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 120: History & Records

Steve’s very happy to have finally started converting currency into currency as he’s logging hours in a Flysynthesis Texan and progressing towards getting his RA-Aus license. Grant’s been too busy with work to get many hours but did finally get to log some “special shape” time in his balloon logbook. Naturally, both Steve & Grant are VERY happy to have finally released another episode.

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

Air Marshal Geoff Brown with Steve at Pt Cook

This episode the boys are joined by Kathy Mexted and Maikha Ly so you know the blooper reel at the end will be “interesting” to say the least. Kathy & her hubby have been flying their Piper Cub while Maikha’s been flying for work but, thanks to Adelaide’s weather lately and a recent house purchase, he’s not been able to do any personal flying.

For this episode we’re bringing you a mixed bag of content from the RAAF’s Pt Cook Centenary of Military Aviation airshow (including Steve’s chat with AIRMSHL Geoff Brown), Kathy’s chat with Kingsley Just about his new world record, catching up with John Fisher to talk L39s & USAF and Grant’s recent visit to the B24 restoration project in Werribee for their heritage recognition award ceremony

  • 0:13:15 – Steve chats with Air Marshal Geoff Brown (Chief of Air Force) about the Royal Australian Air Force’s celebration of their centenary at Point Cook, his career with the RAAF, the RAAF’s fleet upgrades & current operations, the C-27J & F-35, flying gliders and transitioning from flying CH-47 Chinooks to flying fast jets.
     
  • 0:30:34 –
    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret

    Grant visited the B24 restoration project at Werribee for their Heritage Recognition award ceremony and recorded a few chats with the following people:
    • Doug Lindsay (President of the B24 Restoration project)
    • Professor Alex Baitch (National President, Engineers Australia)
    • Andrew Elsbury MLC (Member of State Parliament)
    • Dan O’Connell (Volunteer)
    • Before chatting with Tony Maher (volunteer), Grant also recorded the sound of Tony demonstrating the electrically driven mid-upper turret
       
  • 0:50:41 – Kathy chats with Kinglsey Just about setting the Guinness World Record for the most continuous rolls performed in an aircraft (an amazing 987 in his Pitts Special!). They talk about the planning & preparation, the method, the reason and how it all worked out (complete with a dramatic ending). They also talk about his interest in aviation including his gliding & flying tow planes in Europe.
     
  • 1:05:08 –
    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant

    Maikha was with us at the RAAF’s Pt Cook event and he spent most of his time with the antiques and warbirds where he recorded the following:
    • Chris Shine with his Beech Staggerwing
    • Kevin Bailey and his Stinson Reliant
    • Allan Harding and his MkIII Auster
    • Allan’s young assistant Lloyd Galloway talks about flying, the RA-Aus scholarship he was awarded and his involvement with the Auster
    • Steve Death talks about the Southern Knights formation team
    • Maureen Massey is the Vice President of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) and she talks about the C-47, DHC-4 Caribou and PBY Catalina
    • Robert ‘Bob’ StJohn, a Vietnam veteran, volunteers with HARS to help keep the Caribou flying. He talks about what’s involved in keeping it going and his experiences in Vietnam with “Wallaby Airlines” (the RAAF’s Caribou operations)
    • Warren Gengos flies the HARS PBY Catalina
       
  • 1:42:55 – John “Viper” Fisher from Top Gun Australia talks about Top Gun Australia’s operations, flying the L-39, being a WSO on the F-4 & flying the A-10 with the USAF plus his exchange rotation with the French
     
  • 1:59:04 – We come back for some shout outs:
    • Thanks to Barry Moore for suggesting we chat with John Fisher
    • Shane Simpson has recently completed his first solo in a Cessna 152 at Moorabbin (YMMB). Onya mate!
    • Congratulations to Anthony Crichton-Browne and his wife Prudence for the recent arrival of their son Andrew
    • Our friend Owen Zupp who is making the transition from Boeing 737s to a command position with Jetstar A320s as well as releasing his new book “50 More Tales of Flight” and his new site “The Pilots Blog
    • Maikha recommends that everyone should check out the South Australian Aviation Museum in Adelaide
    • Grant’s ecstatic to hear that OzRunways are producing an Android version of their app (“Project Marvin” – awesome! :) ). With AvPlan also producing an Android version, Grant is very happy to not need to buy an iThing :)
    • Congratulations to Steven Pam who has done a marathon effort producing the Tyabb Airshow DVD and also to Karl von Moller from the Broken Wings project who’s been helping out as well
       

 

Music for this episode was “Short Change Hero” by “The Heavy” (2009 on Counter Records)

PCDU Episode 117: Holler for a Marshall, an AIR Marshal

With the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show only a couple of days away, we thought we’d mix up some content that promotes the event as well as some chats Grant recorded with a number of past & present members of the RAAF at the Temora Aviation Museum’s “Warbirds Down Under” event back in November. To round the whole thing off, we’ve also got Steve’s chat with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event that will be running from March 3rd to 9th around the world.

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

The episode’s content run is:

  • Steve & Grant give an overview of what to expect in the episode
     
  • 0:09:42 – Grant catches up with Air Marshal Mark Binskin at the Temora Aviation Museum to discuss his career, the role of Vice Chief of the Defence Force and flying his Cessna O-1 Birddog
     
  • 0:15:57 – Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore talks to us about flying the Bristol Boxkite replica
     
  • 0:20:33 – Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies (Deputy Chief of Air Force) tells us about the Centenary of Military Aviation air show, his career and the type of work he does in his role
     
  • 0:28:17 – Keith Webb explains the Temora Aviation Museum‘s “Unsung Heroes” project and the work involved in collecting the reminiscences of veterans
     
  • 0:34:42 – Grant catches up with Captain Jack Curtis, DC3 pilot extraordinaire and perhaps the only pilot flying DC3s who’s actually older than the aircraft he’s flying :)
     
  • 0:43:01 –
    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook (Photo by James Kightly)

    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook
    (Photo by James Kightly)

    Dick Simms talks about being an Officer Cadet in the RAAF & flying Mustangs, Vampires & Meteors then his career selling aircraft and his restoration of a 1930’s Ryan STM that can now be found at the Temora Aviation Museum
     
  • 0:58:10 – Mick Haxel (DFC) chats with Grant about his career in the military and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the time that it became the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before winding up with his current position with Flight Safety Pty Ltd. He also talks about how he was awarded DFC for his flying in Vietnam (Audio courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
     
  • 1:16:50 – Steve talks with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event and her involvement with CCT Racing, one of the Australian jet racing teams at the Reno Air Races
     
  • 1:47:44 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode
GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built

GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built
(Photo by James Kightly)

PCDU Episode 116: High Performances

After a break due to injuries, surgery & a wedding, we’re back on deck and our first episode for 2014 is packed with Down Under aviation goodness :)

From Matt Hall & the return of the Red Bull Air Race to flying in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne

From Matt Hall & the return of the Red Bull Air Race to flying in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne

From Matt Hall and the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race to our media flight in a pair of C130Js over Melbourne to promote the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show, this episode really got us exited for the year ahead.

Our first episode for 2014 unfolds as:

  • Steve & Grant chat about surgery, a wedding and some recent media publicity after a couple of unusual hot air balloon landings in Melbourne
     
  • 0:12:35 – We chat with Matt Hall about the long awaited return of the Red Bull Air Race and get lots of great info about the changes to the race itself, his new team, how they’ve been preparing and the telemetry system he’s using.
     
    Is ATC Ben excited or nervous to be on the C130J media flight? :)

    Is ATC Ben excited or nervous to be on the C130J media flight? :)

     
    Steven Pam is clearly excited to be on the C130J media flight :)

    Steven Pam is clearly excited to be on the C130J media flight :)

  • 0:46:20 – Steven Pam & ATC Ben got to represent PCDU at a recent RAAF C130J media flight over Melbourne to promote the Centenary of Military Aviation air show at Pt Cook on March 1st & 2nd. In the process they recorded the following content:
    • Air Commodore Phil Byrne (RAAF’s Head of Special Events) talking about the historical significance of Pt Cook and the RAAF’s preparations for their Centenary of Military Aviation air show
       
    • David Gardner (Director, RAAF Museum) talks about the Bristol Boxkite replica
       
    • Flight lieutenant Matt Fleet, an RAF C130J pilot on exchange with the RAAF
       
    • Sergeant Greg Milne, an RAAF C130J loadmaster
       
      The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J's ramp

      The view of Melbourne from a RAAF C130J’s ramp

       
      Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)

      Even the RAAF are getting into the GoPro action for this flight :)

  • We have some announcements:
    • PCDU will be at the Tyabb Airshow 2014 (A Salute to Veterans) on Sunday, March 9th and are looking forward to catching up with any of you who can be there
       
    • We want your stories, especially “grass roots” content and, as Steve Riley wrote in about, more “stories about flying”
       
  • The view from the C130J's cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    The view from the C130J’s cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation

    We have some shout outs:
    • Thanks to Steve’s surgical staff for doing his knee reconstruction, including Mr Eden Raleigh, Dr Peter Larkins & Dr Joshua Hoppe from the Epworth Hospital
       
    • Thanks to Pieter Johnson & David Vanderhoof for the long-distance support from around the world to help Steve get through some difficult times
       
    • Steve wants to thank Grant & the rest of the PCDU team for helping out with the Australia Desk episodes while he was recovering
       
    • Thanks to the Hangar 49 & Aviation Xtended podcasts for being brave enough to let Grant join them when recording their latest episodes (Hangar 49’s “G’Day Mate”Aviation Xtended’s “Plane Crazy”)
       
    • Good luck to Dave Gray (formerly from the Lifestyle PodNetwork) who is currently battling melanoma
       
    • Thanks to the RAAF for inviting us to attend the C130J media flight
       
    • Twitter user 555UHZ is posting the movie Top Gun as a series of frames (with subtitles), one every half hour or so. Now that’s dedication! :)
       

Here’s the video Steven Pam put together following the C130J media flight:

PCDU Episode 99: RAAF C-130H – Into History

C130H Farewell Cover Art

C-130H A97-005 with the ‘Farewell’ tail art

In November of 2012 the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) decommissioned their C-130H fleet, transitioning to the C-130J and reaching the end of an era for flight engineers & navigators in the Air Lift Group (ALG). We were fortunate enough to be invited to partake in some of the decommissioning events including a final media flight over Sydney Harbour, watching a formation flyby practice from RAAF Base Richmond’s control tower and the delivery of C-130H A97-011 to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook.

In the course of these events we obtained a number of great interviews with past & present air crew which are gathered here in our tribute episode to the C-130H in RAAF service:

  • 0:07:48 – Air Commodore Gary Martin’s (Commander Air Lift Group) press conference held on the ramp at RAAF Base Richmond before the Sydney Harbour media flight
     
  • 0:11:39 – RAAF C-130H pre-flight safety briefing
     
  • 0:17:25 – Onboard recording of C-130H engine startup & cruise sounds
     
  • 0:17:50 – Flight Lieutenant Tony Charles, pilot of A97-005 on the media flight over Sydney, discusses the flight
     
  • Steve gets to fly the C130H simulator

    0:19:54 – Flight Lieutenant Richard Aughie, C-130H flight simulator instructor, talks about C-130H performance specs, simulator training, his involvement in the C27J Spartan training program and Steve’s landings in the simulator
     
  • 0:31:41 – Phil Brown, a former RAAF Warrant Officer C130H Flight Engineer & now an instructor with CAE, talks about his RAAF career and the role of the Flight Engineer on the C130H
     
  • 0:54:37 – Squadron Leader Rob Sokol, pilot of the final flight of A97-011, talks about the flight to Point Cook, his time at 1FTS at Point Cook, his RAAF Reserve service and his “day job” as an A380 pilot
     
  • Special tail art for the C130H farewell

    1:00:29 – Air Vice Marshall (ret) Greg Evans (DSC, AM) talks about his RAAF career as a C130H pilot from 1983 to 1992 including:
    • His exchange posting to the USAF and Little Rock AFB with the 40th Tactical Airlift SQN between 1998-90 (which naturally leads to comparing notes with Steve about flying the skies of Arkansas :)
    • Some “interesting” missions & training flights he flew with the USAF & RAAF
    • Comparing the C130H to the older C130E
    • The differences encountered with the C130J
    • The advantages of the C27J Spartan
    • Being Commander Joint Task Force 633 MEAO (Iraq) during 2004 & 2005

Thanks to Eamon Hamilton (ALG Public Affairs Officer) & Ben Wickham (ADF Regional Public Affairs Officer for NSW) for arranging our access to the events & people so we could gather the content used in this episode.

PCDU Episode 83: Replicate This!

PCDU Episode 83: Replicate This!

Image supplied by Project 2014

Aviation has a rich & storied history with over 100 years separating our current complex, high speed & long range aircraft from those produced of wood, metal & fabric during our fledgling beginnings as we first pushed into the sphere of powered, heavier than air flight.

While grainy photos & stuttering films can try to convey a vista of the past, there is nothing like being able to walk around, touch & examine the aircraft as they were. You can truly appreciate how far we have come (and how brave our pioneers were) when you can see an aircraft from 100 years ago in the foreground while behind it sits a modern combat fighter.

Eugene Ely launches from USS Birmingham (US Navy photo)

In some cases preservation of these original machines has been possible, but in many instances there is only one example of the type which is kept on static display in a museum. The ability to get up close is often limited and there are very few that can actually be flown, allowing you to see how it handled & hear it as it flies past.

Enter the replica builders. Dedicated men & women who have a dream of recreating the past so we can enjoy it today. Spending months & years researching a specific aircraft type (or even a single example), hunting through archives to find plans, drawings, specifications & photos. Sometimes going to great lengths to use materials, colours & techniques that were in use when the original was flying. Agonising over changes required to allow a replica to actually fly with some level of safety. Painstakingly creating components, building sections and assembling them into the completed aircraft.

Boxkite at Pt Cook (RAAF Museum Archive, via Project 2014)

Often unappreciated by many, even within the aviation industry, it is thanks to their hard work that aviation’s pioneering beginnings can be preserved & displayed. We have been fortunate enough to meet a few replica builders and this show brings together a few of them to talk about their aircraft.

 

Bristol Military Boxkite:

We start by talking with Geoff Matthews who has been the primary builder of the Bristol Military Boxkite at the RAAF Museum in Point Cook. The Boxkite was the first aircraft to fly at Point Cook on March 1st, 1913 and “Project 2014” is producing a flying replica in time for the centenary celebrations in 2014.

With Ron Gretton AM working as project manager & arranging the many sponsors required to help fund the project, Geoff has built the aircraft and they are now arranging the paperwork necessary to allow the flight testing programme to commence.

You can learn more about this project at the Project 2014 website.

BE2a:

Following our chat with Geoff, we moved around the hangar a bit to meet Andrew Willox who is scratch building a BE2a replica from the original plans. The BE2a joined the Boxkite and a Deperdussin as the first aircraft available for military aviation at Point Cook in 1913. The museum already has a Deperdussin replica and Andrew’s efforts on the BE2a will ensure that all three types will be represented at the centenary in 2014.

The level of care & detail that Andrew is putting into this non-flying replica is fantastic, potentially producing an aircraft that exceeds the quality of those produced back in the early 1900s.

Andrew talks to us about the history of the BE2 in general, how he has gone about building the replica and the decisions he’s had to make to ensure it remains accurate to the original.

Farnborough:

We also had a chat with Richard Gardner, Chairman of the Trustees at the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST). With a history of aviation knowledge going back to the original Balloon School and Army Engineers experimenting with various forms of aviation, FAST seeks to preserve Farnborough’s contribution to the development of aviation. Focusing on the scientific developments that have brought aviation to where it is today, the Trust helped supply a number of the plans & diagrams for the BE2a replica project.

Curtis Pusher:

Eugene Ely Curtis Pusher Replica (photo supplied by Bob C & Andrew K)

Back when we were at Oshkosh 2011, David Vanderhoof & Grant caught up with Bob Coolbaugh, the builder & pilot of a replica of the Curtis Pusher flown by Eugene Ely. Together with Andrew King who also flies the replica, they talk about Ely becoming the first person to land an aircraft on a ship & then take off again, an act that eventually lead to naval aviation as we currently know it.

We also discuss the handling characteristics of the replica and how Eugene & Andrew are flying it to air shows around the USA rather than shipping it, covering subjects such as tracking the aircraft, talking with ATC and flying into the Washington ADIZ.

Barnstorming Movie and the Wright Brothers:

After talking about the Curtis Pusher, Bob departs & Paul Glenshaw joins Andrew to talk with us about the Barnstorming Movie that Paul and a friend have produced. The movie captures Andrew & some pilot friends flying old aircraft to a gathering in the USA’s rural midwest that has been going on for a number of years around the time of Oshkosh.

The aircraft land in a field belonging to Matt Dirksen, a farmer who has been hosting the event for over 10 years. People from the surrounding area come bringing food and a great home-cooked meal is provided while aircraft fly “competitions” such as ribbon cutting, flour bombing & more.

After discussing Barnstorming, Andrew leaves and we spend some time talking to Paul about a movie he has reassembled from historical footage that shows the Wright Brothers at Fort Myer for the US Army’s speed & distance trials. This film is significant as it is the only one showing both Wilbur & Orville together as well as capturing Orville’s first flights since his recovery after the 1908 crash in which Thomas Selfridge became the first person to die in a powered-aircraft crash.

RAAF Air Pilgrimage at Point Cook

On March 31st the RAAF Air Pilgrimage fleet arrived at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook after spending three days flying from Temora to Tocumwal to Ballarat and then to Pt Cook. Celebrating the 90th birthday of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the flight consisted of warbirds, antiques and GA Aircraft.

We were onsite at Pt Cook for the arrival of the aircraft and recorded a number of discussions with people on the flight line. You can hear the full content in Episode 61: The Great Pilgrimage, see some of the photos we took on our RAAF Pilgrimage Flickr page and watch a summary video below:

www.flickr.com

Plane Crazy Down Under's RAAF PILGRAMAGE 2011 photoset Plane Crazy Down Under’s RAAF PILGRAMAGE 2011 photoset

PCDU Episode 61: The Great Pilgrimage

Most people interested or involved in aviation have a special love for warbirds and antique aircraft and we at PCDU are certainly no exception. This episode features a number of interviews with pilots of Warbirds & antique aircraft that were recorded at Avalon Airshow and at Point Cook when the RAAF Pilgrimage arrived.

The RAAF Pilgrimage was held to celebrate the 90th birthday of the RAAF & comprised a collection of more than 50 aircraft that flew from Temora to Tocumwal to Ballarat and finally to Point Cook. The Pilgrimage aicraft arrived at Point Cook (the birth place of the RAAF) and we were there to greet them.

This episode contains the following interviews from the RAAF Pilgrimage:

  • Air Commodore Rodney Luke
  • Steve Death
  • Doug Hamilton
  • Egon Mahr from the Russian Roolettes
  • Col Griffin & Warren Canning

We also have some other warbird related discussions, including:

  • Kenny Love, CEO of the Temora Aviation Museum
  • Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser and the Macchi 326H restoration project he is a member of
  • Darren “Buster” Crabb
  • Gus Lerrard

We then round out the episode with:

  • Listener Mail:
    • Ed Stubbs
       
  • Shout Outs:
    • Ken & Tim get recognition for their Millions Against Malaria flight
    • Matt from New St Films for the help with our photo shoots
    • Listener Andrew Tsousis for putting us in touch with Ben Merkenhof
    • Iat-Fai Leong for his support of the show
    • Erk for his support & his new book

We also have some additional content that can be found in our Extras section. This time we have a recording of the post-flight debrief by the Yak Attack formation pilots.

Finally, we would like to offer our condolences to our friend Milford Shirley from the Flight Time Radio Show in Florida, USA, who’s wife Barbara passed away recently.

Catching up with Owen Zupp at Point Cook

Owen Zupp will be arriving at Point Cook on Sunday the 16th by about 12:30 so he can be on the ground before the RAAF Museum’s 1pm flying display starts. We’re going to be on site to meet up with him and watch the display.

If any of you are in Melbourne then come on down and say HI. Let us know if you’ll be there and we can have a “Tweet Up” (sorry Turb, let’s take the tech out and call it a “Meet up” eh? :) )

Meet up at Point Cook Air Pageant

If you’re going to the RAAF Museum’s Point Cook Air Pageant this weekend (Feb 28th) then post a comment here or send a tweet to @PCDU, @Falcon124 or @SteveVisscher to let us know. We’ll try and organise a meet up somewhere before the show starts depending on who’s around and what interview slots we manage to get with pilots & staff :)

PCDU Episode 9: Airplane Geeks Down Under

Andrew Temby

Andrew Temby

This episode we’re joined by Dan, David & Rob from the Airplane Geeks podcast to discuss airline news and have a great discussion about air traffic control issues here & in the USA. We also have interviews with Dr Bruce Searle, dean of the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation, and Andrew Temby, aerobatic pilot & owner of a YAK-52TW. Both were recorded at the Mission Aviation Fellowship airshow held at Coldstream Airport (YCEM) a few weeks back.

While Max Flight from the Airplane Geeks couldn’t be with us, having the other guys from the show record with us was a hoot and certainly generated a LOT of content for a future “Bloopers Only” episode. We’re definitely looking forward to recording with them again once our sanity recovers.

Dr Bruce Searle

Dr Bruce Searle

 

The topics discussed in this episode include:

Please note that our theme music track is “YouNameIt5” by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.