PCDU Episode 110: A Basket Full of Flight

Grant & Kathy are basket cases

Grant about to take Kathy flying in a hot air balloon

All good things take time & so do our episodes, with this one taking perhaps the longest to produce of any of them. It’s also packed full of great content covering magazine editors, wing walkers, AOPA, another give-away competition, antique aircraft, solo trips around the world & even hot air balloons. Make use of the pause button where you need to but be sure to listen right through to the very end of the episode for another set of classic “Kathy Mexted Bloopers” :)

This episode is indeed a basket full of flight & it unfolds as:

  • 0:03:30 – We chat with Kathy Mexted about her father, Pat Whitty, who passed away recently. She mentions his influence on her flying and their flights in VH-MAU, a 1978 Piper Warrior
     
  • 0:11:35 – Kathy joins with us to chat with Kreisha Ballantyne-Dickes, the Publications Editor at AOPA Australia and their Australian Pilot magazine. She also has her own blog (Girl with a Stick) and we chatted about a number of topics including:
    • Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      Pat Whitty with VH-MAU

      How Kreisha got into flying, especially her first solo
    • Her love of Bonanzas
    • Avalon 2013 & why people don’t fly
    • Kreisha’s career in writing and becoming editor of the Australian Pilot magazine
    • Wingwalking with the Breitling team on the top of their Stearman
    • Working with AOPA, their efforts to get more people flying, the benefits of being a member, the “new approach” of AOPA and Andrew Andersen’s open letter to everyone involved in General Aviation
    • Getting involved with CASA’s regulation changes
       
  • 0:50:32 – Maikha Ly went to the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia’s annual fly-in at Echuca and recorded some great content for us. You can find the photos he took on his Echuca Flickr collection
     
  • 1:34:48 – Steve chats with Ryan Campbell two days prior to starting his TeenWorldFlight adventure
     
  • Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    Kreisha after her flight in an Extra 330

    1:45:52 – Grant recently took Kathy for a balloon flight over Bacchus Marsh while listener Evan Schoo tagged along with the ground crew & got some great photos of the flight. During the flight, Grant & Kathy recorded a quick in-flight chat that we listen to here, after which, Steve asks Kathy just how the flight really went!
     
  • 2:14:30 – We announce the winners of our first 50 Tales of Flight eBook give-away competition:
    • Gary Clarkson
    • Will Coleman
    • Darren Eastwood
    • Brad Rule
    • Mitchell Royal
    • Graham Slingsby
    • Trent Stewart
    • Lahra Warry
       
  • Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    Kreisha being prepared for her wing walking

    2:15:34 – We have another give-away this episode with Owen Zupp‘s second (& trickier!) question about famous Australian aviators. The first five (5) people to email us the correct answer at contact@planecrazydownunder.com will win a copy of Owen’s “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
     
  • 2:17:47 – Listener Mail:
    • SoapyHB noted that the Concorde prototype was in Melbourne in 1972 while British Airways ran some proving flights in 1975 with a production aircraft. He also really enjoyed our Avalon 2013 coverage and admits to being a real fan of Anthony’s The View from the Lounge segments. Finally, he wonders how we manage to do all this and yet still stay married … yup, so do we! :)
    • Justin Sarda sent us through a link to a beautiful set of HD cockpit photos
    • Mick (aka Bom1) sent through some great comments on lap belts in aircraft having the potential to cause severe abdominal & spinal injuries in a crash (note: rather topical given the reports of similar injuries in survivors of the Asiana crash at San Francisco)
    • Brian Grinter sent through a link to photos of Peter Jackson’s Lancaster that will be used for his remake of The Dam Busters. As Brian says: “It’s not your average Airfix kit!” :) :)
       
  • Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    Maikha consults his notes while interviewing Maurie Evans

    2:22:49 – Kathy mentioned that Col Griffin (ex RAAF Mosquito pilot) recently passed away. We interviewed Col back in Episode 61 (The Great Pilgrimage) and you can read more about him in Kathy’s articles in Australian Flying and Outback Mag
     
  • 2:24:07 – Shout Outs:
  • Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    Maikha interviewing Murray & Andrea Wallace

    2:26:39 – We’ve been hearing from many people about issues at RA-Aus and are considering producing a show dedicated to the topic. Do you have any recommendations for people & issues you’d like to have covered in such an episode?
     
  • 2:29:09 – We’re now producing a weekly 1 hour radio show for Kinglake Ranges Radio, a local community radio station. You can tune in at 9am on Saturday’s (Melbourne time) via 94.5FM or via their livestream feed

As noted, the Kathy Mexted driven bloopers can be found at 2:34:25 – definitely worth checking out :)

PCDU Episode 98: Farewell 2012

Dan O'Donnell & Grant getting ready to go fly Matt Hall's Extra 300As 2012 draws to a close come & spend a bit of time with Steve, Grant, Bas & ATC Ben as they wrap up the year with some new content, some discussions and a bit of fun. It’s another long episode but we think it’s a pretty good way to send out the year :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 0:03:30 – We discuss issues CASA are having with RA-Aus that has seen a number of LSA grounded due to administrative issues, one of which was Bas’ own aircraft
     
  • 0:21:35 – An update on the fight to save Aldinga Aerodrome
     
  • 0:29:10 – An interview Steve & Grant recorded with Brian & Rick from Commando Skydivers at the recent Tooradin Aviation Day
     
  • 0:40:33 – a chat we recorded with Dan O’Donnell (RAAF F18 pilot who also flies with Matt Hall Racing) and Angie Morino (from Aus Air Services)
     
  • 0:57:42 – Anthony Simmons returns at last with The View From The Lounge #13: The Phantom Dolmades Roller
     
  • 1:03:14 – Steven Pam has sent us a Christmas Greeting
     
  • 1:04:54 – Steve, Grant, Bas & ATC_Ben discuss the View from the Lounge and Top Gun
     
  • NOTE: The Collective View From The Lounge is a compilation audio CD featuring 14 TVFTL segments that you can package for AUS$7.50 (posted within Australia) or AUS$12.50 (posted internationally). It’s a great collection of Anthony Simmons at his best & makes for a lot of enjoyable listening. You can purchase it by using our “Donate” button to send through your $$$ & note that you’re buying a copy in the “Purpose” message box. We can sort out your address via emails once the order is in :)
     
     
  • 1:07:17 – Bas talks about the latest updates to the OzRunways app and gives us his response to the “OzRunways for Android” lobby on Facebook
     
  • 1:16:51 – ATC_Ben talks about becoming an On Job Trainer Instructor in the ATC world
     
  • 1:21:34 – CASA have introduced a Notice of Final Rule Making regarding the use of EFBs in Australian skies (PDF) – and the news is good, according to Bas
     
  • 1:32:12 – Tech in the cockpit comes up along with the inevitable IOS vs Android vs Windows 8 with Bas in the Blue Corner and Grant in the Red Corner. DING!!!!
     
  • 1:33:16 – Ben Jones sends us a Christmas greeting
     
  • 1:33:39 – Damien Rose also sends us a Christmas greeting
     
  • 1:25:12 – We spend some time reviewing the highlights of 2012, including:
    • Grant got his balloon license
    • ATC_Ben went to the USA and Oshkosh 2012
    • Steve got a C130 ride over Sydney
    • Bas changed his work and lifestyle to focus on OzRunways, allowing him to work for himself and move to a property where he’s setting up a runway on the front yard (now, where have we heard *that* phrase before? :) )
       
  • 1:43:49 – We look forward to 2013 and talk a little about our Avalon 2013 plans and how we’re always up for new sponsors for our Avalon coverage
     
  • 1:50:13 – We give shout-outs to those who have helped us over 2012, including:
    • Sponsors & Advertisers: JetRide Australia, OzRunways, , AvSoft & Adventure Wings
    • Those who helped make AusFly such a success: QBE Insurance, Aero Refuellers & Narromine Shire Council
    • Courtney Miller & Max Flight for inspiring PCDU
    • Cathey Visscher & Kitt Loughman for their on-going support behind the scenes and their endless roles as “podcast widows”
    • Of course, a big thanks goes out to our audience for doing us the honour of listening to our programme, supporting it, interacting with us and much much more

With 2013 practically on top of us, we’re going to enjoy some New Year celebrations and then get back to work on completing Episode 99 which covers the C130H retirement & is due out in late January.

PCDU Episode 94: AusFly “Together Under One Sky”

PCDU Narrating at AusFly

PCDU Narrating at AusFly

The Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) held their inaugural AusFly event at Narromine, New South Wales on the 14th & 15th of September. As part of the show, Plane Crazy Down Under were invited to come & run the AusFly radio show and provide commentary for the air displays. From setting up the studio & PA system (thanks Allan & Kurt :) to interviewing live during the show and keeping the crowd informed during the air displays, it was a busy, exhausting, educational and, over-all, fun experience.

In this episode we have the first few of our AusFly content and we’ll be having more in future episodes as we arranging interviews with the exhibitors we missed out chatting to during the event. Everyone was kept busy by the steady stream of people so there wasn’t much time to stop & chat.

The full content of the show includes:

  • 0:04:20 – Our post-show interview with David Brown from the SAAA where we discuss the successes and the lessons learned from running the event.
     
  • 0:28:01 – An interview we recorded with Gordon Rich-Phillips, the Victorian minister for the Aviation Industry (among other portfolios). We discuss his background in aviation, the aircraft he’s been flying and his views on the aviation industry in Victoria.
     
  • 0:47:27 – We play some of our AusFly Radio content
     
    • 0:47:36 – Hunter Jones from AutoGyro Australia talks to us about autogyros, their presence at AusFly and their formation arrival.
       
    • 0:58:30 – Matt Maude from Performance Metals lets us know about a whole lot of new metal they’ve got arriving shortly.
       
    • 1:03:10 – Jenny Wickham joins us on “The Perch” at AusFly to provide commentary on her husband Jim’s flying.
       
    • 1:08:55 – Grant has a quick chat with Chris Brown who was on the Elgas Balloon Trek that worked its way to Narromine during the week leading up to the 14th
       
  • 1:11:42 – We chat with Ben Jones about his experiences at AusFly (including flying a Zenith CH650), at WestFly and at the Sport Aircraft Builders Club Annual Fly In
     
  • 1:22:24 – We review some Listener Mail:
     
    • Brian from Kentucky is wading through our archives & has almost listened to all of them (yes, he’s very brave! :)
    • Mick (aka “Bom1″) relates a few of his aviation passenger experiences and is wondering what to do next in aviation (yes, he should get his license for a start! :)
       
  • 1:29:16 – We give a few Shout Outs:
     
    • Thanks to Analogue Al (aka Allan Van’t Padje) and his brother Kurt for all their efforts to setup & tear down the PA system used at Narromine as well as Allan’s great work running the sound gear through out the event
    • Well done to Chris Visscher for being the PCDU Camp Cook and general errand boy
    • Thanks to everyone who came & said HI at AusFly, especially our mate The Air Stig who visited AusFly as part of a long journey he was undertaking

Steve on “The Perch” at AusFly

Grant doing Commentary at AusFly



Allan in the Studio Marquee trying to make us sound good :)

All photos in these show notes (including the episode title image) were taken by Phil Buckley. Thanks mate :)

PCDU Episode 89: RA-Aus NatFly 2012

Way back in April, Steve & ATC Ben flew “Ben Air” from Lilydale (YLIL) to Temora (YTEM) for the RA-Aus NatFly 2012 event, leaving Grant behind in Melbourne attempting to recover from bronchitis. While not as vibrant as 2011, there was still plenty of activity to keep Steve & Ben busy recording the following items:

  • 0:02:46 – Introduction to NatFly 2012
  • 0:03:25 – RA-Aus directors Steve Runcleman & Steve Tizzard discuss the event
  • 0:10:55 – Rohan Wittington talks about the amazing Petrel Amphibian
  • 0:18:28 – Chris Cabot from Wagga Air Centre discusses the Tecnam P2006T
  • 0:28:07 – Peter Wezenbeek walks us through the Wingmate Data Recorder
  • 0:33:02 – Andrew Tricket & his team will be releasing Sport Pilot TV in the very near future
  • 0:39:22 – Graeme from Stawell Aviation steps us through the Air Safaris they run
  • 0:45:51 – Chris Brandon at AirCreation Australia has some very cool trikes available (you know Grant wants to fly them, right? :)
  • 0:54:07 – Greg Robertson from Best Off Aircraft Australia had the Nynja on site for people to examine
  • 0:59:15 – Bas & Rowan from OzRunways talk about their presence at NatFly, the workshops they were running and their future plans for the software
  • 1:09:57 – Steve & Ben wrap up their NatFly 2012 experiences

ATC Ben preparing “Ben Air VH-RCR” for the great journey north

At 1:17:12 Steve, Ben & Grant have a chat about NatFly then we launch into an ATC Q&A where Ben answers questions about runway incursions plus aircraft callsigns and how ICAO handles them.

At 1:29:12 we then move into Listener Mail:

  • Lavan Ruben is a 14 year old aviation enthusiast who got to visit the 787 ZA003 at Melbourne (YMML), posting some videos on his YouTube channel: My Travels and Spotting
  • Jack Miller wrote in to say Hi and talk about his Aussie aviation blog General Aviation Australia
  • Andrew Brown writes in from the UK to say he really enjoyed the Geoff Whitty interview
  • Howard McClernon writes in to say he’s been sifting through the archives and enjoyed Lang Kidby’s talk about his flight re-enactments wwaaayyyy back in Episode 14

Temora’s making us all feel welcome

We then wrap up the episode (1:34:46) with a chat about helping to keep councillors from contemplating the closure of Kyneton airfield near Melbourne then a great shout out (at 1:36:50) to GippsAero for the first flight of their GA10 turboprop aircraft.

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

PCDU Episode 63: RA-Aus NatFly 2011

Every year at Easter, Recreational Aviation Australia holds its National Fly In (NatFly). This is an event where RA-Aus members, vendors & interested folks come to meet, attend workshops, review vendor offerings, undertake test flights and show off their aircraft. Aircraft range from powered parachutes & ultralights through to home builds and the latest sport & recreational aircraft. Importers and manufacturers are present to showcase their equipment, the circuit is filled with aircraft undertaking demo flights and the local hotels & bars are filled at night with tall tales and recollections.

We were fortunate to be invited to attend along with the team from Aviation Advertiser, setting up our mobile recording studio in one of the Temora Aviation Museum’s hangars (along with their Mk VIII Spitfire and Cessna A37). We arrived on the Friday morning and departed on the Saturday evening, experiencing two very busy days packed with interviews, discussions, aircraft & equipment inspections and a couple of demo flights.

Suffice to say there was plenty of material captured and we’ve managed to squeeze the best of it into yet another very large episode. We considered splitting it over two but there’s more great content on the way on other topics so we felt it best to pack it all into one large package.

The content we present in this episode is:

We then wrap up the episode with a review of the show between Steve, Grant, Ben & Bas along with a quick chat about the OzRunways application that Bas has been developing.

PCDU Episode 62: Advertising Advocacy

Aviation in Australia is experiencing a difficult time and General Aviation is especially being hit hard. User fees are continuing to increase, rules are being changed and airports are being shutdown or reduced in size due to encroachment by non-aviation construction. We’re joined in this episode by Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser to discuss these issues, highlight the need for people to take action and discuss what those actions might be. Ben’s certainly not holding back as the stakes are too high to be diplomatic.

We also have some other great chats in this show, including:

  • Steve Ahrens talking about the upcoming Barossa Airshow (May 1st, 2011)
  • A chat with the crew of an RAAF Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft that we recorded back at Avalon Airshow
  • A collection of quick chats with some RA-Aus pilots at Avalon, including:
    • Peter Harlow from Foxbat Australia
    • John Callahan with his Typhoon Glider
    • Peter Kane with his Kitfox
  • Ben Morgan then rejoins us to discuss the state of the second hand aircraft market in Australia and a couple of the aircraft available for sale on Aviation Advertiser

PCDU Episode 48: ADS-B: C’est un pétard! – with Bill Hamilton

While the technology behind ADS-B is nothing new, it is becoming the centerpiece of modern Air Traffic Management systems around the world. Unfortunately, CASA is once again taking a global concept and creating an entirely unique Australian implementation of it.

According to CASA’s Discussion Paper (DP) 1006AS
Proposed Strategy and Regulatory Plan in support of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper
, any aircraft added to the Australian register after 2013 must have an ADS-B out compliant Mode-S Transponder on board. This means large added costs for no real benefit beyond that already provided by Mode-C and Mode-S transponders.

This is creating no small level of concern in the aviation communities, including RA-Aus, ballooning and others, as can be seen from a recent discussion about DP 1006AS on the Recreational Flying site. Even the airlines who were pushing for ADS-B to improve safety at regional airports are now realising that the costs are huge (it’s not a simple upgrade of their avionics) and the benefits are minor.

With all this in mind, Bas & Grant chat with Bill Hamilton, past president & technical director of the Australian Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA). While Bill can appreciate ADS-B’s history and benefits, he doesn’t hold back when it comes to CASA’s attempt at creating yet another uniquely Australian implementation. We discuss the differences between the US, European and Australian implementation plans, the costs associated with our version and the lack of real benefit CASA’s proposal will provide.

As the title of CASA’s Discussion Paper shows, the proposal is implementing an aspect of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper. If, like many, you are concerned about the costs being applied to the aviation industry for little real benefit, it is important to respond to the DP by November 30th. It is also vital that Australian aviators write to their elected representatives, members of the opposition and their aviation organisations (eg: AOPA, RA-Aus, ABF, etc) to ensure politicians are aware that the proposed solution will cause more harm than good.

You can easily find who is representing you at the Australian Government’s “Who’s Who” page. You can also find a great guide to writing effective letters to politicians over on the Crikey website.

Don’t assume others will sort this one out for you. Don’t take the classic Australian “She’ll be right” approach. Get out there and tell CASA, the politicians and your aviation group what you think, otherwise the safe skies will be achieved thanks to the removal of any non-airline aircraft.

PCDU Episode 44: Hannes, Bas and the Rhino

In an effort to reassure you that we’re not trying to cut any corners as we build towards our 50th episode, this episode comes in at over 2 hours in length (our longest ever, in fact). It’s jam packed with great content, including:

  • A chat with Bas Scheffers about:

    • The impact of the Class D changes at Parafield
    • The flying he’s been doing lately in his Evektor Sportstar
    • The Parafield Airshow
    • How the Aeroscene Flying Group is going
    • A review of some of the latest RA-Aus developments (Recreational Aviation Australia)
       
  • A chat with Hannes Arch (Red Bull Air Race pilot) where we discuss his 2010 season and his plans for 2011/2012
     
  • An interview with an F18F pilot that David Vanderhoof recorded at the Oceana Air Show
     
  • A discussion between Steve & David about the history of the F18, its current status with the Super Hornet (aka Rhino) and the implications of the F35 JSF
     
  • Controllers Corner #2
     
  • The View from the Lounge: “Monkey in Business”
     
  • We read some mail & forum items:
  • We give a set of Shout Outs to:
    • The Flying Ant podcast by Anthony Crichton-Browne (a 767 pilot) who also has a blog
    • The Flaps Podcast from the UK is an awesome new show – we highly recommend it
    • Andrew Offen from Brisbane took Grant & Nykolai for a flight in his Cirrus SR22 with the new Avidyne Release 9 package – an amazing aircraft & systems and a lot of fun catching up with Andrew for a flight
    • Brendan Viti is getting his IFR rating – wow!

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

PCDU Episode 15: And now for something completely different, here is the news

We’re back to being our opiniated selves with a backlog of news stories to work through and discuss. Once again Bas Scheffers joins us for some of the news and to discuss a number of RA-Aus items. From Beavers to Tigers and even Kiwi Skyhawks doing battle with bureaucracy, we cover a diverse range of topics including:

As usual, our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com and our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).

PCDU Episode 12: It’s not that late in Adelaide…

Despite his better judgement, Bas Scheffers comes back to hang out with us once again as we discuss some of the news items from the past week or so. Topics of discussion in this episode include:

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