We’re Australia’s Longest Running Aviation Show

Plane Crazy Down Under has been producing content since July 2009 with the goal of boosting awareness of aviation within the Australia/Pacific region and spreading the message to people that flying is fun and achievable. We have built a solid reputation for providing a professional yet relaxed show and our audience is growing steadily.

While some of the episodes have been well over an hour in length, these days episodes are around 40-50 minutes in duration. Guests on the podcast have included a number of pilots from all aspects of aviation as well as analysts, air traffic controllers, adventurers, business owners, industry representatives and heritage organisations. Topics and areas covered in the podcast so far range from hot air balloons, recreational flying, warbirds & sport aerobatics through to charter operations, airlines and the military.

We typically produce an episode about every 2 weeks and our audience is made up of pilots from all areas of aviation, aviation professionals, enthusiasts and the general public. They are primarily located in Australia & New Zealand (about 60%) the USA & Canada (about 25%) and the balance are from the UK, Asia and other areas.



Steve and Grant in the cockpit of a C-17
Steve and Grant in the cockpit of a C-17 at Avalon 2015
Steve & Grant looking up at the Pacific Airshows Gold Coast 2023 event
Steve & Grant looking up at the Pacific Airshows Gold Coast event in 2023

About Steve and Grant

Steve Visscher

Steve is a qualified locomotive driver, instructor and assessor who holds Australian and US pilot licenses, and is also a news presenter, reporter, voice-over guy, and audio producer based in Melbourne. In addition to PCDU, Steve’s dulcet tones can be heard reading news reports on stations around Australia as part of the AIR News team.

Steve also produces many other podcasts, including Food Bytes with Sarah Patterson, Ruck ’n Roll and the Australian Defence Magazine Podcast. He’s a big fan of basketball and an accredited referee, somehow working in PCDU episodes around driving, reffing and producing.

Steve can be contacted via contact@planecrazydownunder.com


Grant McHerron

Grant has an extensive aviation background including experience with commercial hot air balloon operations, Defence and airshow commentary. He’s also an IT Manager working in the fields of Aeronautical Information and software safety certification.

A perpetual student pilot, Grant holds a hot air balloon pilot certificate and has tried a couple of times to get his fixed wing license as well as his glider pilot’s certificate. Each time he gets further into his training, something else comes up and he either relocates around the world or watches his flying money disappear into other causes.

Grant can be found at his Fly Me Friendly blog as well as Falcon124 on Twitter.

Team PCDU at Avalon 2015
The PCDU Team at Avalon 2015
(L to R) Steve Visscher, Bas Scheffers, Anthony Simmons, Grant McHerron, Ben Ippolito, Allan Van’t Padje, Steven Pam, Ben Jones

Our Support Crew

Allan van’t Padje

Allan is the guy hidden behind the scenes when out and about at events. As a Sound Engineer he designs, builds and operates the mobile studio, public address, live broadcast and communication systems (all from a single desk). Allan is experienced in both recorded and live broadcasting in many differing mediums. Putting his love of sound systems, event management and aviation together, it was a no-brainer that he wanted to be involved with PCDU. He has worked in the broadcast and entertainment industry for over 15 years.

How Allan kept us running at AusFly
Allan getting ready to mute Grant

Steven Pam

Steven Pam is a commercial photographer and videographer, which means people pay him to make still and moving images of stuff. Mostly he makes images of people in their work environment, aviation-related subjects, and commercial facilities.

Between 2008 – 2011 he produced and presented Hound TV, a show all about dogs, on Community TV stations around Australia.

Steven is a recreational pilot and likes drinking Tang (yeah, we think it’s strange, too, but hey, it takes all types, right?). It seems he’s also pretty much addicted to coffee as well as Green and Black’s 85% chocolate. He can be bribed with cases of aforesaid chocolate or genuine USA Tang so if you want to get more videos produced from our backlog of content, help us buy more bribes for him :)

This pretty much sums him up, oh yes!

Other Contributors

Anthony Simmons

As a self confessed neophyte, Anthony hasn’t let blind ignorance get in the way of making uninformed comments about the aviation industry. Despite the handicap of gluing the wings upside-down on an Airfix model in his youth, he had successfully managed to learn next to nothing about planes and the associated infrastructure, bar managing to attract the attention of Custom and Immigration in every country he’s ever visited. Now through making content for PCDU and being on the team at multiple Avalon airshows, he’s discovered he’s learnt a few things about aviation and even got to sit in the captain’s seat of a B-52.

Currently working as a train driver after serving a 13 year sentence for crimes against office equipment in, respectively, a bank and cigarette manufacturer, he provides a look at the world of flight from the man in the back of the plane, not the front. Outside of work he enjoys his collection of novelty cufflinks, the avoidance of gardening and playing inappropriate music loudly to annoy his neighbours.

Anthony can be found in the bar of the Long Room at the MCG when cricket is on, trout fishing at Murrindindi on any long weekend and in the general vicinity of a decent bottle of red at most other times. He also supplies our View From the Lounge segment, an occasional view of aviation from the passenger in seat 22A.


Ben Ippolito (ATC Ben)

Ben Ippolito (aka ATC Ben) is an Air Traffic Controller from Melbourne. His descent into aviation geekdom began at the age of five when he got a cockpit visit in an Ipec Aviation Armstrong-Whitworth Argosy freighter. Years later not only would he discover that the Argosy was indeed the world’s fugliest aircraft, but he would set himself the goal of becoming an airline pilot.

In the years after leaving school Ben spent several pouring beers at the local RSL, attained his CPL, IREX, frozen ATPL, Grade 3 Instructor Rating, worked check-in and was a rampy for several airlines and charter operators at Melbourne International Airport (YMML or MEL) rising to airport movement coordinator for Pacific Blue Melbourne and conducting audits for the Compliance Manager of Aero-Care. After leaving Aero-Care Ben completed his MECIR and returned to ground handling, this time for Sharp Airlines at Essendon Airport (YMEN or MEB). Finally he cracked a flying job working an aerial photography contract Sharp held flying Cessna 177’s and 172’s.

After a long flying career of 50 odd hours, Ben traded the cockpit for a console. After 12 months in the Academy as well as several months of simulator and on job training he was awarded an Air Traffic Control licence with an Area Procedural rating, Area Radar rating and several sector endorsements along with a Diploma of Transport & Distribution (Air Traffic Control) on 11th September 2009 (No really). He has worked the tower at Karratha (remote Western Australia) and his dulcet tones can currently be heard on airwaves in the vicinity of Adelaide.

On the verge of ‘staying current’ in flying, once he has the hours Ben wants to start flying Angel Flights and venture into aerobatics and helicopters some day. But it all depends on where his career takes him, which has already been part way, and all the way, to the other side of the country both virtually and literally!

Ben Ippolito (ATC Ben)

Bas Scheffers

Bas is a pilot based in Adelaide and co-owner of OzRunways, the Electronic Flight Bag company. Despite Australia’s best efforts, his accent remains Dutch and after first finding a suitable visa sponsor (i.e. his wife) in London, he moved to Australia in 2007 and took up flying soon after. Luckily for him his wife likes her horses and so has forfeited every right to complain about his expensive hobby.

Find him on twitter as @basscheffers and you can hear his occasional opinionated contributions on all things recreational and personal flying right here on Plane Crazy Down Under.

Kathy Mexted

Kathy is a freelance journalist, writer, photographer, mother of three, private pilot and roving reporter for PCDU. Kathy grew up around the agricultural aviation scene and has had an interest in flying from an early age. Her journalistic work covers many subject areas including aviation and has been published in RM Williams Outback Magazine, Australian Pilot, and Airplanista. Kathy has also had experience in community radio and is particularly keen to showcase the increasing role that women play in the aviation industry.

You can follow Kathy on Twitter as @kascribe and on Facebook.

Ben Jones

As a kid Ben spent many years of weekends chasing model aircraft around paddocks, first learning to fly gliders with the “Air Training Corps” at the age of 15. Then, at age 16 & still with the “AIRTC” he made the jump into powered flying. After high school he studied CPL and ATPL subjects but decided that the grass was greener outside of the Aviation world and become a Industrial Electrician by trade as a way to fund the aviation addiction.

Fortunately Ben never gave up flying for fun and after flying as pilot in command for the last 18 years he currently holds a Glider instructor rating, Glider maintenance ticket, General Aviation fixed wing license (with a swag of endorsements) and an RA-Aus pilot ticket.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ben’s currently creating a scratch built wooden CJ-1 Corby Starlet and has just started to build a metal kit a Zenith 650B at the same time. He’s also our West Australian correspondent based in Perth.

Did we mention that Ben’s an aviation nut??? :)

Ben Jones in Flight