PCDU Episode 74: Kiwi User Fees … and other issues

We’re joined by our mate Dan Morris from New Zealand to discuss some news from the Land of the Long White Cloud. Topics include:

  • Air Traffic Control in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, especially the problems they encountered due to centralising all area controllers in one location
  • How user fees in New Zealand have lead funding being removed for weather briefing service: pilots must now pay an annual fee to access the weather service
  • What the Air NZ Aviation Academy and student loan funding by the New Zealand government (which remains interest free if you stay in NZ) mean for flight training in NZ
  • Air New Zealand’s latest earnings report
  • The rapidly approaching Flair 2011 industry innovation showcase & airshow
  • The Will it Fly project that is working to produce a replica of the Pearse Flyer from 1903 with updates on the Will It Fly Facebook page

Brentword's LogoNext up, Steve travels back to his old high school to discover that it’s a lot better than when he was there (and NOT just because his class photo has been hidden :) Thanks to Chris Barry at Brentwood Secondary College and our friends at Aus Air Services, kids at the school have the opportunity to learn to fly as part of their studies. Steve chats with Chris, Angelina from Aus Air Services and some of the kids about this fantastic project.

Our final interview in this episode is a quick chat with Mark Pracy Sr from JetRide Australia and Pracy Racing as he gets ready to head to the 2011 Reno Air Races to fly his L39 low, fast & turning left. We discuss what it’s like to fly the course and how he’s going about keeping himself ready for it.

We wrap up the episode with a quick chat about Dale Watson’s Tiger Airways song on YouTube (thanks to Chris Fenlon for pointing us at it) and the fact that Tiger Airways are back flying, albeit at a reduced level. We also discuss how Crawford Rix was replaced by Tony Davis who is, in turn, leaving the airline shortly after working hard to bring it back from the brink.

Finally, we have some shoutouts, including:

  • Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio show is currently in the Mayo clinic under going chemotherapy to fight Leukemia – good luck & get well quick, mate!
  • Zyola T Mix from the Mile High Flyers has spun off her own project, a podcast about women pilots called The BoXXoffice
  • The Uncontrolled Airspace podcast has just celebrated its five year anniversary on August 23rd! Woo hoo! Go guys! Congrats to Jack, Jeb & Dave!
  • There’s a new aviation podcast with us from Canada called Cleared Enroute with hosts Danny Vacar & Chris Johnson (on Twitter as clearedenroute)
  • Jamie Dodson who writes the Nick Grant Adventures novels and sent us a couple of copies

NOTE: You can find Dan Morris on Twitter as TheGrandVizier, on Facebook and at his blog which mixes aviation & coffee in copious quantities.

PCDU Episode 69: Carbonated

Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser returns to join us in a discussion of current events in the Australian aviation scene. Following a quick intro, the first topic we discuss is the Carbon Tax our government is proposing to implement. We do try to keep the discussion coming back to the impacts this tax is likely to have on aviation but it’s a very hot topic and is certainly bringing out concerns for a number of people.

Once we get through the Carbon Tax and calm down a little, we move onto the sad state of affairs with Tiger Airways, currently grounded for failure to meet the requirements of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and a number of safety related issues. This is the first time CASA have grounded an all-jet airline and its timing was certainly drastic (right on the eve of the school holidays). We discuss the implications, some potential results and whether the Australian public will ever trust the airline again (very likely if there are cheap fares to be had).

Finally we discuss Aviation Advertiser’s sponsoring the PCDU Team in their “Up & Over to Oshkosh 2011″ tour and the updates we’ll be providing on their website while we’re at Oshkosh.

After wrapping up our chat with Ben, we present another View From the Lounge segment, this time comparing public transport access to airports at Melbourne and various cities around the world. We then point listeners at Steve Price from Melbourne Talk Radio (MTR) having a great chat with astronaut Andy Thomas as well as similar coverage from the ABC StarStuff podcast.

Finally, we’d like to thank all the listeners who have donated to our “Up & Over to Oshkosh 2011″ tour. We’ve had lots of suggestions for coverage and lots of donations that all help round out the support of our sponsors. Thanks to you we’ll be able to provide a more comprehensive coverage of Oshkosh 2011 than we could have if it were just Steve & Grant on site. Once again, we are amazed at the level of support we’ve received from our audience. You folks definitely make it all the hard work & late nights worthwhile :)

PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

In this episode we join noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands from Plane Talking to review the latest news & information. When we called Ben, he was experiencing a heat wave of 11 degrees Celsius at his home in the mountains near Canberra. Meanwhile, here in Melbourne we were thinking winter was upon us as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees Celsius. Four degrees of separation but a very different pair of perspectives on cold vs hot.

Fortunately, we were all spot on with our news analysis, including such topics as:

  • Use of composites in airliners and the indications that it won’t really be effective for another 10 to 20 years
  • QANTAS still claiming that they’re going to get their 787-9s on a date that would be before Air New Zealand (the launch customer) despite Boeing making a statement contradicting this
  • The changes that are afoot with the Virgin Blue group being under new leadership:
    • Brett Godfrey’s farewell bash
    • John Borghetti not getting the top job at QANTAS but, perhaps, getting something better with running Virgin Blue
    • Fleet choices and the possibility that they’ll get A330s or B767s, especially on high density routes like Sydney to Melbourne
    • The likelihood that they’ll rebrand the group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue) under a single name
  • Singapore Airlines having veto rights over the name Virgin for any new international airline
  • Tiger Airways recording a profit and becoming more of a stable, solid threat in the market
  • Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese wanting to restrict cockpit access to only the two pilots flying and any check pilots or safety reviewers
  • The F35 and how Australia seems to be one of the few countries NOT getting upset about all the delays and problems

After chatting with Ben, we have an interview with James Baldwin & Glen Somerville from EmptyJets, an organisation that gives you the chance to get rides in charter aircraft that would otherwise be flying empty on positioning flights. From helicopters to Gulfstream Vs, they’re all on the list and well worth checking out.

After that we dive into the mail bag where:

  • Matt McCabe compares the cost of learning to fly here in Australia against the USA
  • Errol Cavit enjoyed the Red Bull show and will be catching up with us when he comes over from New Zealand (for a Sci Fi convention, no less)
  • Vince Bezzina who volunteers at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook was checking if we knew about the DC6 coming to Australia from South Africa. Oh yes, do we ever!

We also have a couple of shout outs to:

  • Damien Rose who is now a private pilot and on his way to a commercial license (and speaking of the cost of learning – Damien sold his house to fund all this! He must have a VERY understanding wife, that’s for sure :)
  • Steve Cooke from the Flying Podcast in the UK has released his latest episode on a topic that’s very important for Grant: ballooning

PCDU Episode 29: What’s in a Checklist?

Some in-cockpit audio provided by a listener triggered a discussion on the differences in pre-landing checklists (GUMPS vs BUMFTH vs BUMFOH vs whatever). All of Grant’s aviation books & manuals are still in boxes after moving house so he had to rely on his memory with predictable results. Talk about incentive to go out and get current again…

Given we couldn’t do a whole episode around the concept of “gas” in different countries, we also discuss recent aviation news items (so many to chose from lately) and have a collection of interviews we recorded at the RAAF’s Air Pageant at Point Cook.

Here’s how the episode hangs together this time:

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

The Jetstarisation of QANTAS is not over yet

Thanks to an opportunity presented by Shashank Nigam, Grant’s just had an article about the ongoing Jetstarisation of QANTAS published on Shashank’s Simpliflying site.

It provides a background on the birth of Jetstar, its growth to date and how it is destined to consume more of QANTAS’ mainline routes & aircraft. Head on over to Simpliflying and check out the article.

Thanks to Shashank for giving us the opportunity to gain further exposure to the global aviation world, it’s very much appreciated :)

PCDU Episode 24: Misuse of Accents

Despite the annoying habit of our “day jobs” and families encroaching into our PCDU time, we’ve finally managed to get some time to record an episode. Steve even managed a marathon effort of post production to edit a coherent episode from our opinionated news discussion and an interview with Saj Ahmad. Go Steve! :)

Despite my best efforts to drone on endlessly, Steve’s also managed to keep the episode under 2 hours, but not by much. Hopefully this will give you heaps of fun listening as you travel to & from work, mow the lawns or do your household chores :)

Here’s how the show came together this time:

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

PCDU Episode 23: Australia: A TSA free zone (for now)

Even down here in Australia we’re being impacted by the out-of-control antics of the TSA, so what the heck, we’ll have a bit of a c’est la vent moment about it. We also have our usual opinionated discussion on some other news items and chat with Shashank Nigam from SimpliFlying.

Here’s how the show proceeds:

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

PCDU Episode 22: Farewell 2009

It’s the Christmas & New Year holiday period, plus down here it’s Summer so we’re totally into listening to long aviation podcasts when we’re not distracted by having fun. So, for all of our listeners who have long drives or lots of chores to do around home, we give you our longest episode yet. With a bit of Christmas cheer, we produce just over two hours of PCDU goodness including an interview with Michael Gilmour from Downwind.com.au, our usual opinionated review of the news and listener mail. We also wrap up the year with a tip of the wing to the podcasts that inspire us and the guests who have helped give us some great content.

Here’s how the episode came together this time:

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 11: Recreationally Yours

This episode we’re joined by Bas Scheffers, a Recreational Aviation Australia pilot (our version of the US Sport Pilot rules) who flies out of Parafield airport (YPPF) in Adelaide, South Australia. We have a great chat about flying RA-Aus aircraft, GAAP issues, the benefits of learning to fly under RA-Aus instead of the usual GA, the information available from the recreational flying community and even discuss the new AAAF Forum (Forum for free speech on industry: AAAF – Steve Creedy @ The Australian).

After our great chat with Bas, we move on to our usual opinionated regional news review which includes the following items:

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