PCDU Episode 118: Can you fly to NatFly 2014?

Just to be different, this episode Steve joins ATC Ben on a BenAir flight from Essendon (YMEN) to Temora (YTEM) to attend the NatFly 2014 event. With the Cirrus SR20’s autopilot keeping them on track, Captain Ben & FO Steve introduce the show before opening up their packed lunches. Sadly, Sierra Juliette Alpha (VH-SJA) did not include a flight attendant so they had to arrange their own drinks.

BenAir's VH-SJA after arriving at Temora (YTEM)

BenAir’s VH-SJA after arriving at Temora (YTEM)

Meanwhile, as you may have heard on a recent Australia Desk Segment, Grant was flying hot air balloons in Leeton, about 60 nautical miles south west of Temora. While Steve & Ben were at NatFly & recording a few interviews, Grant managed to corner a pilot for a chat in Leeton.

This episode unfolds with the following content:

  • 0:03:54 - Paul Goard from Brumby Aircraft Australia (based in Cowra, New South Wales) talks about their high-wing aircraft, the change to the Rotax engine and their production schedule.
     
  • 0:08:49 - Robin Lowe from Lowe Flight (based at Kilcunda, Victoria) talks about the Fresh Breeze XCitor Paratrike which subsequently won the “Best Powered Parachute” award at NatFly 2014.

    It also turns out that Robin is looking for an instructor to join his team so if you’re interested, his contact details are on the website :)
     

  • 0:14:54 - Bob & Marya Phillips at AvTours Australia have been in the aviation tours business since 1989. They talk about the tours they’ve previously run to Oshkosh and their plans for this year’s tour.
     
  • 0:24:57 - Matt Hall from Matt Hall Racing talks about pylon hits, assessing the other competitors, the removal of the knife-edge pass pylons from the Red Bull Air Race‘s track design and his schedule for the next month or two.
     
  • 0:31:31 -
    Grant firing the burners during inflation

    Grant firing the burners during inflation
    (Photo by Greg Maunder Sports Photography)

    Grant catches up with Niall Higgins after another fun morning flying hot air balloons over Leeton. Niall talks about his background in aviation and why he flies fixed wing AND hot air balloons. In addition to flying a Yak52 with the Russian Roolettes, Niall also flies Tiger Moths and he talks about a very special gig on ANZAC Day this year: as part of the lead up to the Great Tiger Moth Air Race, Niall flew one of 4 Tigermoths up Sydney Harbour with WWII veterans on board.

    While we recorded the chat before ANZAC Day, this episode came out a few days after, allowing us to give you this link to an ABC News report on the flight :)
     

  • 0:38:17 - As ATC Ben flies the Sierra Juliet Alpha back to Essendon, he records a NatFly 2014 wrap up with Steve while they were somewhere over Mt Kosciuszko.

VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight

VH-SJA parked back at Essendon (YMEN) after the flight

Balloons flying over Leeton (Grant's in there somewhere :) )

Balloons flying over Leeton
(Grant’s in there somewhere :) )

PCDU Episode 117: Holler for a Marshall, an AIR Marshal

With the RAAF’s Centenary of Military Aviation air show only a couple of days away, we thought we’d mix up some content that promotes the event as well as some chats Grant recorded with a number of past & present members of the RAAF at the Temora Aviation Museum’s “Warbirds Down Under” event back in November. To round the whole thing off, we’ve also got Steve’s chat with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event that will be running from March 3rd to 9th around the world.

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

From top to bottom: AVM (ret) Skidmore, AIRMSHL Binskin & AVM Davies (and, of course, a P40 :) )

The episode’s content run is:

  • Steve & Grant give an overview of what to expect in the episode
     
  • 0:09:42 - Grant catches up with Air Marshal Mark Binskin at the Temora Aviation Museum to discuss his career, the role of Vice Chief of the Defence Force and flying his Cessna O-1 Birddog
     
  • 0:15:57 - Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore talks to us about flying the Bristol Boxkite replica
     
  • 0:20:33 - Air Vice Marshal Leo Davies (Deputy Chief of Air Force) tells us about the Centenary of Military Aviation air show, his career and the type of work he does in his role
     
  • 0:28:17 - Keith Webb explains the Temora Aviation Museum‘s “Unsung Heroes” project and the work involved in collecting the reminiscences of veterans
     
  • 0:34:42 - Grant catches up with Captain Jack Curtis, DC3 pilot extraordinaire and perhaps the only pilot flying DC3s who’s actually older than the aircraft he’s flying :)
     
  • 0:43:01 -
    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook (Photo by James Kightly)

    F/A-18 flying over the Bristol Boxkite replica at Pt Cook
    (Photo by James Kightly)

    Dick Simms talks about being an Officer Cadet in the RAAF & flying Mustangs, Vampires & Meteors then his career selling aircraft and his restoration of a 1930’s Ryan STM that can now be found at the Temora Aviation Museum
     
  • 0:58:10 - Mick Haxel (DFC) chats with Grant about his career in the military and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the time that it became the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before winding up with his current position with Flight Safety Pty Ltd. He also talks about how he was awarded DFC for his flying in Vietnam (Audio courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
     
  • 1:16:50 - Steve talks with Tammy Augostin about the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week event and her involvement with CCT Racing, one of the Australian jet racing teams at the Reno Air Races
     
  • 1:47:44 - Steve & Grant wrap up the episode
GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built

GPCAPT (ret) Ron Gretton AM & WGCDR (ret) Geoff Matthews talk with AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore in front of the Bristol Boxkite replica they built
(Photo by James Kightly)

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 82: Keeping up with Owen Zupp

Our good friend Owen Zupp takes time out from his very busy schedule to hang out & chat with us:

  • Owen’s got a new blog on www.owenzupp.com where he talks about aviation (mostly). Readership is ramping up quickly and we chat about some of his content and the questions readers are sending to him.
     
  • Steve met up with Owen at the GippsAero factory recently when Owen was flight testing the GA8 Airvan for an article in Australian Aviation. We chat about GippsAero, the GA8 Airvan, the GA10’s pending launch and what Owen was looking for during the test flight.
     
  • One of Owen’s recent articles was “The Fatal Stall” which was inspired by a recently released video on YouTube. We talk about stall/spin training, Owen’s approach to teaching stalls and factors that can lead to the stall.
     
  • We even touch on cricket a couple of times. I mean, really, cricket? How did that get in an aviation podcast?? :)
     
  • Finally we chat for a bit about Owen’s future projects

After chatting with Owen, we run a few World War 2 related segments that Steve recorded while on a road trip to Mildura, including:

Pieter Johnson has supplied us with another great From Up Here to Down There episode. This time he’s talking with Paul Fowler about the Enstone Flying Club’s “Spitfire Project” which aims to build a squadron of 12 of the Supermarine 90% scale Mk26B kits. Via their “Zero to Hero” classes, they will recruit pilots who will then fly the aircraft at airshows around Europe putting on public flying displays.

We then return to chatting with Owen and discuss:

  • Finding small aviation museums & historic sites around Australia.
     
  • How World War 1 aircraft are just as cool as World War 2 aircraft.
     
  • The Seaplane Pilots’ Association of Australia are having their “Splash In” on the 21st & 22nd of April at Lake Boga
     
  • The replica Spitfire & Mustang kits that are available to purchase.

We end up working through some Listener Mail & Shout Outs, including:

  • Howard McClernon says Hi, discusses the Ansett collapse and also remote controlled aircraft
  • Gary Clarkson asks about flying RA-Aus aircraft in Class C & D airspace
  • Justin Sarda points us at some amazing graffiti painted aircraft
  • Congratulations to Chris Barry for getting a $100k grant from the government to expand the aviation studies programme into more high schools
  • Sympathies to Steven Frischlng on the passing of his Dad
  • Congratulations to Ben Wickham on his recent engagement
  • Congraultations to Rod & Lisa Rakic (from MyTransponder) on the news that they are expecting a new potential pilot

In other news, we’ve started a mailing list to keep you posted on new episodes & interesting developments. You can sign up to receive it on our Facebook page and on our web site.

Finally, don’t forget that the Tyabb Air Show is on March 4th and the RA-Aus NatFly event is at Temora on April 6th & 7th.

PCDU Episode 75: Talking Aerobatics with Anthony Crichton-Browne

Today we’re joined by Anthony Crichton-Browne, a commercial airline pilot who also likes to take his Pitts Special out for a spin (and a few other fun manoeuvres :) In addition to chatting with Anthony, we also run a chat with Grant Piper (President of the Australian Aerobatic Club) about Australia’s recent involvement in the World Aerobatic Championship, discuss aerobatics in general and also have a chat about the recent horrific tragedy at Reno Air Races where the highly modified P51 “Galloping Ghost” lost control and plowed into specators.

We start off by hanging out with Anthony and talking about his career in aviation and more, including:

  • He has an older brother who’s also a pilot
  • He’s from Western Australia, learning to fly at Jandakot in Perth
  • He did the usual hour building & quickly found himself in a Cessna 310 then on to First Officer on a Brasillia before stepping up to Second Officer on 747-400, after which he proceeded to his current gig as First Officer on a 767
  • Anthony started flying aerobatics with friends and also scored a flight with Matt Hall
  • His aerobatic training really kicked in with a Pitts and he now has his own Pitts
  • We talk about G-Tolerance, G-LOC and beating the effects of high-G manoeuvres
  • We discuss the recent tragic accident at the Reno Air Races, including the NTSB’s preliminary report & talk further the effects of pulling-G’s
  • A discussion about stalls that leads into how advanced training really helps dispel some of the many myths, how the stall stick position works and standard GFPT training vs advanced training by groups like Red Baron in Sydney (Hi Joel! :)

You can find Anthony on his Flying Ant Online website as well as following him on Twitter where he’s known as AntCB.

We then move into the interview that Steve & Anthony recorded with Grant Piper, the President of the Australian Aerobatics Club, featuring:

  • An overview of aerobatic manoeuvre’s
  • How aerobatic competitions are managed & scored
  • Australia’s return to the World Aerobatic Championship
  • How to improve the standard in Australia with coaching by current champs
  • Grant’s career in aviation including his start in the RAAF
  • The benefits of including aeros in primary training

We then return to a chat with Anthony about:

  • The challenges of flying competition aerobatics
  • Standard aerobatic figures (loop, cuban-8, etc)
  • How scoring each manoeuvre starts at 10 points then deducts points for any errors
  • How it all has to look right from the ground
  • The issues in dealing with wind & power
  • What is the aerobatic box
  • Types of propeller blades and their benefits (blade numbers, sizes, etc)

Finally we start to wrap it up with some listener mail:

  • Ian Allen from New Zealand sent us some great ideas for more Kiwi Content
  • Errol Cavit points us at a possible Kiwi aviation podcast
  • Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and our forums on Downwind

We then wind up with some shout outs:

Plane Crazy Down Under – Out and About!

The team with the mobile studio at Coldstream

Not all PCDU material is recorded in the studio and over Skype. We also get out and about in the aviation community with our mobile studio. We can attend your aviation event to record interviews or entire shows, provide commentary, or entertain your guests with pre recorded content from previous PCDU shows.

We can also provide up to 12 high quality weather proofed speaker towers to cater for any occasion – enough to stretch along 300 metres of flight line!

Steve & Grant recording at NatFly 2011 in Temora

Recording content with guests and speakers at your aviation event allows your message to be spread more widely through inclusion in our podcast series.

If you’d like to have Grant, Steve and the PCDU team attend your next aviation event, email us at planecrazydownunder@gmail.com

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 61: The Great Pilgrimage

Most people interested or involved in aviation have a special love for warbirds and antique aircraft and we at PCDU are certainly no exception. This episode features a number of interviews with pilots of Warbirds & antique aircraft that were recorded at Avalon Airshow and at Point Cook when the RAAF Pilgrimage arrived.

The RAAF Pilgrimage was held to celebrate the 90th birthday of the RAAF & comprised a collection of more than 50 aircraft that flew from Temora to Tocumwal to Ballarat and finally to Point Cook. The Pilgrimage aicraft arrived at Point Cook (the birth place of the RAAF) and we were there to greet them.

This episode contains the following interviews from the RAAF Pilgrimage:

  • Air Commodore Rodney Luke
  • Steve Death
  • Doug Hamilton
  • Egon Mahr from the Russian Roolettes
  • Col Griffin & Warren Canning

We also have some other warbird related discussions, including:

  • Kenny Love, CEO of the Temora Aviation Museum
  • Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser and the Macchi 326H restoration project he is a member of
  • Darren “Buster” Crabb
  • Gus Lerrard

We then round out the episode with:

  • Listener Mail:

    • Ed Stubbs
       
  • Shout Outs:
    • Ken & Tim get recognition for their Millions Against Malaria flight
    • Matt from New St Films for the help with our photo shoots
    • Listener Andrew Tsousis for putting us in touch with Ben Merkenhof
    • Iat-Fai Leong for his support of the show
    • Erk for his support & his new book

We also have some additional content that can be found in our Extras section. This time we have a recording of the post-flight debrief by the Yak Attack formation pilots.

Finally, we would like to offer our condolences to our friend Milford Shirley from the Flight Time Radio Show in Florida, USA, who’s wife Barbara passed away recently.

Combined PCDU/UCAP Meet Up at Temora

Looks like a few of the PCDU listeners are going to fly from Essendon Airport (YMEN) to Temora (YTEM) to catch the Temora Aviation Museum‘s next flying days on October 24th & 25th. I had planned to go up there to catch the show and interview some of the staff, pilots and engineers, although I’d originally planned to drive up & back. I’d prefer to fly up there but it depends on weather and if those doing the flying are staying for both days.

As if you didn’t need enough reasons to go and check out the flying at Temora, Matt Hall is going to be flying his Mustang there. It promises to be quite the experience!

Given a bunch of us will be up there, we’re considering doing a combined PCDU/UCAP meet up. Depending on when people are going to be there, we’ll do it on one or both days of the show and/or arrange a dinner session on the Saturday night.

If you’re interested in meeting up at Temora, please post here and let us know. Tell us whether you want to fly yourself there, drive or come along as a passenger in one of the planes if space permits.