Balloons and Tiger Moths. Gotta love old school flying :)
Grant’s pulled out a big collection of ballooning interviews including discussions with military & commercial fixed wing pilots who enjoy the challenge of flying hot air balloons. We’ve also got a fun chat with Owen Zupp about his new book: Without Precedent, our tribute to Hannes Arch and the Infrequent Flyer finally
gets to see TopGun (in 3D at the IMAX, no less).
This is our biggest episode ever (even bigger than Episode 51’s “Farewell to the Pig” tribute to the RAAF’s F-111s.
Click here to access the episode.
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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)
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 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.
Grant firing the burners during inflation
(Photo by Greg Maunder Sports Photography)
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
Balloons flying over Leeton
(Grant’s in there somewhere :) )
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There’s been a few delays in getting our first episode for 2012 out but what can you expect with the Summer heat to enjoy and games of Cricket to watch (or avoid :). It is with Cricket in mind that our very own Infrequent Flyer, Anthony Simmons, took some time out of his European adventures to visit the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (home of the Duxford Aviation Society) at the time of their last flying display for 2011, a day that saw some 16,000 people come to watch the show!
The focus of this flying display was the Korean War and Anthony was able to find out that the “Forgotten War” was about so much more than episodes of M*A*S*H:
- Anthony chats with Lt Don Reed (ret), a 90 year old veteran of the conflict who flew with the Fleet Air Arm as an observer on Fireflies and as a Seafire pilot
- He then meets Esther Blaine, the PR Manager, for a discussion on:
- The history of the Duxford site
- The educational programmes the IWM provides
- The new “Airspace” display
- The IWM’s plans for the future
- Anthony is also able to further one-up Steve & Grant by noting that he’s been through a Vickers Viscount, DeHavilland Comet and Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde as well as getting up close with a Lancaster and Tigermoth. What, us, jealous??? :)
- Anthony wraps it up by interviewing Mark Linney from the Golden Apple Trust about their flying F86A, the only one of its kind still flying. They chat about:
- The history of this particular aircraft
- Mark’s career as a pilot in the RAF flying the Tornado GR1, instructing on the Hawk and then winding up on the Harrier. After the RAF he’s now flying 747s, A340-600s and, of course, the F86
- They then chat about the F86’s development, handling and history
The episode wraps up with Steve & Anthony having a quick review of the content & Anthony’s experience at Duxford.
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The Red Baron's Pitts Special
If you’ve ever looked skyward in Sydney, there’s a high chance you’ve seen a bright red aircraft with old-style German crosses on the wings. Originally flying an old Tiger Moth, the Red Baron flew out of Bankstown and gave joy flights to members of the public, flying over Sydney’s beaches and occasionally doing aerobatics.
Roll forward to today and Red Baron scenic & aerobatic flights is now owned by Joel Haski (RedBaronSydney on Twitter) with a number of aircraft, including Pitts Specials, Robins/Alphas, an Extra and a new Airvan. Some are painted in Red Baron colours while others fly under the Red Bull logos.
We were fortunate enough to get some of Joel’s time for a chat about his flying history, running the Red Baron operation, being involved with Red Bull and the recent New South Wales Aerobatic competition.