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 77: Qantas Crisis: After the Grounding

Almost one year after the QF32 incident, Qantas is again in the news around the world and for a short time again appeared to be on the brink of a major disaster. At 5pm on Saturday the 29th of October, Alan Joyce (CEO of Qantas) announced that he & the board of directors had decided to ground all of Qantas’ domestic & international flights (about 108 aircraft). This unprecedented step disrupted the travel plans of almost 70,000 passengers in order to avoid a “death by a thousand paper cuts” due to ongoing damage from industrial disputes with three unions.

The three unions represented the pilots, engineers and baggage handlers working for Qantas’ “mainline” operations. The Jetstar, QantasLink and JetConnect operations were not involved in the grounding.

We have assembled a collection of discussions with a number of people involved in the disputes or monitoring it from the outside. It is our intention that we provide you with an overview of what has happened, why it happened and where things might go from here. Unlike the commercial broadcast media, our time is not rigidly controlled so our guests are able to take their time to explain their views & concerns without being restricted to sound bites.

While we also express our own views during this episode, we have tried to present enough information for you to get a better understanding of the situation & form your own decisions.

The discussions in this episode include:

We’d also like to thank Colin Lipiatt, the Manager of Coporate Communications at Virgin Australia, for taking the time to chat with us about their ability to quickly respond with extra capacity to help affected travellers. While we couldn’t include him in the show, he provided plenty of useful information for us.

While putting this episode together we did attempt to contact Qantas’ media department to arrange a representative who could talk to us about the items raised during the discussions listed above. Unfortunately we did not hear back from them and can only assume that, like Anthony Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure & Transport), they were too busy dealing with the big issues and the mainstream media to spare any time for us.

We trust that you’ll enjoy this special episode of content specifically covering the Qantas Grounding situation. It’s been a marathon effort to arrange & record the interviews then put it all together for you. It has certainly been educational & eye opening for us as we discussed the issues with our guests, and that’s got to be a good thing :)

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

PCDU Episode 49: Hovering Matilda

Rosemary Arnold learned to fly fixed wing in the early 60s then converted helicopters in the mid-60’s, becoming the first woman in Australia to receive a helicopter pilot’s license. From operating her own helicopter business in Australia to flying in locations around the world, Rosemary has had an extensive career in aviation. She has also written a number of books, lectures on aviation history and join the public speaking circuit. As a registered celebrant, she also runs “Chapel in the Sky” performing weddings in a helicopter above Sydney harbour. We chat with Rosemary about her career and her new book, First Females Above Australia, a presentation of the pioneering women involved in aviation in Australia.

We also chat with Dan Morris, a flight instructor in New Zealand who’s joined us previously in a few of our Australia Desk adventures. Dan joins us to discuss his aviation career to date and the flying scene in New Zealand. He also anticipates providing more New Zealand related content in the new year.

This episode is rounded out with another Controller’s Corner segment where ATC_Ben answers some of the many questions that have been raised in our forums and via email. We then move on to listener mail:

  • Braham Sacks asks about careers in aviation
  • Ian Kershaw from Canada has a blog & podcast page that’s worth checking out
  • Luke Murphy writes in from China where he’s working as a pilot
  • Ed Stubbs sent in a link to an interview with one of the pilots from QF32 (the Qantas A380 that had a massive uncontained engine failure)
  • We mention that Anthony Simmons is looking for more feedback on his View from the Lounge segment

We also have some shout-outs:

  • Damian Rose has completed his MECIR and is now working on his Caravan endorsement – congratulations (and yes we are jealous! :) You can follow his details on his blog.
  • Robert E Coli from Thromby airlines has done another great cartoon showing Steve & Grant hard at work in the PCDU studio. You can see it in all it’s glory on our Facebook page.
  • Thanks to Michael & Roselyn from Downwind and the team at Moorabbin Flying Services (MFS) for a great BBQ the other weekend and for making discount TIFs/Check flights available