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 84: Geoff Whitty: Pidgin Tales

The Apron at Aropa

We’re joined by Kathy Mexted and her brother Geoff Whitty who is a real adventurer, having worked in Papua New Guinea managing aviation operations. As we learn in this episode, he has a LOT of very interesting tales to tell.

Starting with Ansett in their reservation system, Geoff moved to Qantas and then in 1989 got a job working with Air New Guinea in Papua New Guinea (PNG). He’s now working with PNG’s 2nd largest RPT carrier managing airports & operations.

While there are some well built roads in parts of PNG (mostly thanks to the mining companies), air travel is one of the only viable methods of transporting people & equipment regularly about the rugged landscape. From Chevron’s “C130 Air Bridge” through to current “Fly In, Fly Out” (FIFO) mining operations, flying in PNG offers some amazing experiences for pilots with some saying 1 year in PNG is worth 10 years mustering cattle in the outback.

Customs & Quarantine Staff at Kieta

In addition to supply chain management & keeping mining operations happy, Geoff has also managed the training of PNG nationals who operate the airline, learn to fly and also do aircraft maintenance in-country (except for heavy maintenance). Thanks to the demands of the mining companies and CASA, they are, perhaps, the most audited aviation operation in the world.

A major aspect of having a foreign company in PNG is that they are required to train PNG nationals to fly aircraft, run the airline, and perform maintenance in-country (except for heavy maint). They are flying ATRs & Dash8s and Geoff believes the ATR is more suited to their needs than the Dash8, although they’re running both at the moment. They’ve also had Caribous & Dash-7s and are running a diverse range of helicopters as well as lighter aircraft from Twin Otters down.

As if the rugged environment and rapidly changing weather systems weren’t enough to cause problems flying or running an airline, people in Papua New Guinea also have to contend with tribal warfare, the volcano at Rabaul and local ground staff throwing as much cargo on an aircraft as they can. Weight & balance? What’s that? :)

It’s a fascinating chat with Geoff and we really enjoyed learning more about life in our northern neighbour. We’d like to thank Geoff for his time chatting with us in the studio and with Kathy for introducing us to him.

On Finals at Aropa

After our chat with Geoff & Kathy, Steve talks with Tammy Augostin, the Promotion & Marketing Manager of the Parafield Airshow. They discuss the acts that have been lined up for the show and the issues involved in putting it all together.

Many of our listeners in Sydney have been commenting to us about seeing a number of Army Blackhawk helicopters flying around Sydney Harbour. It turns out they were part of a training exercise that was also open to media to ride along & experience a typical training flight. Sadly, Steve & Grant weren’t able to get up to Sydney for the flight (despite their best efforts) but Anthony Crichton-Browne was. In addition to getting lots of great photos, Anthony also recorded a quick chat with one of the pilots.

Finally, we wrap up the episode with another of Anthony Simmons’ “View from the Lounge” segments. This time, Anthony is looking at aviation in the media, ranging from movies through to jingles.

You can find Kathy’s work in many places, including:

PCDU Episode 53: A Ditch, Some Dutch & De-Icing

Steve & Grant are joined once again by Bas Scheffers from Adelaide to discuss a few items, including:

  • A follow up to the ADSB discussion we had with Bill Hamilton back in episode 48
  • A discussion of the iPhone/iPad application Bas & a partner have been developing called OzRunways covering what it does & how it came to be
  • The revelation that Grant actually doesn’t like the TV show “Ice Pilots” (oh, the shame! :)
  • Parafield airshow is changing dates to March 25th, 2012 due to weather concerns and to help ensure more Australian Defence Force assets will be available
  • Avalon is coming up soon
  • Bas is going to Oshkosh and as we may not be able to make it, he may have to be the PCDU correspondent for us (not sure how we’ll get him a more Australian accent though!)
  • Hassling Bas to provide a bio for the PCDU “About Us” page

We also have another great chat with our man “Across the Ditch,” Dan Morris from New Zealand, including:

As if all this wasn’t enough, we also have a chat with James Williams from the Podcaster’s Emporium about his recent Business Class trip with Emirates across the ditch to New Zealand & back.

Finally, we wrap up the show with some Listener Mail & Shout Outs, including:

  • Bill Morelli from the USA who flies a Zenith Zodiac (nice plane!)
  • Paul Bridges who supplied the photo of the Qantas DC3 that graces this episode’s notes
  • Colin Sweetman from the UK who has started getting back into his flying and wants to do aerobatics (YES!!!! says Grant :) and also offered to be our tour guide to a number of aviation museums if we can get there (we’ll hold you to that, Colin! :)
  • And finally, a big shout out to the people who decided to take part in the “$50 for Episode 50” concept – thanks folks!

PCDU Episode 40: Australian Federal Election QuickCast #2: Ken Hill & Tim Sheen

Australians are about to go to the election booths on Saturday 21st August so we’re working to bring our listeners information about the aviation policies of the various political parties. We’re not trying to tell you how to vote, just doing our bit to raise awareness of the importance of aviation within the political community and hopefully give you some information that might help you make an informed decision.

In our second Election QuickCast, we’re taking to two representatives from one of Australia’s more “interesting” parties. This party approaches politics from the small business and civil liberties environment and has a rather distinctive, catchy and memorable name: The Australian Sex Party.

We were fortunate enough to speak with Ken Hill and Tim Sheen about their views on the current election, Australian politics and aviation. Ken is a private pilot in Melbourne who is working on the party’s aviation & transportation policies while Tim Sheen is a candidate for the Sex Party in Queensland and also a commercial pilot flying in the New Guinea area.

The discussion covers a lot of issues that are of importance to pilots within Australia and raises a number of the problems currently facing people who are trying to make a living in this industry.

PCDU Episode 28: Save the Liberator

The B24 Liberator was the most produced heavy bomber of World War 2 and saw service in all theaters of the war. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew B24s along side those of the USAAF, based in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. These aircraft flew long range missions of many hours duration, typically without fighter escort. Providing bombing, maritime patrol and transport services, the advanced & complicated B24 was, perhaps, the unsung hero of heavy bomber operations.

Very few of these aircraft still exist (see the list of remaining B24s) and in Australia, only a single example remains. It is currently being restored by a group of dedicated and passionate individuals, many of whom flew B24s during or immediately after the war.

Based in Werribee, just outside Melbourne, the Australian B24 Restoration project is definitely worth visiting and supporting. We were fortunate to visit the team, admire the aircraft and interview John Temby (President of the association) and Ed Crabtree (ex B24 pilot). Another trip down is currently being planned and we expect to have more great content from the restoration team in a later episode.

PCDU Episode 5: Jet Lag Recovery

Steve’s back from his trip to the USA and, despite some jet lag woes, he’s in the recording studio and the banter is flowing in our longest episode yet. Sadly, the first 15 minutes sound like Grant’s testing NASA’s new Interplanetary Internet and experiencing a really crappy connection. Not to worry, it soon clears up and the rest of the episode quite clearly reveals our usual commentary on this week’s local aviation news stories, including the following topics: