PCDU Episode 51: Pig Out!

In November 2010 the PCDU team were invited to attend the Media Day at RAAF Amberley where members of 6 Squadron were gathered to give us one final look at the F111 before it was retired from service. We have gathered the interviews we recorded during the Media Day and combined them with a couple of discussions to present our tribute to the F111 and all those who helped to keep them in the air.

This is our longest episode to date so you may want to make use of the PAUSE button to get through it all. Like the PIG, it’s big, but we think the content is just too good to leave any of it out. The F111 has been a major part of our lives over the last 30 years in Australia and New Zealand and anyone who has experienced the RAAF’s trademark “Dump & Burn” display will have some idea why we’re so sad to see them go.

From seeing an F111 doing 4-point hesitation rolls, aileron rolls and a loop at Avalon to watching them racing past while sitting on the beach on a summer’s day, the F111 became an icon of Australia’s military as they provided us with a long range projection of power. They leave a large gap in our force structure now that they have been retired and a hole in the hearts of many who kept them flying.

So long, pig and remember: That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do!

The contents of this episode include:

  • The Media Day’s opening press conference (starts at 06:08)
     
  • A discussion with David Vanderhoof about the history of the F111 including its inception and service with the USAF & RAAF (starts at 32:06)
     
  • We talk to Wing Commander Terry Deeth about his time as a bombadier/navigator (or Weapons Systems Officer) with the F111 while on rotation to the USAF (starts at 51:33)
     
  • We visited the F111 simulator on the base and got to meet:
    • Steve Clark, an ex-RAAF F111 pilot who has more hours in an F111 than almost anyone else in the world (starts at 1:05:40)
    • Brett Denton, a computer technician who helps to keep the simulator operating (starts at 1:11:29)
       
  • While everyone likes to focus on the guys in the cockpit, an F111 needs a lot of maintenance between flights so we managed to catch up with a few of the techos:
    • Flight Lieutenant Adam Firth & Sergeant Chris Walker (starts at 1:15:32)
    • Corporal James Morton (starts at 1:30:19)
    • Corporal David Bash, an American now living in Australia (starts at 1:35:50)
       
  • We talk with Flight Lieutenant Vlad Bismark about flying the F111 (starts at 1:47:25)
     
  • We have a chat with Brendan Cowan from ADF Serials about the history of the RAAF’s F111s and with Chris Daley from the Save the F111 page on Facebook about how the page developed and where it’s going now (starts at 1:55:28)
     
  • We interview Wing Commander Al Curr who ejected from an F111 on take off from RNZAF Ohakea in New Zealand (starts at 2:14:12)
     
  • Our final chat is with Wing Commander Michael (Micka) Gray, officer commanding 6 Squadron and the world’s last F111 unit commander (starts at 2:20:42)

We also have a couple of “Shout Outs” in this episode:

  • Flight Lieutenant Skye Smith for her tireless efforts in making the Media Day run smoothly, not to mention herding us about the base and ensuring we didn’t wind up where we shouldn’t be (wonder if there’s a “Keeping media on track” medal in the ADF??? :)
  • Listener Chris Whyte who we met at RAAF Amberley has produced an F111 tribute video called “RAAF F-111 tribute feat. TV Rock – ‘In the Air'” – you can find it on YouTube and it’s well worth watching a few times

Flight City B777 Simulator Session – We Have a Winner

Thanks to the folks at Flight City Simulation Centre in Perth, we have been able to give away a one hour flight session in their Boeing 777 simulator to give away, valued at $275. Of the many people who correctly recognised that the airline jingle belonged to “Australian Airlines,” Graham Neal was the lucky winner.

Congratulations to Graham and also to David Mitchell & Greg Spencer who were our “runners up” winning a PCDU T-Shirt each.

Thanks to all of you who entered, even those of you who had incorrect answers. We’re working to bring in more prizes for future episodes so watch this space :)

Competition: 777 Flight Simulator Session

Thanks to the folks at Flight City Simulation Centre in Perth, we have a one hour flight session in their Boeing 777 simulator to give away, valued at $275. All you have to do to win is listen to PCDU Episode 45 where we play a jingle that belonged to an Airline over here.

Have a listen to the jingle and then email us with your answer (even if it may be wrong :). We’ll draw the winner live on uStream and also announce them in a future episode.

PCDU Episode 25: Fan Boys

Yes, Steve & Grant are Fan Boys (big Fan Boys, in fact :) and this episode we demonstrate it once again by interviewing Matt Hall and hanging out with some more fans at the Flight Experience Melbourne Facebook fan page open night in their 737 flight simulator. Seems we’re not the only ones who think a publically accessible 737 simulator is a great thing :)

Here’s how this episode flows:

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

Ten minutes of fame in a 737 Simulator?

The crew at Flight Experience Melbourne are having an Open Night on the 27th January and we’re going along. They’re giving away 10 minute sessions in their 737 sim to the first 20 people in the door (need to register before hand).

We’re going to be there to interview people for a future episode as well as have some fun (and enjoy the drinks & nibbles :)

If you’re in Melbourne, Australia and can get to the QV Building in the city from 6pm on the 27th January, you really should get yourself there. More information about the event and the registration form is available on their blog.

Hope to see you there :)

Flight Experience Melbourne

In Episode 6 we interviewed Carlo Santoro, the owner of Flight Experience Melbourne, a fixed base 737 simulator that is open to the public. People can come in and fly a 737 with an instructor, getting the chance to experience what it’s like flying a commercial airliner.

Having flown a number of full motion simulators, I can assure you that the lack of motion is not something you really notice. During your flight you are so busy flying the aircraft that the sounds and sight picture displayed for you are sufficient to fool you into thinking you really are moving.

In addition to their store in the QV building in Melbourne’s CBD, they also have an online store where you can purchase aviation merchandise, including clothing, DVDs and aircraft models. They also run the Experience This! blog that has interviews with their staff & customers, stories about the flight packages they offer, information about merchandise and much more.

You can also follow them on Twitter via FlightExpQV as well as through their FaceBook page.

If you can make it to Melbourne and haven’t checked them out yet, we totally recommend that you do. Whether you are a pilot, a sim junkie or an aviation enthusiast, a session in this simulator will be an amazing experience. From practicing for an interview with a major airline to just seeing what’s involved up front, you won’t regret giving it a go at least once.

PCDU Episode 6: Plugcast

After almost two weeks we finally get another episode out, but this one should be worth the wait. We have our first guest discussion session (@MaxFlight from the Airplane Geeks Podcast) and we have our first interview (Carlo Santoro from the Flight Experience Melbourne 737 simulator). In addition to all this, we also discuss the following topics:

Our sounds come SoundSnap.com and our title track is “Younameit5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5).