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 92: Helene Young – A Novel Approach to Flying

Episode 92 Cover Art

Kathy Mexted joins Steve & Grant to interview Helene Young, a Dash-8 pilot who’s written three great books based around pilots flying for Australia’s border patrol in the far north of Queensland. In addition to being a captain with the regionals, Helene has managed to juggle her home & social life with work and writing, producing three great books in a relatively short period of time.

Her first book (Wings of Fear) was released in 2011 and throws two female pilots & their crew against a bunch of terrorists attempting to infiltrate the country through the vast, empty stretches of coastline and baked earth in Australia’s north. The second book (Shattered Sky) was released earlier this year and takes one of the pilots into a whole new adventure deep in the Australian outback while Helene’s third book (Burning Lies) has just been released, bringing closure to the trilogy.

We chat with Helene about her career in aviation, what it’s like flying the Dash 8, where she gets her inspiration & ideas for her stories and much more. You can find additional information about Helene & her books via her website and follow her on Twitter via @HeleneYoung.

Helene with her latest book’s promotional poster

The whole episode unfolds as:

  • 0:02:44 – Our chat with Helene.
     
  • 0:42:58 – Steve’s interview with Peter Sobey, the Director and Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) at Sharp Airlines.
     
  • 0:54:11 – Grant’s chat with Chris Dewhirst, the first person to fly a hot air balloon over Mt Everest and also the person who started commercial hot air balloon flights over the city of Melbourne way back in 1986.
     
  • 1:01:54 – Anthony Simmons returns with another “View from the Lounge” segment that takes us Up, Up & Away in a continuation of the ballooning theme.
     
  • 1:06:51 – Our shout-outs this episode include:
    • Kathy says “Hi” to Mike Williamson (her newest online follower).
       
    • Gary Clarkson let us know about the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre‘s project to restore an Avro Anson plus their fly-in event coming up on October 20th.
       
    • The great New Zealand De Havilland Mosquito restoration project is coming along very nicely with first flight planned for September 29th at Ardmore in Auckland.
       
    • The “Will It Fly” project is almost ready to fly their Pearse replica (check them out on Facebook).
       
    • If you’re not already aware of it, you should be listening to the Wings Over New Zealand podcast, a great effort by Dave Homewood with awesome content that’s well worth listening to.

PCDU Episode 78: Tim Smith: Flying Saved My Life

Many people in Australia know of Tim Smith, a Melbourne comedian who’s worked on television and in radio for years. What many people don’t know is that Tim is a pilot who is working towards his goal of running charter operations taking people around Australia, visiting places many folks have never heard of let alone visited.

We were fortunate enough to get some time chatting with Tim in one of the briefing rooms at Moorabbin Flying Services where we had a great time talking about a variety of topics, including:

  • The number of people in radio who have their pilots license
  • The difficulties of juggling radio work with learning to fly & the challenge of time management
  • What influenced him to become a pilot
  • How flying saved his life
  • Amusing flying stories about instructors, examiners and experiences
  • Aircraft he’s flown and ratings he has, including a great look at glass cockpits vs steam gauge
  • His interest in flying people around Australia on charter work, going to places like Fraser Island, Daly Waters, Alice Springs, Darwin, Birdsville, etc
  • How he’s often doing lots of exploring from the air & going to out of the way places & experiencing the outback scenery & friendliness
  • Aviation TV shows in Australia
  • The impact of government legislation and ideas to get more people flying
  • Flying in New Zealand

It’s a great chat and we’re very happy that Tim was able to give us so much of his time on the AFL Grand Final day (when almost the whole of Victoria and most of the rest of Australia stop to watch football).

You can find Tim online at:

The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3

PCDU Episode 76: Air Wilpena

A few episodes ago we introduced Kathy Mexted as a new member our group of occasional PCDU contributors and this episode she’s back with some great content. She recently took a few friends in a Bonanza out to Wilpena Pound in South Australia, a trip that would usually take many days to achieve by road but, thanks to general aviation, only required two 90 minute flights to get there. Originally intended to be a trip to Ayers Rock, this adventure was trimmed down to something more manageable and a journey to just south of Lake Eyre was planned.

We spend a bit of time discussing the flight, the scenery, air sickness, some geology and what it was like loading four ladies into a high performance single then blasting off to out back of beyond. Kathy also discusses staying at Mungo Lodge, the Wilpena Pound Resort and Trevor Hancock, their tour guide while they were there.

While staying in outback South Australia, Kathy and her friends caught up with some of the pilots from Air Wilpena and recorded a discussion with them about their backgrounds, the flying they’re doing and what it’s like to be flying in outback Australia.

After this we play a few interviews from our recent visit to Coldstream Airport including:

  • A chat with Judy & Andrew Doak, the owners of Coldstream Airport (YCEM)
  • Dr Bruce Searle, CEO of ACMA
  • Andrew Temby, aerobatic display pilot flying his Yak-52TW

We then move into reading some listener emails and discussing some future events on the calendar, including:

Our backing music for this episode comes from “The Groove Press” by Ron Soo.