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.

Episode 127 is Live featuring lots of great detailed content

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127

We’ve released out latest episode at last and it’s got a stack of great content, including some very detailed information about planning & performing the F-18 Handling Display at the Tyabb Air Show in 2014 and doing an F-18’s preflight inspection. All that plus information about the Triton and Fire Scout unmanned aerial systems, managing the C-17 in the RAAF, the Japanese Air Self Defence Force KC-767, MAF and Mahindra’s GA-10.

Click here to access the episode.

PCDU Episode 127: From the Vault

We’ve gone back into our archives to pull out some great content that we never got around to releasing before. We have some more interviews from Avalon 2015 (yes, we recorded lots didn’t we? :) ) and we also have WGCDR Tim Alsop (now a GPCAPT :) ) walking us through planning & implementing an F-18 Hornet handling display and doing a pre-flight walk-around.

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127

A Montage of Fun from Episode 127


Thanks to the heroic efforts of Maikha (the king of the aviation selfie stick), the collection of content has been edited and put together ready for Steve to finalise and Grant to make the show notes. Send your thanks his way for having the time & energy to get it put together :)

The episode unfolds as:

  • 00:01:29 – Steve & Grant take a break from Steve’s daughter’s birthday to introduce the episode.
     
  • Avalon Coverage:
    • 00:06:54 – Grant talks to SQNLDR Adrian about flying the PC-9 in the Forward Air Control role.
       
    • 00:16:48 – Maikha catches up with Dave Wheatland from Mahindra about the GA10.
       
    • 00:27:29 – Mike Seers from Northrop Grumman describes how the Triton UAS is providing Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).
       
    • 00:32:42 – Maikha speaks to three dedicated Mission Aviation Fellowship volunteers, long serving MAF Pilot Ron Watts, State MAF Advocate and retired MAF Pilot Max Chapman and MAF Promotional volunteer Daniel Prowse.
       
    • 00:48:14 – CMDR James Walker of the US Navy talks about the upgraded Fire Scout UAS which is produced using the Bell Long Ranger helicopter.
       
    • 00:56:38 – FLGOFF Moles talks to Grant about being a load master on the RAAF C-17.
       
    • 01:00:58 – Grant discusses flying the RAAF C-17 with FLTLT Marshall.
       
    • 01:06:49 – Maikha speaks to members of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) during their visit to Avalon 2015, starting with JASDF Staff Sergeant Yoshi Uesugi (translated by Public Relations officer Major Shigenari Tomioka) regarding the JASDF’s travelling Taiko Drums band, followed by an interview with Lieutenant Colonel Takahiro Seki, the Pilot In Command of the visiting JASDF KC-767 and also the Commander of 404th Squadron from Komaki Air Force Base in Japan.
       
  • RAAF F18 Handling Display Interviews:
    • 01:15:17 – WGCDR Tim ‘Slops’ Alsop discusses his flying career from learning to fly at Tyabb and Moorabbin to his current role as CO 3SQN.
       
    • 01:38:21 – WGCDR Tim Alsop discusses the planning and performance of the RAAF F-18 Handling Display performed for the Tyabb Air Show 2014.
       
    • 02:06:19 – Grant catches up with FLGOFF Michael ‘Newbs’ Newby to discuss his flying background and career to date the with RAAF.
       
    • 02:14:47 – WGCDR Tim Alsop walks us through an F-18 Hornet preflight.
       
  • 02:26:14 – Steve & Grant wrap up the episode.

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 96: “Serge” – An Australian Top Gun

Serge’s “Fighter Pilot” book cover

It takes a special breed to push an F18 out to the edge of the envelope, fly missions ranging from surface attack to dog fights and then blow off steam with your squadron mates. It’s certainly not Top Gun but it does make amazing fodder for a book that highlights the good, the bad and the crazy.

Just such a book has been written by ‘Mac “Serge” Tucker‘ and it’s called “Fighter Pilot: mis-adventures beyond the sound barrier with an Australian Top Gun

Steve & Grant chat to “Serge” about being a fighter pilot, flying & partying hard, blowing off steam and dealing with bureaucrats. We also cover:

  • The size of the fighter community in Australia and the camaraderie that has developed among them
  • The mentoring that occurs within the community covering both technical & behavioural aspects of being a fighter pilot
  • The interaction of fighter pilots with pilots from other parts of the RAAF
  • Serge’s career progressing from high school through basic training in the CT4, progression to the Aermacchi MB 326H (the Macchi) and on to the F18 via a stint on the Nomad.
  • Wing Commander Ross Fox’s influence as Serge’s mentor and the impact of his death in an F18 mid-air collision
  • Serge’s thoughts on the Australian Army & Royal Australian Navy
  • Working with the fighter pilots from the USA & comparing USA pilots with RAAF pilots
  • Old timer stories and their influence on current procedures
  • RAAF exchange pilots flying F15s & F22s with the USAF
  • The F35 JSF and its issues with kinematics
  • Drones and their use in the military environment
  • How the military have missed out on changing their operations & equipment to deal better with the Middle East environment & the modern political power dynamics
  • Serge’s love of hang gliding
  • Transitioning from being a fighter pilot to being an airline pilot
  • His final flight: a one-on-one dogfight with Matt Hall