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 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 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 12: It’s not that late in Adelaide…

Despite his better judgement, Bas Scheffers comes back to hang out with us once again as we discuss some of the news items from the past week or so. Topics of discussion in this episode include:

Please note that 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 8: Riding Our Segways

We thought we’d have this episode out within a few days of our previous one, but there was so many news items to review, so much to discuss and so many bits to splice together that it took a whole week to bring it to you. Weighing in at almost 2 hours, this episode has interviews, GA, follow ups and much much more.

Continue reading PCDU Episode 8: Riding Our Segways