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.

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

PCDU Episode 95: Northern Exposure

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:

  • 0:02:05 – We chat with ATC_Ben about his US trip and being at Oshkosh 2012
     
  • ATC_Ben channelling Dan “Seat Pitch” Webb

  • ATC_Ben’s Oshkosh interviews:
    • 0:12:47 – Malcolm Savill at Classic Aviation Designs discusses their timber-construction Cubflyer CA18 kitset & Dick Sybrandy from Auroa Helicopters discusses their two seat turbine-powered microlight helicopter
    • 0:22:46 – Peter Maloney from Composite Helicopters International talks about the ongoing development & flight testing of their kitset composite turbine-powered helicopter
    • 0:26:20 – Shaun Mitchell from Kiwi Propellers talks about their high-performance propellers
    • 0:32:16 – Glen Towler (@NZAircraftFan) is a listener from New Zealand has a quick chat about drinking from the Oshkosh firehose
    • 0:35:11 – Matthew Hassall from GippsAero & Elizabeth from Groom Aviation talk about the increased recognition the GA8 is getting in the USA these days
       
  • 0:42:39 – We wrap up the interviews with ATC_Ben
     
  • Ben wishing he could be flying the A6 Intruder

  • 0:44:35 – Damien Rose (OzFlyBoy) joins us give us an update on his aviation activities since last we had him on the show and officially join us as our Queensland reporter
     
  • We run a few recordings from our time at Oshkosh 2011:
    • 1:14:37 – George Morgan, co-founder of GippsAero talks about the history of the company, the development of the GA8, Mahindra Corporation & future directions
    • 1:23:26 – Karthik Krishnamurty of Mahindra Aerospace talks about Mahindra, why they purchased GippsAero & future directions
    • 1:28:15 – Rod Rakic talks about flying the GA8 with the Civil Air Patrol
       
  • 1:31:49 – We wrap up the Oshkosh 2011 interviews & talk some more about GippsAero
     
  • 1:34:28 – Listener Mail:
    • Steve Davis at Warneet tells us about his attempts at learning to fly & asks about how ultralights fit into the Australian airspace
    • Brian Judd from Kentucky was wrapped when we read out his email previously and has come back with a new question: can we get RC Cola here?
       
  • 1:42:17 – Shout Outs:
    • Aus Air Services are hosting the Tooradin Open Day on December 1st
    • Matt Hall Racing will be offering adventure flights at the Open Day
    • Thromby Air‘s art department have done it again with more PCDU cartoons and have even spun off into apparel at Fighter Jox
    • Caboolture Warplane Museum are having their Antique Day on November 18th
       

    How Allan kept us running at AusFly

  • 1:50:07 – We talk to ATC_Ben about the new Flightplan 2012 changes being introduced by AirServices
     
  • More Shoutouts: