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 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.