Episode 124: Avalon15 Bravo (Yet more Avalon Airshow Goodness)

The Australian International Airshow (aka Avalon Airshow) may well be over for 2015 but our collection of content recorded at the show is still being worked on. Here’s another hour of interviews & discussions and we suspect there may be another two episodes before we’re through with all of it. This is what happens when you let Steve, Grant & Maikha run loose with audio recorders at an airshow :)

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15

Maikha & his Selfie Stick seemed to get almost everywhere at Avalon15


Steve kicks us off with an overview of the episode which unfolds as:

  • 0:02:42 – Grant caught up with Richard Woodward but instead of chatting in his usual ride (an A380), they’re chatting about the new coaxial rotor helicopters he’s working on with Coax Helicopters. They’re amazing machines that are being targeted at those who like to ride sports bikes without fairings.
  • 0:10:45 –
    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it's a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Richard Woodward at the controls of a Coax Helicopter (it’s a tad smaller than his usual A380 :) )

    Peta Denham Harvey is the vice president of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (Victorian Branch) and she tells Maikha about the Round Australia Relay which features women pilots flying around australia to raise money for the Cancer Council. The relay started during the Avalon Airshow and will conclude in April at the AWPA conference in Launceston (Tasmania).
  • 0:16:21 – Grant talks with GPCAPT Guy Adams regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems within the Australian Defence Force ranging from backpack units Army squads can use through to Global Hawk & Triton. The discussions also covers how the Heron UAV is operating with the RAAF after Afghanistan, the Scan Eagle platform trials, operations with Reapers in the USA and what was involved in getting a Global Hawk to land at Avalon Airport.
    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

    GPCAPT Guy Adams in front of the Triton mockup

  • 0:38:04 – Craig Duncan from the Airline Academy of Australia has come down from Queensland for the show and he talks with Steve about their training operations at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba.
  • 0:49:03 – Maikha’s managed to get into the belly of an RJ85 Fire Fighting aircraft that’s been derived from a BAe146. He’s with Ray Horton from ConAir in Canada and they’re talking about Ray’s career, ConAir’s operations, the RJ85 and fire bombing in Australia.
  • 1:01:06 – Grant got to take a break with Jodi Davis and review what she’s been up to over the last 18 months including her aerobatic flying and working as Matt Hall Racing’s domestic business development manager based at Belmont Airport in Pelican (New South Wales).
  • 1:06:18 – With a live-to-the-mic intro from Allan Van’t Padje, Timbo joins Grant to give us yet another Timbo’s Tarmac with the inside word on the Avalon warbird tarmac, some fun with soft ground and storing aircraft in the now empty ex-Qantas hangars.
  • 1:09:47 – Steve wraps up the episode
ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

ConAir Spotter, C130 & RJ85 parked in front of their hangar

PCDU Episode 122: Farewell 2014

As the final hours of 2014 draw to a close, we’re getting our last episode for 2014 out the door. The boys have been kept pretty busy with their day jobs lately but, despite this, they’ve managed to do some flying:Ep122 Cover

  • Grant’s been taking friends on their first balloon flights including Evan Schoo and Darren Craven
  • Fred Samson took Steve for a fly over San Francisco while he was there a back in October
  • Steve got to fly a 172 in Las Vegas thanks to Rod Rakic & AirWork Las Vegas, an OpenAirplane member
  • The PCDU aeroplane fleet has expanded thanks to Jonesy picking up a 1974 model Cessna 172

After the hangar talk settles down, we get into the episode itself which includes the recent Avalon Airshow Media Launch, Steve’s time at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas and Grant’s trip to Auckland in New Zealand for the Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet up. The episode stacks up in the following list:

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

Steve with the AirWork Cessna 172 he flew over Las Vegas

  • Grant attended the media launch for the Avalon Airshow which was held in the old Qantas hangar where they used to park a 747 while doing heavy maintenance on it. There was wind on the hangar walls, doors opening, vehicles moving and people talking which all made it a rather “interesting” place to record the following chats:

    • 0:16:29 – Jeff “Trappo” Trappett finally gets a chance to appear on PCDU (that or he couldn’t run away fast enough :) ) and talks to Grant about his P51, his C47 & his Sabre
    • 0:22:34 – Paul Bennet talks about his new Wolf Pitts aircraft, the manoeuvres it’s letting him do and where things are at with Paul Bennet Airshows (sounds like he’s got a bit of an airforce happening :) )
    • 0:26:36 – Darren Craven talks about owning & flying a Winjeel
    • 0:33:30 – Gordon Robinson talks about flying Australia’s only Fokker Dr.1 triplane replica all the way down to Melbourne from Brisbane
    • 0:39:38 – Andrew Carter owns & flies the Dr.1 replica that Gordon flew down. He talks to us about setting up the Australian Vintage Aviation Society to commemorate WW1 & bring to life aircraft of the era.
    • 0:48:28 – Of course, there wouldn’t be aircraft at Avalon without a session on Timbo’s Tarmac and Grant made sure to record one at this event
  • Back in October, Steve went to the USA to experience the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas (his family still thinks it was a family trip :) ). While at the event he recorded the following interviews:
    • Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      Steve chats with Matt Hall at the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas

      0:54:27 – Matt Hall talks about his results in the Fort Worth race & the challenges he’s found this season
    • 0:59:33 – Eric Cieslar & Peter Wezenbeek are Matt Hall’s race technician & race tactician and they talk about their roles in keeping Matt flying in top form during the races
    • 1:05:30 – Hannes Arch talks about standardised engines and how they’ve highlighted the pilot’s skills as opposed to engine power
    • 1:09:06 – Kirby Chambliss talks about the challenges he’s faced this season and the changes he’ll be making for the next season
    • 1:13:42 – Mike Goulian talks about his involvement with Cirrus aircraft and the hassles he’s worked through this season
    • 1:19:48 – Steve catches up with Matt once again just prior to the start of the second day to discuss qualifying
    • 1:21:55 – Steve presents a wrap up of the race after the winds came up and they had to cancel the day’s flying (audio courtesy of the Red Bull Air Race content pool)
    • 1:24:21 – Rod Rakic talks about OpenAirplane
  • As Steve was on a Qantas A380 heading to the USA, Grant was on an Air New Zealand A320 heading to New Zealand to attend the Wings Over New Zealand Forum gathering at Ardmore Airport near Auckland. More than just a gathering, this event included plenty of presentations on great topics, all hosted within the New Zealand Warbirds hangar. While Dave Homewood is releasing much of the content from the event on his Wings Over New Zealand show, Grant recorded a few items of his own:
    • 1:33:54 – Brett Nicholls talks about owning two ex-RNZAF BAC 167 Strikemasters and what it’s taken to get them running for publically available joy flights with Jetfighter Military Adventure Flights
    • Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      Graham Wood taxies the DH.83 Fox Moth

      1:42:20 – Grant got the opportunity to take a ride in a DH.83 Fox Moth along with fellow passenger Grant Newman. In addition to recording some of the sounds from the flight, he also chatted with Graham Wood about his career and flying the DH.83
    • While Grant didn’t get a chance to record with Melanie Salisbury from Aviation Tours NZ, she did pass on some information about their “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” tour of the UK in July 2015 which includes Duxford’s “Flying Legends” airshow. It looks like a great tour with plenty of aviation goodness packed into it :)
  • Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    Steve & Grant recommend you check out Spotters Mag

    1:48:38 – Steve & Grant wrap up the year including a couple of items from the mailbag (including Luke Murphy, Andrew Brown & Shaun Dwyer) and a few shout outs for the end of the year:
    • Steve & Grant have been enjoying the new Spotters Mag, an eMag for aviation spotters with a version just for Australia & New Zealand. Highly recommended!
    • Carlos Stebbings from the Plane Talking UK show is doing his pilot’s license: onya, mate!
    • Steve would like to thank Captain Harry Wubbin for his hospitality on board QF93
    • Steve & Grant thank Paul Burfitt from 64 for his great help this year
    • Don’t forget that the Avalon Airshow 2015 is coming up in a few months and we’re looking forward to seeing you there
    • With tickets on sale already, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the Temora Aviation Museum‘s Warbirds Down Under event coming up in November

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

PCDU Episode 105: Avalon 2013 – Day Five

Steve & Grant with the Breitling Wing Walker TeamDay Five of the Avalon Airshow 2013 is the first full public day and they turned out in force to enjoy great aviation action under clear blue skies. Despite the crowds we still managed to get around the airport to complete a number of interviews & meet up with plenty of people.

This episode includes:

  • Grant’s interviews with some RAAF AP-3C crew:

    • Air Combat Officer (ACO) Flying Officer Tristan Hull
    • Demonstration pilot Flight Lieutenant James Pears
  • Steve talks to Jacqui Carlon from Piper about their latest Garmin equipped Seminole on display
  • Grant & Ben Jones talk to Bob & Laurie Carlton about their jet powered Salto glider demonstration
  • Steve & Grant talk to Owen & Kirrily Zupp
  • ATC_Ben helps out with Timbo’s Tarmac and In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf

PCDU Episode 104: Avalon 2013 – Day Four

USAF F22 Raptor on the combat jet tarmacThe sun came out in force on Day 4 of Avalon 2013 and with mostly clear blue skies we finally felt like we’d arrived at a real airshow. With aircraft putting on some amazing performances, the F22 once again took to the skies and let us experience the “High Show” and what a fantastic show that was!

For today’s episode, we have the following content:

  • Master Sergeant Bo Brewer talks about maintaining the F22 & its systems
  • Major Henry Schantz is the current F22 demo pilot & he compares its handling with an F15C, walks us through the manoeuvres in the demo and talks about the experience of flying it
  • Damien Rose chats with Stephen Buckle about the Carbon Cub
  • Steve & Grant get to hang out & chat with the Breitling Wing Walker team
  • Grant chats with Stewart Wilson from Aero Australia magazine
  • We corner listener Ben Wickham & ask how Avalon 2013 is going for him
  • This time it’s ATC_Ben heading out to bring us Timbo’s Tarmac and In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf

PCDU Episode 103: Avalon 2013 – Day Three

Grant & Steve are sorting out the RAAF C-17 flight deckDay Three of Avalon 2013 brought us a busy schedule of interviews and aviation experiences. From a Gulfstream G650 to the RAAF’s C17 heavy transport, we’ve been running around shooting even more video and recording interviews, such as those that make up today’s episode:

  • We talk to Flight Lieutenant Tony O’Neil & Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stade about being the crew who fly the RAAF’s F18F Super Hornet solo demonstration
  • Grant chats with Mike Jarrett (Gulfstream’s Large Cabin demo pilot) while sitting in the cockpit of the G650
  • Grant chats with Charles Cheesman from ECO 2000 about their Zi-400 aircraft cleaner
  • ATC_Ben talks to Gerhard Jordaan (Company Development Pilot for GippsAero) about the experimental GA-10 prototype
  • We talk to Flight Lieutenant Robert Cousland & Flying Officer Paolo Neri about being crew in the four-aircraft RAAF F18F Super Hornet formation display team
  • Flight Lieutenant David “Dash” Lee & Flight Lieutenant Rhys Brown talk to us about the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft’s entry into service and its recent appearance at Cope North in Guam
  • Grant gives us a quick tarmac summary as the alignment of our schedules with those of Papa Smurf & Timbo didn’t give us any time to meet with them.

PCDU Episode 102: Avalon 2013 – Day Two

Jeremy Miller meeting with Chris Sperou at Avalon 2013Day Two of the Avalon 2013 Airshow has kept Team PCDU very busy shooting video & recording interviews. Here’s some of the content we recorded today:

  • Captain Robin Pursey, Chief Pilot for Airbus Corporate Jets talks about flying the ACJ319
  • David Velupillai, Marketing Director for Airbus Corporate Jets discusses interior fit outs & typical missions for ACJs
  • Steve meets with one of the UAV Challenge teams
  • Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific, discusses the Scan Eagle & Integrator drones
  • Flying Officer Brent Jones, F-18 pilot with 77 Squadron, talks about aspects of air to air refuelling & the training involved
  • In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf
  • Timbo’s Tarmac

PCDU Episode 101: Avalon 2013 – Day One

Steve & Grant with Matt Hall at Avalon 2013It’s been a good start to the Avalon 2013 Airshow with Team PCDU recording a few interviews and setting up their schedule for the rest of the week. For our first day’s coverage we present:

  • Grant talks with John McCormick (Director of Flight Safety at CASA) about his military & airline experience, flying his Yak50 and how that all links into managing CASA.
  • Steven Pam talks to Mal Hurman about the Eclipse 500 at the Air Show, and to Heath Okely from Airflite about the new Eclipse 550 they are marketing.
  • Matt Hall talks to Grant about his Avalon 2013 display routine
  • Timbo’s Tarmac
  • In the Keyhole with Papa Smurf

PCDU Episode 85: Tyabb Air Show 2012 & ATC Ben Answers Your Questions

P51 at TyabbAfter a long break from the show, Ben Ippolito (aka ATC BenATCBen.PCDU@gmail.com) returns in this packed episode to tell us about getting current again, wrap up the Tyabb airshow and answer some of your ATC questions. We also bring on a new sponsor (OzRunways) who helped us get to the recent Parafield airshow (more on that in a later episode).

We start by chatting with Ben about the steps he took to regain currency after spending a few years focussing on becoming an Air Traffic Controller. After this, we move into our Tyabb Airshow content:

  • 08:32 – Peter Bernardi & John Brett from the Peninsula Aero Club discuss the history of the show, the challenges in making it happen (the paperwork!), their involvement in the show and their aviation histories
  • 22:46 – Grant chats with Paul Bennett from MaxxG Aerobatics about his aviation background, winning aerobatic competitions, flying his Pitts Special and flying warbirds
  • 29:37 – Jim & Jenny Wickham talk to Grant about their 3/4 scale P51s & the latest news in Wicko’s world
  • 34:56 – Scott Taberner talks about flying his 1941 Ryan ST3-KR & his flying history
  • 39:44 – Mark Pracy from JetRide Australia gives us an update on the 2012 race, his perspective on the Reno crash and their expanding fleet of L39s & their new Glasair
  • 47:51 – Doug Thomas talks about the Pelican Amphibian, a Russian designed seaplane and the only one in Australia
  • 53:22 – Squadron Leader Adrian Burge talks about the CT4
  • 57:29 – Peter Clements & Steve Death tell us about the history of the Southern Knights
  • 61:04 – Guy Bourke talks to us about flying the T6 Harvard (or Texan if you’re from the USA :), the P51, the Spitfire, the P40 and the Lockheed Hudson as well as which aircraft he dreams of flying
  • 67:48 – Matt Hall on making it down to Tyabb despite the weather, his recent back surgery, how his routine has modified since Avalon, his first aircraft vs car race, his new projects for 2012 & his rotary license
  • 79:46 – Tim Connell returns to reprise his Timbo’s Tarmac sessions from Avalon 2011
  • 81:13 – Peter Bernardi – post show

Following all this great content, Steve, Grant & Ben review their experiences & highlights of the Tyabb show then at 88:42 Ben answers a few ATC questions that have come in:

  • Handling emergencies
  • Who decides whether an airport is closed
  • Who decides runway configurations during operations

Big thanks to Allan VP, ATC Ben, Steven Pam & Chris for their help on the day at Tyabb.

* The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3
* Cover art by Chris Visscher & David Vanderhoof

PCDU Episode 59: Avalon Not-So Quick Cast #6

We’ve made it to the end of day 6 of the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (aka Avalon 2011). It’s the final day of the airshow and once again Team PCDU have been flat out interviewing, editing and generally having fun. We’ve spent some time chatting with the crew of a KC-135 inside their aircraft, interviewed a number of acts, caught up with the Temora Aviation Museum crew and generally had a great time.

We’re also acknowledging that these daily episodes should have been called “Daily Avalon Updates” or anything other than “Quick Casts.” To really confirm that, we’ve put quite a lot of content in this episode, including:

  • Grant’s chat with Paul Simmons recorded while sitting on the wing of the CA27 Sabre
  • Nikolay Timofeev talks about flying aerobatics in his Sukhoi 26
  • Anthony Simmons presents a short View from the B52’s Lounge
  • Kent Pietsch talks to us about flying the “Jelly Belly” Cadet & his various routines while Chris Williams from the same team talks about driving the mobile landing-platform vehicle
  • Being updated by Colonel Seth Bretscher on the amount of work involved in getting so many USAF & USN aircraft & airmen down to Avalon (and why there was no B2 & the F22s didn’t fly)
  • An update from Ian Honnery on how the airshow is going so far
  • A quick chat with Ed Stubbs, a listener from Perth who came over to Avalon for the show
  • The final tarmac updates from Timbo with the warbirds & Papa Smurf at the Keyhole

These Avalon Quick Cast episodes are being sponsored by Aviation Advertiser and supported by Red Baron and Temby Automotive.