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 85: Tyabb Air Show 2012 & ATC Ben Answers Your Questions

P51 at TyabbAfter a long break from the show, Ben Ippolito (aka ATC BenATCBen.PCDU@gmail.com) returns in this packed episode to tell us about getting current again, wrap up the Tyabb airshow and answer some of your ATC questions. We also bring on a new sponsor (OzRunways) who helped us get to the recent Parafield airshow (more on that in a later episode).

We start by chatting with Ben about the steps he took to regain currency after spending a few years focussing on becoming an Air Traffic Controller. After this, we move into our Tyabb Airshow content:

  • 08:32 – Peter Bernardi & John Brett from the Peninsula Aero Club discuss the history of the show, the challenges in making it happen (the paperwork!), their involvement in the show and their aviation histories
  • 22:46 – Grant chats with Paul Bennett from MaxxG Aerobatics about his aviation background, winning aerobatic competitions, flying his Pitts Special and flying warbirds
  • 29:37 – Jim & Jenny Wickham talk to Grant about their 3/4 scale P51s & the latest news in Wicko’s world
  • 34:56 – Scott Taberner talks about flying his 1941 Ryan ST3-KR & his flying history
  • 39:44 – Mark Pracy from JetRide Australia gives us an update on the 2012 race, his perspective on the Reno crash and their expanding fleet of L39s & their new Glasair
  • 47:51 – Doug Thomas talks about the Pelican Amphibian, a Russian designed seaplane and the only one in Australia
  • 53:22 – Squadron Leader Adrian Burge talks about the CT4
  • 57:29 – Peter Clements & Steve Death tell us about the history of the Southern Knights
  • 61:04 – Guy Bourke talks to us about flying the T6 Harvard (or Texan if you’re from the USA :), the P51, the Spitfire, the P40 and the Lockheed Hudson as well as which aircraft he dreams of flying
  • 67:48 – Matt Hall on making it down to Tyabb despite the weather, his recent back surgery, how his routine has modified since Avalon, his first aircraft vs car race, his new projects for 2012 & his rotary license
  • 79:46 – Tim Connell returns to reprise his Timbo’s Tarmac sessions from Avalon 2011
  • 81:13 – Peter Bernardi – post show

Following all this great content, Steve, Grant & Ben review their experiences & highlights of the Tyabb show then at 88:42 Ben answers a few ATC questions that have come in:

  • Handling emergencies
  • Who decides whether an airport is closed
  • Who decides runway configurations during operations

Big thanks to Allan VP, ATC Ben, Steven Pam & Chris for their help on the day at Tyabb.

Notes:
* The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3
* Cover art by Chris Visscher & David Vanderhoof

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: