchetti S211 jet with input from Willie “Godfather” Chew (ex-RSAF instructor). We’re also joined by Jodie Davis from SkyThrills who went flying with Stephen in the jet.
- 0:34:13 – Allan Barton from Zenair Australia tells us about the Zenith aircraft they’re importing from the USA
- 0:37:11 – Dianne McNamara produces custom aircraft covers for Punkin Head Air Sports
- 0:43:08 – Michael Coates represents Pipistrel in Australia
- 0:51:36 – David Baddams runs Snow Goose International and ferries aircraft around the world. He also flew David Brown’s RV10 in an RV formation at AusFly
- 1:00:31 – Grant & Ben chat with Dick Smith and Ryan Campbell about flying solo around the world
- 1:09:50 – Amanda Pond from Puddle To Pond Financial talks about life insurance for pilots
- 1:13:45 – Steve & Ben talk to Paul Holler & Norm Edmunds from the SAAA about home building aircraft
- 1:38:17 – Bas Scheffers went up with Jeremy from SkyThrills to do some aerobatics in their Super Decathalon. He also tells us a bit about the latest OzRunways news
- 1:46:14 – Steve, Grant, Ben & David Brown wrap up their AusFly 2013 review
Don’t forget to go & support Steven Pam’s Airheads documentary, a movie that desperately needs to be made.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:13:05 — 50.3MB)
We had contemplated a quiet final day at Avalon 2013 where the team could gather a few last interviews but it wasn’t to be. There were still so many people to see, content to capture and experiences to share with our audience. In fact, there’s so much content that we couldn’t fit it all into our daily episodes so we’re going to have to release more Avalon coverage in our later episodes.
Meanwhile, for this episode we’re presenting:
- Ryan Campbell from the Teen World Flight project
- Melissa & Rex Pemberton talk about flying aerobatic demonstrations & wingsuiting
- Mark Jefferies talks about his aerobatic career
- Dieter Ebeling introduces us to Awesome Aviation and their Extra 330LX
- Anton Meir from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand
- Nelson Aviation College
- Kangan Institute provides aviation courses
- Captain Natassia Cherne from the USAF’s Pacific Air Force media team
- Timbo’s Tarmac
- In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:09:08 — 88.7MB)
Episode 95 Cover Art
Steve & Grant go north of Melbourne thanks to the aid of some members of Team PCDU, both current & new. First up we tag along with ATC_Ben on his visit to Oshkosh 2012, discussing his journey there & listening to a few of the interviews he recorded (yes, we’re still jealous we couldn’t get there!). We then introduce long-time listener Damien Rose who’s joining us as our Queensland correspondent & lives about 2,000km north of PCDU HQ. Finally, we play a few of the interviews Steve & Grant recorded at Oshkosh 2011 to help us feel a bit better about not being there this year (nope, still jealous! :)
The whole episode unfolds as:
1:50:07 – We talk to ATC_Ben about the new Flightplan 2012 changes being introduced by AirServices
How Allan kept us running at AusFly
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:39:37 — 68.4MB)
After three years of lamenting the hassles involved in getting to the West Coast of Australia to report on aviation happenings wwwaaayyy over there on the other side of the big empty, we’ve finally done something about it: we’ve set up a PCDU-WestCoast office and found someone just as aviation-crazy as we are to run it :)
In this episode we introduce Ben Jones who is based in West Australia and has a long and fascinating history of aviation. Clearly it’s in his blood as most of his family are into aviation while Ben himself is a pilot, home builder, member of the RAAF reserve and much much more. He’s even started a blog called WA Aviator to record his aviation activities ‘over there.’
There’s more to the episode than introducing Ben, however, and here’s what you’ll find in it:
- 0:02:29 – We bring Ben in & start chatting about his background in aviation, the aviation scene in West Australia and his current projects.
- 0:26:58 – We chat with Sussan Ley, Federal Member for Farrer, Commercial Pilot and one of the two people responsible for starting the “Friends of Aviation” group in Federal Parliament. With only a half hour window to chat with Sussan, we had to jump through a number of subjects in only a short time. Hopefully we can return to chat again with Sussan in the near future as it sounds like there are plenty of additional stories for us to listen to as well as updates on progress with Friends of Aviation group :)
- 0:53:02 – Mark Pracy from JetRide Australia and Pracy Racing joins us to talk about their preparation for the Reno Air Races this year. We discuss the Galloping Ghost crash, the changes made to address the issues it raised and Mark’s training & preparation techniques.
- 1:11:04 – David Brown from the Sport Aviation Association of Australia chats with Steve about the AusFly event being held at Narromine over September 14th to 16th.
We also have a very special announcement about AusFly: We’ve been invited to attend and provide commentary, narration and general radio services during the show. We’ll be there with a PA system, low powered FM transmitter and a live-stream to the Internet via LiveATC and our MyRadioStream link. Check it out at:
Finally, at 1:24:13 we have a few shout outs to cover:
- Richard Pollard (the voice of the JetRide ads) is heading back to New Zealand to start a new chapter in his life.
- Andrea Crook (our awesome voice-over lady) is launching her own podcast network: the Waffle Network
- Steve gives HUGE thanks to Gary Mac for helping him with some voice-over training during the past couple of months. Check out Steve’s even more dulcet tones, folks! :)
- Well done to the Airplane Geeks for getting sponsorship from AOPA
- If you’re in West Australia, check out the Sport Builders Club of WA who are holding their annual fly-in on September 30th at Serpentine Airfield, which also happens to be right about the same time as the WestFly event
- Thanks to JetRide Australia and OzRunways for renewing their sponsorship of our show!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:02 — 26.7MB)
787 ZA003 provides our Cover Art for this episode
Boeing have been taking their 787 Dreamliners on the DreamTour
, a series of 7 multi-stop flights, or segments, that take one of the 787 test aircraft around the world. Each segment visits multiple countries, allowing airlines & invited guests to get up close to the advanced new airliner. Perhaps saving the best for last, the DreamTour came to the Dreamtime
during it’s 7th segment. As part of this segment, the aircraft visited Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland (yes, that’s New Zealand, we know) and then on to Cairns before heading north of the equator once again.
Team PCDU were invited to tour the 787 while it was in Melbourne as guests of Qantas & Jetstar. Despite the cold, grey weather & occasional rain, our spirits were high & we were excited to once again encounter the Dreamliner. We’d met ZA001 at Oshkosh 2011 but been too busy to go through the interior so with ZA003 parked on the BAe Systems ramp, this was our chance to finally check out the cockpit.
After chatting with Reid Templin, one of Boeing’s flight test engineers, we recorded an interview with Captain Todd Abraham, one of the Boeing 787 technical pilots flying the aircraft on segment #7. Todd answered our questions about the training program, the electric brakes, the engines, the fly-by-wire system, adherence to the Boeing philosophy and the tactile feedback provided by the control yoke & throttles. Like the other Boeing airliners, the computer systems on the 787 supplement & assist the pilot but do not override, despite being fully computerised.
Our interview with Todd starts at 02:11.
Steve & Grant on the Flight Deck of 787 ZA003
Following this interview we climbed on board and checked out the cockpit (cool!!!!!) before heading back through the demonstration interior which featured example seating arrangements, galleys, toilets, large dimmable windows, high ceilings (with the new storage bins) & crew rest areas. All very impressive but the chance to hang out & chat with some more Boeing flight test engineers at the rear of the aircraft & talk about systems, structures & designs was fascinating.
Eventually we left & went back down to the tarmac to get some more photos of engines, landing gear, vents, inlets & more. From there we returned to the bus & went back to our vehicles, coming back to the reality of a cold, grey Melbourne day.
Team PCDU would like to thank Qantas & Jetstar for inviting us to join the 787 DreamTour here in Melbourne. We’d also like to thank Boeing for bringing the 787 down under and for allowing us to interview Captain Todd Abraham as well as spend so much time chatting with their flight test engineers.
Naturally, we’ve loaded our photos from the day as a 787 set on our Flickr stream for you to check out. We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and that you can appreciate the need to balance a short-length ‘quick-cast’ episode against getting our interview published while the DreamTour is still underway.
* Cover art image courtesy of Steven Pam from SmartShots
* Thanks to Owen Zupp and also the crew at Junior Flyer for technical help with this episode
* Intro by Andrea Crook of Scripts & Voices
Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime
At the invitation of Qantas & Jetstar, we spent some time today exploring the 787 ZA003 with its demonstration customer interior. The aircraft is visiting Australia & New Zealand as part of the DreamTour and today’s leg brought it to Melbourne.
In addition to getting to walk around & through the aircraft, we had some time to enjoy the cockpit, record a great interview with Captain Todd Abraham from Boeing and also have some casual chats with a few of the Boeing Flight Test Engineers who were on the tour.
It was a great experience and we’d like to thank Boeing, Qantas & Jetstar for helping to make it happen.
Steve & Grant on the Flight Deck of 787 ZA003
You can see all the photos we took today in our PCDU Flickr Stream.
We’ll be releasing our chat with Todd in our next episode. Watch this space :)
Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (80.1MB)
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