It’s time to dig into the recently released Defence Strategic Review to assess its impacts on the Australian Defence Force from an aviation perspective. For this episode we’re joined by award winning defence and aerospace journalist Andrew McLaughlin, who helps assess the changes we can expect to see over the next few years. A big […]
With the recent release of the Defence Strategic Review by the Australian Federal Government, a major focus has been put on long range missiles for use by Army, Navy and Air Force to deter a potential adversary from approaching our island continent and/or blockading our ocean supply routes. With this in mind, we release an […]
Imagine a hoard of RV-6s & RV-7s flying in close formation and performing solo & pair aerobatics. Sounds intense? Well, wait for the Pacific Airshow at the Gold Coast to find out how it looks & sounds. Meanwhile, Mark Newton is one of the pilots in the Freedom Formation and he talks us through his […]
The Australian International Airshow in 2023 (aka Avalon 2023) saw not only huge crowds and amazing displays in the air, but also the end of an era as Peter Meehan performed his last show as “The Voice of Avalon,” handing over the reigns to Tony Moclair. It also saw Grant join Angela Stevenson as part […]
It’s day 5 of the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition (aka Avalon 2011) and it’s the first whole day open to the general public. The PCDU team have had one of the most amazing days of their lives with time in the venerable B52, getting up close & personal with the Wedgetail, checking out the GA8 Airvan and relaxing on the wing of the CA27 Sabre. The content we selected for this Quick Cast includes:
Our chat with Squadron Leader Matt Harper, an RAAF pilot on exchange with the USAF who’s flying the F22 Raptor
Steve’s in-cockpit discussion with David Wheatland, the chief pilot for the GippsAero GA-8 Airvan
Talking with Flight Lieutenant Skye Smith about RAAF Public Affairs, her career to date & where it may lead in the future
Today’s tarmac updates from Timbo with the warbirds & Taffy reluctantly agrees to cover for Papa Smurf at the Keyhole
In November 2010 the PCDU team were invited to attend the Media Day at RAAF Amberley where members of 6 Squadron were gathered to give us one final look at the F-111 before it was retired from service. We have gathered the interviews we recorded during the Media Day and combined them with a couple of discussions to present our tribute to the F-111 and all those who helped to keep them in the air.
This is our longest episode to date so you may want to make use of the PAUSE button to get through it all. Like the PIG, it’s big, but we think the content is just too good to leave any of it out. The F-111 has been a major part of our lives over the last 30 years in Australia and New Zealand and anyone who has experienced the RAAF’s trademark “Dump & Burn” display will have some idea why we’re so sad to see them go.
From seeing an F-111 doing 4-point hesitation rolls, aileron rolls and a loop at Avalon to watching them racing past while sitting on the beach on a summer’s day, the F-111 became an icon of Australia’s military as they provided us with a long range projection of power. They leave a large gap in our force structure now that they have been retired and a hole in the hearts of many who kept them flying.
So long, pig and remember: That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do!
The contents of this episode include:
The Media Day’s opening press conference (starts at 06:08)
A discussion with David Vanderhoof about the history of the F-111 including its inception and service with the USAF & RAAF (starts at 32:06)
We talk to Wing Commander Terry Deeth about his time as a bombadier/navigator (or Weapons Systems Officer) with the F-111 while on rotation to the USAF (starts at 51:33)
We visited the F-111 simulator on the base and got to meet:
Steve Clark, a former RAAF F111 pilot who has more hours in an F-111 than almost anyone else in the world (starts at 1:05:40)
Brett Denton, a computer technician who helps to keep the simulator operating (starts at 1:11:29)
While everyone likes to focus on the guys in the cockpit, an F-111 needs a lot of maintenance between flights so we managed to catch up with a few of the techos:
Flight Lieutenant Adam Firth & Sergeant Chris Walker (starts at 1:15:32)
Corporal James Morton (starts at 1:30:19)
Corporal David Bash, an American now living in Australia (starts at 1:35:50)
We talk with Flight Lieutenant Vlad Bismark about flying the F-111 (starts at 1:47:25)
We have a chat with Brendan Cowan from ADF Serials about the history of the RAAF’s F-111s and with Chris Daley from the Save the F-111 page on Facebook about how the page developed and where it’s going now (starts at 1:55:28)
We interview Wing Commander Al Curr who ejected from an F-111 on take off from RNZAF Ohakea in New Zealand (starts at 2:14:12)
Our final chat is with Wing Commander Michael (Micka) Gray, officer commanding 6 Squadron and the world’s last F-111 unit commander (starts at 2:20:42)
We also have a couple of “Shout Outs” in this episode:
Flight Lieutenant Skye Smith for her tireless efforts in making the Media Day run smoothly, not to mention herding us about the base and ensuring we didn’t wind up where we shouldn’t be (wonder if there’s a “Keeping media on track” medal in the ADF??? :)