PCDU Episode 73: Oshkosh: The Greatest Show on Earth

Today Steve & Grant are chatting with Bas Scheffers, reviewing their experiences at EAA‘s AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. We talk about the long haul across the Pacific via V Australia 777 and Qantas A380, arriving in Chicago on their hottest day in 10 years and then hanging out with Rob Mark, his family and his ever watchful guard dog Simba (aka Steve’s new friend & house cat :)

From here Bas & Grant got to join the Bonanzas to Oshkosh group and fly from Rockford up to Oshkosh on the Saturday, landing on RWY 36 where even two days before the official opening, the aircraft parking spaces were filling up and the airport was a hive of activity. On the Sunday Rob, David Vanderhoof, Dan Web, Steve and his friend Mike all arrived having driven up from Chicago. Joining our friends at Firebase MyTransponder / Camp Bacon we set up the tent and settled into life in Camp Scholler, which is definitely something to be experienced at least once (& perhaps only once :)

Until we left on the Sunday at the end of the show, we were flat out experiencing the amazing sights, sounds & people that make up Oshkosh. We discuss the highlights and talk about trying to take it all in before winding up by reviewing our departure, our returns to Australia (including Steve’s flight with Milford from the FlightTime Radio show) and then our post-Oshkosh thoughts.

Titan II Control CentreFollowing this we have a recording Steve & Grant made with Rob Mark (also from CommAvia as well as JetWhine and the Airplane Geeks) before Steve presents an interview he recorded with Bill & Earlene Hankins about Bill’s time in Strategic Air Command. Titan II Launch Control PanelTowards the end of Bill’s time with SAC he was a commander of a Titan Missile complex. While some of the chat can be like watching the movies Strategic Air Command or Gathering of Eagles, his descriptions of the Titan’s launch environment are very much like those shown at the start of the movie WarGames.

Typical Titan II Launch ComplexIt also turns out that Bill and Earlene hosted Steve when he was an exchange student and then again when he returned to the USA to complete his US pilot’s licenses and instrument ratings. Titan II Combat Crew in ActionThe interview includes some discussion about N4223Q, a C172L Bill used to own and Steve got to fly a lot.

Steve's Favourite C172After all this we have a chat with Bas about the OzRunways app then mention Ryan Hothersall’s photos of the 787 and Rob Noonan’s heads up about the Australian aerobatic pilots who are getting ready for the World Aerobatic Championships in Italy later this year.Steve's favourite C172 tied down at its home base

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 21: London Calling

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

Regent Street in the snow (by Jon Curnow)

For the majority of our listeners it’s warm and getting warmer down here in the Southern Summer with Christmas just around the corner. Not so in London where it’s bleak and somewhat miserable (and that’s the economy, let alone the weather). Saj Ahmad from FleetBuzz Editorial is based in London and recently returned from the scorching skies of Dubai where he’d been attending the Dubai Airshow 2009. Saj generously took some time away from his family to record with us last Sunday (morning his time, evening our time), trying not to look out the window at the winter weather while we discussed the warmth Melbourne was experiencing. The discussion covers the Dubai Airshow, Middle East airlines and their flights to Australia, aircraft orders and the (then) pending first flight of the 787. It’s an enlightening chat and we’ll be sure to have Saj on again early in the new year.

In addition to our chat with Saj, we also recorded some news items to round out the episode. We actually recorded these on the same day the 787 flew and, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, have spliced it all together into a single show. Neat, hey! :)

Topics in this episode include:

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

PCDU Episode 19: Interview with a Vampire … Pilot (& Other Stories)

Steve’s out sick (he must have eaten the fish :) so Grant’s flying solo on this one and cheating madly by assembling a few interviews and a slightly modified version of the Australia Desk segment we recorded for the Airplane Geeks’ Thanksgiving episode. The interviews include:

  • Matt Hall & Nigel Lamb
  • Carlo Santoro from Flight Experience Melbourne
  • Nick Brau on flying hot air balloons over Melbourne city

The news items we covered include:

  • British Airways again discussing a merger with QANTAS
  • The US FAA wil be conducting an Air Safety examination of Australia’s air operations
  • 30th Anniversary of Air New Zealand’s DC10 crashing on the side of Mt Erebus in Antarctica
  • Virgin Blue likely to have a profit in FY09/10
  • QANTAS to purchase additional aircraft and will be assigning more of their 787s to Jetstar
  • QANTAS introduces the airport of the future concept
  • Airport capacity in Sydney and the need for a second airport
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau provides interim reports on the QANTAS A330 ADIRU issues and QANTAS 747 oxygen bottle incidents
  • RAAF to purchase 14 F35 fighters even though Lockheed has admitted the project is running late
  • The first two Wedgetail AEW aircraft have been delivered
  • Last flight of the Caribou in Australia & it’s potential replacement

We hope you enjoy the show and we will return to our usual levels of interviews, discussions & opinionated news reviews in a week or so.

PCDU Episode 16: Rant on Steve, Rant on

Steve & Grant discuss all the latest news items that were of interest over the past couple of weeks. Steve also gets to have a few “c’est la vent” moments on some topics that were annoying him.

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have a chat with Owen Zupp and reveal the winner of our first ever give away competition. Sorry, you’ll have to listen to the episode to discover who were the close runners up and who was the winner :)

So, sit back, relax and enjoy episode 16, in which we discuss:

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

PCDU Episode 9: Airplane Geeks Down Under

Andrew Temby

Andrew Temby

This episode we’re joined by Dan, David & Rob from the Airplane Geeks podcast to discuss airline news and have a great discussion about air traffic control issues here & in the USA. We also have interviews with Dr Bruce Searle, dean of the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation, and Andrew Temby, aerobatic pilot & owner of a YAK-52TW. Both were recorded at the Mission Aviation Fellowship airshow held at Coldstream Airport (YCEM) a few weeks back.

While Max Flight from the Airplane Geeks couldn’t be with us, having the other guys from the show record with us was a hoot and certainly generated a LOT of content for a future “Bloopers Only” episode. We’re definitely looking forward to recording with them again once our sanity recovers.

Dr Bruce Searle

Dr Bruce Searle

 

The topics discussed in this episode include:

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

PCDU Episode 5: Jet Lag Recovery

Steve’s back from his trip to the USA and, despite some jet lag woes, he’s in the recording studio and the banter is flowing in our longest episode yet. Sadly, the first 15 minutes sound like Grant’s testing NASA’s new Interplanetary Internet and experiencing a really crappy connection. Not to worry, it soon clears up and the rest of the episode quite clearly reveals our usual commentary on this week’s local aviation news stories, including the following topics:

PCDU Episode 4: Hand Propped

This week’s episode comes out a little late as Steve’s still in the USA and Grant was up in Sydney for the PCDU / SimpliFlying TweetUp that happened along side the Asia / Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit 2009. A great time was had by all who attended the event but now it’s back to work as there’s news to read, interviews to arrange and a podcast to produce.

This week’s episode includes the following topics:

  • Tiger Improves its Act
  • Remains of last missing RAAF airmen returned from Vietnam
  • Merpati Twin Otter crashes
  • Bangkok Airways ATR72 crashes at Koh Samui
  • RNZAF Upgrades Tech Training Fleet
  • Hand Propping Accident
  • Steve Visscher presents an update from the USA including flying an old tail dragger, seeing more C130s than the RAAF could ever own and starting the long flights back home
  • PCDU Episode 3: Flying Solo

    We were a little delayed because Grant was trying to do it all this week, but better late than never. With Steve in the USA, Grant was flying solo and discovering that he missed having someone to put the gear up on take off.

    This week’s episode includes the following topics:

    PCDU Episode 2: Aero Neuro What???

    Surprisingly less than one week after our first episode was released, we’re releasing our second episode. During this one, we discuss the following items: