Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 2:27:18 — 101.8MB)
During August, Grant spent a week in Darwin covering Exercise Pitch Black 2014, a major multinational “war game” exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force.
RSAF F15 at dusk in Darwin
Held every two years, Pitch Black is Australia’s version of the Red Flag training exercises held in the USA and in 2014 the RAAF was joined by forces from the US, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, France and the United Arab Emirates.
Grant joined Andrew McLaughlin, Nigel Pittaway, Mike Yeo and Eng Tiong Ow to experience fantastic access to the local & visiting forces thanks to the efforts of FLTLT Eamon Hamilton. From meeting with representatives from each group attending Pitch Black to being beside the runways & taxiways at Darwin & Tindal, we were able to capture some fantastic photos, videos & interviews.
In addition to Grant’s collection of Pitch Black 2014 content, Steve & ATC Ben recorded a chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book and his ideas for future projects.
At the time we recorded the wrappers for this episode, Steve was about to head to the USA for a family holiday and to cover the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas while Grant was geting ready to go to Auckland for the Wings Over New Zealand forum gathering. Unfortunately there were delays in getting everything finished so the episode didn’t come out until after the boys had left on their flights. Go figure :)
The episode’s details are:
- 0:08:20 –
Grant’s coverage of Exercise Pitch Black 2014
GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014
- 0:09:22 – General media “door stop” interview with GPCAPT “Micka” Gray
- 0:17:05 – FLTLT Ben Daly talks about the roles of Air Combat Officer (ACO) and Fighter Combat Controller (FCC)
- 0:22:03 – FLGOFF Kathryn Koslowicz talks about the day to day tasks of an Air Combat Officer (ACO) and being deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO)
- 0:26:31 – FLTLT Ben Daly takes us through No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit’s operations cabins and how they’re used to deploy & manage operations in remote locations
- 0:31:25 – SQNLDR Tim Main reviews the RAAF’s new E7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft
- 0:40:15 – Lt Col Scott Arbogast is the commander of the US ANG F16s & he tells us about their role in the exercise
- 0:46:02 – CMSgt Joseph Smiley discusses the logistics behind getting the US ANG F16s to Australia, keeping them running here and then getting them back home afterwards
- 0:52:34 –
WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport
- 1:00:42 – SQNLDR Rob Crawford talks about the 37SQN C130J he brought up to Tindal
- 1:04:56 – WOFF Kyle Lovett is a refuelling operator (aka “boomer”) on 33SQN’s KC30A MRTTs and he walks us through a typical mission they’ve been flying
- 1:14:39 – FLTLT Adam Rouessart & FLGOFF Matthew Bleach were the crew for the F18F Super Hornet handling display during the week
- 1:18:52 – CASA CN235 crew from the French Armed Forces of New Caledonia
- 1:29:24 – RTAF WGCDR Titan
- 1:33:44 –
Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin
- 1:42:19 – Nobby has been part of the team restoring Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair & he lets us in on some of the effort required to bring it to flight status
- 1:48:05 – Steve & ATC Ben chat with Ryan Campbell about his new book “Born to Fly” and his ideas for the future
- 2:15:11 – Steve & Grant return to wrap up the episode with the following shout outs:
RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off
Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair
CHC’s Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter
Our small group of Aviation Media on the RSAF tarmac after our dusk-walk
(Eng Tiong Ow, Grant McHerron, Mike Yeo, 2 x RSAF, Andrew McLaughlin, Eamon Hamilton, Nigel Pittaway)
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 2:21:22 — 97.1MB)
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
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 –
Grant visited the B24 restoration project at Werribee for their Heritage Recognition award ceremony and recorded a few chats with the following people:
Tony Maher demonstrates the electrically driven mid-upper turret
- 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 –
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:
Kevin Bailey and his wife with their Stinson Reliant
- 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 119 Cover Art:
F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)
Australia has recently confirmed that it will purchase a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for use in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but how will these high-tech new aircraft be integrated with our current operations? Will someone just click their fingers and voila?
Naturally, there’s lots of items to consider ranging from staffing & training through to tarmac upgrades and there’s something about ALIS…
We’re joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT to discuss the F-35 aircraft, the program and its potential operations within the RAAF. We also feature a number of interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and AVM Kym “Koz” Osley gives us an in-depth coverage of the huge project that will bring the F-35 to full operational status within the RAAF.
It’s a big topic and we’ve put together a big episode about it: Episode 119: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The RAAF Approach.
Click here to go to the show notes & play the episode
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 2:18:31 — 95.4MB)
With Australia’s confirmed purchase of a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Steve & Grant are joined by Andrew McLaughlin from COMINT (Communications Intelligence) to discuss the F-35 and its operation within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). We also feature a number of great interviews with Lockheed Martin staff and an in-depth discussion with Air Vice Marshall Kym “Koz” Osley regarding the work required to integrate the F35 into the RAAF.
F-35A, B & C models
(Image supplied by Lockheed Martin)
After an introductory discussion on the F35 between Andrew, Steve & Grant, this episode features:
- 0:09:49 - Excerpts from the press conference held at RAAF Base Pt Cook in March 2014 where AVM Kym Osley discussed the F35 purchase and Deputy Chief of Air Force (DCAF) AVM Leo Davies introduced the first two RAAF pilots to go to the USA for F35 training: SQN LDR David “Belly” Bell & SQN LDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson.
- 0:13:19 - Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn talks to us about his career from a Canadian F18 pilot seeing combat in Kosovo to a test pilot on the Eurofighter Typhoon and on to the F35.
Australia’s first two F35 pilots:
SQN LDR Andrew ‘Jacko’ Jackson & SQN LDR David ‘Belly’ Bell
- 0:23:17 - Graham Bentley is ex-RAAF and the Lockheed Martin Business Development Manager in Australia. We talk to him about his career from flying P3 Orions to commanding the Australian Forces in the Middle East and on to his role as Air Attache in Washington, USA. He also discusses LockMart’s preparations to bring the F35 to Australia and the technologies it’ll bring with it.
- 0:32:42 - Steven L Over, Lockheed Martin’s Director of F-35 International Business Development, talks to us about component manufacturing being undertaken within Australia.
- 0:40:44 - Billie Flynn returns to talk with Grant in more detail regarding the F-35’s new high-tech helmet.
Billie Flynn running Steve through the cockpit of the F35
- 0:52:39 - Grant catches up with AVM Kym “Koz” Osley for an in-depth discussion on the work involved in bringing the F-35 into the RAAF, including infrastructure construction at airports, staffing & training, support equipment and perhaps the most complex part of the F-35’s support environment: Autonomic Logistics Information System (aka “ALIS”)
- 1:52:49 - We wrap up the episode with a further discussion between Andrew, Steve & Grant on the F-35 aircraft, the program and the potential for Australia to operate the F-35B on our new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships (gotta use that ski-ramp, right?)
Grant gets to check out the F-35 cockpit. Fortunately it has burners, just like a hot air balloon :)
Cover image thanks to Lockheed Martin
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 1:28:46 — 61.4MB)
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
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? :)
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
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”
We have some shout outs:
The view from the C130J’s cockpit is spectacular, even without another aircraft in close formation
- 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:
As part of the RAAF’s promotional events in the lead up to the Centenary of Military Aviation Air Show being held at Point Cook on March 1st & 2nd, we were invited to join them for a C130J media flight. As Steve was still recovering from his knee surgery and Grant was out of town, we sent Steven Pam & ATC Ben along to get video & stills plus record some interviews.
On Friday 7th of February, Steven & Ben were at Point Cook to record the arrival of two C130Js, capture the official announcements and then ride on the trailing aircraft as the two C130s flew around Melbourne’s CBD and the bay. After the flight they were able to record a couple of interviews with aircrew.
Steven then took the content they gathered & produced the video below. Full audio from the interviews can be found in PCDU Episode 116: High Performances.
We would like to extend our thanks to the RAAF for inviting us on the flight and giving us the opportunity to capture more great content for our audience. We’re very much looking forward to the air show which promises to be a major event and a great showcase of the RAAF’s aircraft from the past 100 years.
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 1:54:37 — 78.8MB)
The beautifully restored De Havilland Mosquito
We’re joined by Dave Homewood from the Wings Over New Zealand forum
& podcast to talk about his time with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), the warbird scene over there and the comprehensive forum he established. We also discuss his excellent Wings Over New Zealand podcast
which has a large number of fascinating interviews & recordings covering the Kiwi scene. You can follow Dave’s latest updates on his Wings Over New Zealand Facebook page
After our chat with Dave we feature more Avalon 2013 content including our KC-30A interview, a chat about the Herron Remotely Piloted Vehicle’s operations in Afghanistan and part two of Grant’s chat with Charles Cheeseman from Eco 2000. As if all that wasn’t enough, we introduce Maikha Ly who is joining the team as a roving reporter covering regional aviation events.
We’ve also got a new competition where the first 5 people who email us the correct answer to Owen Zupp’s question will win a copy of his “50 Tales of Flight” eBook. After that, it’s time for listener mail, shout outs and the wrap up.
Whew, no wonder it’s almost 2 hours long :)
The show unfolds as:
- 0:08:29 – We chat with Dave Homewood
- 0:42:11 – Interview with FLTLT Simon Press & WOFF David Bull on the flight deck of the RAAF KC-30A
- 0:55:33 – Interview with WGCDR Jonathan McMullan about the Herron Remotely Piloted Vehicle and its operations in Afghanistan
- 1:07:18 – Introducing Maikha Ly, our roving reporter covering regional events
- 1:17:21 – The second part of Grant’s chat with Charles Cheeseman from Eco 2000 (part 1 was back in Episode 103: Avalon 2013 – Day Three)
- 1:24:48 – We announce winners of our FlightPathTV commpetition:
- Errol Cavit from NZ
- Alex James from China
- Gary Clarkson from Melbourne
- 1:26:49 – Thanks to the donors from our audience who helped us exceed the $250 we needed to join Ryan Campbell’s “$500 Club” from his Teen World Flight project:
- Peter Gossner
- Doug & Kerri Worrall
- Brian Grinter
- Chris Fenelon
- Peter Baxter
- Gary Clarkson
- Ben Jones
- Andrew Van Der Saag
- Nick Christiansen
- Gareth Little-Hales
- Evan Schoo
- 1:29:29 – We announce a new competition, this time featuring a question from Owen Zupp. The first five people who email us with the correct answer will win a copy of his “50 Tales of Flight” eBook.
- 1:31:17 – Listener Mail:
The AirStig has set us a challenge – do you accept it?
- The AirStig has laid down a challenge for Doug Worrall’s LEO game & has completed all the missions & logged a score of 5641. Do you think you can beat his score?
- Roger Preston from Europe emailed us regarding Episode 79
- Michael Power enjoyed Avalon 2013 coverage but reckons Episode #51 (our F111 Tribute) is still our best so far
- Mick from the Frankston line has sent us some audio of a De Havilland Comet crew doing their checks (you can hear it just before the bloopers)
- Cade Jones has been enjoying the show & wants to get into radio/media
- Mike Butorac asked us about suitable music for a video of trans-continental flight in Australia
- 1:40:36 – Shout Outs:
- Peter Merwood in NZ who flies Thunderbird 6 (a beautiful RV6)
- The Airplane Geeks for reaching episode #250 which is their 200th episode since Steve & Grant started doing the Australia Desk together
- Pieter & the gang in the UK for their Xtended aviation podcast
- David Optimal for getting his Class 1 instructor rating :)
NOTE: Cover photo of the restored De Haviland Mosquito is by Errol Cavit
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 43:09 — 39.7MB)
One of the many RAAF C17s at Avalon 2013
We still have some Avalon 2013 coverage not yet released so we decided to produce a single episode dedicated to the C17 as there were multiple RAAF C17s and a USAF C17 present on the final day. In keeping with our previous Avalon 2013 episodes, this one is under an hour and gathers the following content together:
- 0:03:08 – RAAF C17 pilot FLTLT Dirk Taylor talks about flying the aircraft & his career
- 0:10:59 – RAAF C17 techo Sgt David Everett talks about maintaining the aircraft & his transition from the DHC-4 Caribou
- 0:22:09 – RAAF Loadmaster WOFF Paul Lemarshall walks us through the C17s cargo hold
- 0:33:29 – USAF Capt Brian Carron talks about interoperability between USAF & RAAF C17 aircraft & crew
- 0:39:22 – We wrap up the episode
Given the focus on the C17 in this episode, it was a given that we’d include a promotion for the Australian Defence Force Recruiting, right? You can call them on 13 19 01 :)
Podcast: Play in new window
| Download (Duration: 56:38 — 39.1MB)
Day Five of the Avalon Airshow 2013 is the first full public day and they turned out in force to enjoy great aviation action under clear blue skies. Despite the crowds we still managed to get around the airport to complete a number of interviews & meet up with plenty of people.
This episode includes:
- Grant’s interviews with some RAAF AP-3C crew:
- Air Combat Officer (ACO) Flying Officer Tristan Hull
- Demonstration pilot Flight Lieutenant James Pears
- Steve talks to Jacqui Carlon from Piper about their latest Garmin equipped Seminole on display
- Grant & Ben Jones talk to Bob & Laurie Carlton about their jet powered Salto glider demonstration
- Steve & Grant talk to Owen & Kirrily Zupp
- ATC_Ben helps out with Timbo’s Tarmac and In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf