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 121: Exercise Pitch Black 2014

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

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 –
    GPCAPT "Micka" Gray - Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    GPCAPT “Micka” Gray – Officer Commanding Exercise Pitch Black 2014

    Grant’s coverage of 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 –
      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) CASA CN235 Transport

      WGCDR Ben Sleeman, CO of 77 SQN, tells us about being the defender
       
    • 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 –
      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      RTAF SAAB Jas 39 Gripen departing Darwin

      Mick Gablonski is the CHC base manager for the S61 SAR helicopter at Tindal
       
    • 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

RAAF F18 Hornets doing a paired take-off

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking's F4U-5N Corsair

Grant is very impressed with Graham Hosking’s F4U-5N Corsair


CHC's Sikorsky S61 SAR Helicopter

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)

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)

PCDU Episode 114: AusFly 2013 - Back Together Under One Sky

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

Would you let these guys run a radio station? AusFly did!

September 2013 rolled around and it was time for the second AusFly event at Narromine in New South Wales. Team PCDU squeezed into a bus that was loaded with Analog Al’s airshow PA system, our gear and a certain trade stand then drove over 800km in a day to get there. Whew!

Once there we cleared out the studio, set up the sound system & got ready to run AusFly Radio & do the air display commentary. We applied the lessons we learned from AusFly 2012 and, over the course of the event, wound up learning all new lessons so AusFly 2014 will be even better. We also recorded a stack of content and have packaged some of it up into this first AusFly 2013 episode. Even though it’s over 2 hours long, there’s still more yet to come but we’ll save that for later episodes.

For now, here’s the AusFly 2013 content we have for you in this episode:

  • 0:02:13 – Ben Jones joins us for a recap of AusFly 2013 with David Brown from the SAAA.
     
  • 0:09:32 – Rob Fisher from Superior Air Parts covers the aviation components & parts they’re able to supply
     
  • 0:15:01 – Anton Meier from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand talks about the Triton Sport, a derivation of the Sport Cruiser
     
  • 0:21:27 – Russell Milton from Atlas Aviation Australia talks about their SkyLeader aircraft
     
  • 0:26:22 – Stephen Gale talks us through learning to fly the SIA Marchetti S211 jet with input from Willie “Godfather” Chew (ex-RSAF instructor). We’re also joined by Jodie Davis from SkyThrills who went flying with Stephen in the jet.
     
  • 0:34:13 – Allan Barton from Zenair Australia tells us about the Zenith aircraft they’re importing from the USA
     
  • 0:37:11 – Dianne McNamara produces custom aircraft covers for Punkin Head Air Sports
     
  • 0:43:08 – Michael Coates represents Pipistrel in Australia
     
  • 0:51:36 – David Baddams runs Snow Goose International and ferries aircraft around the world. He also flew David Brown’s RV10 in an RV formation at AusFly
     
  • 1:00:31 – Grant & Ben chat with Dick Smith and Ryan Campbell about flying solo around the world
     
  • 1:09:50 – Amanda Pond from Puddle To Pond Financial talks about life insurance for pilots
     
  • 1:13:45 – Steve & Ben talk to Paul Holler & Norm Edmunds from the SAAA about home building aircraft
     
  • 1:38:17 – Bas Scheffers went up with Jeremy from SkyThrills to do some aerobatics in their Super Decathalon. He also tells us a bit about the latest OzRunways news
     
  • 1:46:14 – Steve, Grant, Ben & David Brown wrap up their AusFly 2013 review

Don’t forget to go & support Steven Pam’s Airheads documentary, a movie that desperately needs to be made.

PCDU Episode 109: Dave's Cambridge Airforce

The beautifully restored De Havilland Mosquito

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 Heron 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 Heron 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 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

PCDU Contributing to Ryan Campbell’s Teen World Flight

Ryan Campbell's Teen World Flight Logo

As we mentioned in Episode 108, we’re going to help Ryan Campbell’s Teen World Flight by joining his “500 Club.” This involves making a donation of $500 towards Teen World Flight which then gets your name (or requested text) put on Ryan’s aircraft for the trip.

PCDU are contributing $250 towards the $500 and have asked our audience to provide the rest, allowing us to have “Plane Crazy Down Under and our fantastic audience” written on the aircraft (exact wording still to be determined). Suffice to say, responses have been quick and wonderful as we’ve actually exceeded the $500 amount thanks to our audience.

We have currently raised $550 for Ryan and will be having a formal presentation when Ryan’s next in Melbourne. If any other amounts come in, we’ll pass them on as they arrive. It’s not too late for you to help a great project by using our “Donate” button & putting “Teen World Flight” in the comment text.

The list of people who have helped us get to this amount includes:

  • Peter Baxter
  • Nick Christiansen
  • Gary Clarkson
  • Chris Fenelon
  • Peter Gossner
  • Brian Grinter
  • Ben Jones
  • Gareth Little-Hales
  • Evan Schoo
  • Andrew Van Der Saag
  • Doug Worrall

Thanks so much to all who have chipped in & helped us make this possible.

PCDU Episode 108: On a Wing & a Chair

Dave Jacka with his Jabiru 230

Flying solo around Australia is a challenging & amazing experience, even today (just ask Owen Zupp :) ). It’s even more mind-blowing when you’re a quadriplegic! This episode Steve & Grant talk to Dave Jacka who is setting out to be the first quadriplegic person to fly solo around Australia! We also include a chat Steve recorded with Laurie Jones from Adventure Wings about his role as a fire-bomber and the Nanchang adventure flights they operate from Tooradin (YTDN) plus a new View from the Lounge and even a competition!

  • 0:04:40 – Our chat with Dave Jacka about his flight around Australia and his On a Wing and a Chair charity.
     
  • 0:42:41 – Steve chats with Laurie Jones from Adventure Wings.
     
  • 1:01:15 – The View from the Lounge: Flight or Fright
     
  • 1:07:57 – Listener Mail:
    • “Shoeless Joe” from Virginia has completed his PPL
    • Andrew van der Saag has some feedback on our Avalon 2013 coverage
    • Adam Knight also has comments on our Avalon 2013 coverage (especially the F22 interviews)
    • Scott Tavasci is an ex-RAAF C130H pilot and he wanted to correct a small error by Steve regarding his Sydney harbour flight (yes, *that* flight :) )
       
  • 1:17:24 – Shout Outs:
  • 1:22:30 – We’re going to help Ryan Campbell’s Teen World Flight by putting some money towards it (along with help from our fantastic audience :) )
     
  • 1:26:10 – we have a competition to win one of three Flight Path TV Series 1 DVD sets but you need to listen to the episode to hear how to win
     
    If you can’t enter the competition or don’t manage to be one of the winners, you can get 20% off the Series 1 DVD pack by purchasing it by using this special 20% discount link. Thanks again to Fletch & Mal from Flight Path TV for making the discount available to our audience.

All this AND we appeared in Episode 46 of the Stuck Mic AvCast when Len Costa came down under for a quick holiday.

Don’t forget that our new email address is contact@planecrazydownunder.com

PCDU Episode 106: Avalon 2013 – Day Six

The RAAF C17 Globemaster preparing to start its display routineWe had contemplated a quiet final day at Avalon 2013 where the team could gather a few last interviews but it wasn’t to be. There were still so many people to see, content to capture and experiences to share with our audience. In fact, there’s so much content that we couldn’t fit it all into our daily episodes so we’re going to have to release more Avalon coverage in our later episodes.

Meanwhile, for this episode we’re presenting:

  • Ryan Campbell from the Teen World Flight project
  • Melissa & Rex Pemberton talk about flying aerobatic demonstrations & wingsuiting
  • Mark Jefferies talks about his aerobatic career
  • Dieter Ebeling introduces us to Awesome Aviation and their Extra 330LX
  • Anton Meir from Aerosport Aviation in New Zealand
  • Nelson Aviation College
  • Kangan Institute provides aviation courses
  • Captain Natassia Cherne from the USAF’s Pacific Air Force media team
  • Timbo’s Tarmac
  • In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf