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.

PCDU Episode 64: Dick Smith – Setting it Straight

We are fortunate to have Dick Smith return to PCDU, joining us to discuss his views on Australia’s aviation environment. We talk about his time as chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority and then his return as chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. He mentions some of the initiatives he started that worked as well as some that didn’t quite work as planned. Dick also gives us a rather candid look at his views on user fees, ministers and what’s going wrong with aviation today.

Once again this discussion with Dick is sure to generate divided commentary from those in aviation, both old & new. If you’ve not already listened to our previous chat with Dick about his early flying adventures, you really should check it out now.

Following our chat with Dick we have a dramatic change of scene as the Infrequent Flyer (aka Anthony Simmons) returns to give us his View From the Lounge angle on the Avalon Airshow. Then, to answer Anthony’s question of “How it all flows together” we have ATC_Ben return to present his latest Controller’s Corner where he explains just what went on at Mercat Manor.

Following that we have a few interviews recorded at Avalon:

  • FLT LT Pete Komar, an F-18F Super Hornet pilot with the RAAF
  • BAe Hawk Mk127 techo LAC Brian Dick
  • Pilot Officer Emmanuel “Muz” Murray talks about flying the BAe Hawk Mk127
  • SGT Kerry Dimar who works in logistics with the BAe Hawk Mk127

To keep with the Fast Jets angle, we’ve thrown in some cockpit audio from Steve’s flight with Mark Pracy in JetRide’s L39 Albatros.

For this episode, we’ve dived into the mailbag to bring out:

We also give a shout out to:

PCDU Episode 62: Advertising Advocacy

Aviation in Australia is experiencing a difficult time and General Aviation is especially being hit hard. User fees are continuing to increase, rules are being changed and airports are being shutdown or reduced in size due to encroachment by non-aviation construction. We’re joined in this episode by Ben Morgan from Aviation Advertiser to discuss these issues, highlight the need for people to take action and discuss what those actions might be. Ben’s certainly not holding back as the stakes are too high to be diplomatic.

We also have some other great chats in this show, including:

  • Steve Ahrens talking about the upcoming Barossa Airshow (May 1st, 2011)
  • A chat with the crew of an RAAF Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft that we recorded back at Avalon Airshow
  • A collection of quick chats with some RA-Aus pilots at Avalon, including:
    • Peter Harlow from Foxbat Australia
    • John Callahan with his Typhoon Glider
    • Peter Kane with his Kitfox
  • Ben Morgan then rejoins us to discuss the state of the second hand aircraft market in Australia and a couple of the aircraft available for sale on Aviation Advertiser

PCDU Episode 48: ADS-B: C’est un pétard! – with Bill Hamilton

While the technology behind ADS-B is nothing new, it is becoming the centerpiece of modern Air Traffic Management systems around the world. Unfortunately, CASA is once again taking a global concept and creating an entirely unique Australian implementation of it.

According to CASA’s Discussion Paper (DP) 1006AS
Proposed Strategy and Regulatory Plan in support of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper
, any aircraft added to the Australian register after 2013 must have an ADS-B out compliant Mode-S Transponder on board. This means large added costs for no real benefit beyond that already provided by Mode-C and Mode-S transponders.

This is creating no small level of concern in the aviation communities, including RA-Aus, ballooning and others, as can be seen from a recent discussion about DP 1006AS on the Recreational Flying site. Even the airlines who were pushing for ADS-B to improve safety at regional airports are now realising that the costs are huge (it’s not a simple upgrade of their avionics) and the benefits are minor.

With all this in mind, Bas & Grant chat with Bill Hamilton, past president & technical director of the Australian Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA). While Bill can appreciate ADS-B’s history and benefits, he doesn’t hold back when it comes to CASA’s attempt at creating yet another uniquely Australian implementation. We discuss the differences between the US, European and Australian implementation plans, the costs associated with our version and the lack of real benefit CASA’s proposal will provide.

As the title of CASA’s Discussion Paper shows, the proposal is implementing an aspect of the Australian Government’s Aviation White Paper. If, like many, you are concerned about the costs being applied to the aviation industry for little real benefit, it is important to respond to the DP by November 30th. It is also vital that Australian aviators write to their elected representatives, members of the opposition and their aviation organisations (eg: AOPA, RA-Aus, ABF, etc) to ensure politicians are aware that the proposed solution will cause more harm than good.

You can easily find who is representing you at the Australian Government’s “Who’s Who” page. You can also find a great guide to writing effective letters to politicians over on the Crikey website.

Don’t assume others will sort this one out for you. Don’t take the classic Australian “She’ll be right” approach. Get out there and tell CASA, the politicians and your aviation group what you think, otherwise the safe skies will be achieved thanks to the removal of any non-airline aircraft.

PCDU Episode 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways

Dick Smith is an entrepreneur well known to most Australians, ranging from the country wide chain of Dick Smith Electronics stores he created to Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic.

Another very important aspect of Dick’s life has revolved around aviation. In addition to owning & flying his own aeroplanes & helicopters, he has also flown around the world multiple times, made the first helicopter landing at the North Pole, and flown balloons across Australia as well as from New Zealand back to Australia (against the prevailing winds). He was on the board of (and then director of) both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Dick is also a very vocal champion of air space reform in Australia and aviation safety in general.

We were very fortunate to have been given some of Dick’s valuable time to discuss his early days learning to fly, his adventuring around the world and his thoughts on a number of different aircraft he’s owned & flown. We also touch briefly on his time with the CAA/CASA and his thoughts on aviation safety & airspace reform, all of which will be covered in more detail in future interviews we hope to bring you as soon as Dick’s schedule permits.

PCDU Episode 32: Switch to Plan Delta

This episode features a discussion with Peter Gibson, the manager of corporate communications at CASA. He’s joined us to explain the airspace changes that will come into effect on June 3rd, changes which will impact Class D, see the transition of GAAP to Class D and introduce the mandatory carriage of radios at all certified, registered or military non-towered aerodromes (plus any others as designated in the ERSA).

We also talk to Owen Zupp just before he departed on his There and Back trip around Australia as well as Tim Pryse and Ken Evers a few days prior to the start of their Millions Against Malaria trip around the world. We feature another “View from the Lounge” and introduce ATC_Ben‘s new “Controllers Corner” segment.

As we wind up the show, we discuss the Australian Capital Territory funding yet another feasibility study for a much needed secondary airport near Canberra. You can read more about it in an news entry from Australian Aviation and also follow up progress through the Canberra Region Aviators Association web site.

If you want to see a 737-200 land at Jandakot (Perth’s secondary airport), check out the video of the landing that Ed Stubbs pointed us at. Not bad.

Just in time to make our cut off for this episode, we had a quick chat with Owen as he was half way around his trip. A great update on his progress and how things have been going.

Pending GAAP to Class D conversion

In June of this year, Australia’s General Aviation Aerodrome Procedures (GAAP) airports are going to convert a US FAA based Class D airspace. We’re trying to arrange an episode dedicated to this topic before June but meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have arranged a number of workshops around the country for pilots to learn about the changes and how they will affect them.

If you haven’t already, go to the CASA GAAP page and follow the links there to sign up. This is critical not only for any pilot who flies at these airports but even those who fly near them. You never know when you may have to divert to one. Besides, as Bas Scheffers points out in his CTAF(R) blog article on these workshops, it’ll be a great way to meet pilots in your area :)

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.

PCDU Episode 22: Farewell 2009

It’s the Christmas & New Year holiday period, plus down here it’s Summer so we’re totally into listening to long aviation podcasts when we’re not distracted by having fun. So, for all of our listeners who have long drives or lots of chores to do around home, we give you our longest episode yet. With a bit of Christmas cheer, we produce just over two hours of PCDU goodness including an interview with Michael Gilmour from Downwind.com.au, our usual opinionated review of the news and listener mail. We also wrap up the year with a tip of the wing to the podcasts that inspire us and the guests who have helped give us some great content.

Here’s how the episode came together this time: