152 episodes

An aviation based podcast with an Australian/Pacific perspective

Plane Crazy Down Under Southern Skies Media

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 13 Ratings

An aviation based podcast with an Australian/Pacific perspective

    Tyabb Airshow 2024

    Tyabb Airshow 2024

    The Peninsula Aero Club at Tyabb Airport near Melbourne puts on an epic air show every two years, although everyone's really been looking forward to this year's event as the last one was in 2020 thanks to COVID. The waiting was certainly worth it, as the Tyabb Airshow 2024 was another cracker with plenty of warbirds, aerobatic displays, a car vs aircraft race, and handling displays from many other aircraft.
    Naturally, Steve and Grant were at the show once again and recording interviews with some of the people there. It was almost 40 degrees Celsius (about 100 Fahrenheit) but the show went on, the huge crowd enjoyed it, and Steve hung in there despite the sunscreen running off his forehead & into his left eye. DOH!
    We start with our own recollections of the day, and then get stuck into the interviews, which include:
    5:01 - Stephen Braim, president of the Peninsula Aero Club, joins us after the event to talk about the turn out, the importance of Tyabb airport, the charities the event supports, and the planning that goes into making the event a reality. Stephen also acknowledges the sponsors who help to make the event happen, how Paul Bennet and his team helped with the flying display and CASA approvals, the pilots who supply the aircraft, plus the army of volunteers without whom events like this couldn't happen. We wrap up the chat by talking about the club, its members and the other community events they run, such as the annual Toy Run that's supported by the antique aircraft association and a local car club (and has been known to include Grant's RX-7 in the line-up).19:51 - Peta Denham Harvey is the Victorian State President of the Australian Women Pilots' Association and she gives us an overview of the AWPA, the benefits of being a member, the importance of having a support network, and the challenges women encounter in aviation even today. We also discuss the importance of bringing young women into aviation and the AWPA.
    27:04 - One of the displays at the air show was the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia's stand which featured an RV-12 that had been built by children from schools around Australia. Elaine Bradley from the SAAA tells us about their Youth Build and Fly program which has children from schools in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland building aircraft components with mentoring from SAAA members. Elaine talks about the sponsors who have helped make this program a reality and the impact it's had on many of the students who helped build the aircraft.

    33:25 - We chat with Mick Poole who, in addition to working with CASA, also flies a variety of aircraft including antiques and warbirds. As one of the pilots who flies with the Temora Aviation Museum, he talks about his experiences becoming a RAAF reservist pilot with 100 SQN following the transition of TAM's aircraft into the RAAF's heritage squadron. He also talks about the museum and their Warbirds Down Under event that's coming up in October, his favourite aircraft, and his reunion with Paul Bennet's recently purchased Hawker Sea Fury.

    38:57 - Andrew Temby returns to the show for the...

    • 56 min
    Tibbsy the Aussie Airboss and a Day Trip to Tocumwal

    Tibbsy the Aussie Airboss and a Day Trip to Tocumwal

    Setting up and running the air display component of an airshow takes a lot of effort, awareness of pilot and aircraft capabilities, an understanding of what makes a display interesting to the public, and the ability to deal with variables such as weather and aircraft availability. To find out more about this topic, we caught up with Chris "Tibbsy" Tibbetts, the Aussie Airboss. Grant also crossed over to the other side of the air display and spoke to a couple of warbird display pilots, one of whom also owns the excellent Drome Cafe and Tocumwal Aviation Museum at Tocumwal airport in southern New South Wales.
    This episode contains:
    03:20 - Our chat with Tibbsy starts off with an overview of the Airboss role, plus how he goes about dealing with pilots, organisers, and weather. We then move on to how Tibbsy got involved in aviation, became a pilot, the flying he was doing, and then starting to do airshows with Paul Bennet Airshows. In addition to ferrying aircraft to & from events, he also wound up working the radios and coordinating the air display, a role often referred to as the Ringmaster here in Australia. From here we move on to discussing certifications required to be an Airboss, how you build up experience, the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), and his experiences working with the team from Pacific Airshows during their Gold Coast event. Tibbsy also tells us about attending the Airboss Academy at the Miramar Airshow and then the Pacific Airshows event at Huntington Beach. We also discuss safety at airshows, the similarities & differences between Australia & the USA in their approach to producing airshows, and attending the big ICAS convention in Las Vegas back in December. We wrap up our chat with Tibbsy by talking about his beautiful Beech 18 twin engine tail dragger named Miss Maple that he and his wife own.27:10 - Grant talks about his flight up to Tocumwal with Evan Schoo in a Cirrus, leaving early to be sure to meet up with Alan Arthur as well as Matt Henderson, the owner & operator of the Drome Cafe.
    29:44 - While at Tocumwal, Grant recorded a chat with Alan Arthur from Arthur Aero. We started with a discussion about his P-40 then moved on to his Beech Staggerwing restoration that's underway at Wanaka in New Zealand. Alan also talks about the Sukhoi 29 aerobatic aircraft he has a share in, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter they're restoring to static condition and the three former RAAF PC-9s they've got running, two of which are now on the market.

    37:53 - Grant also recorded a chat with Matt Henderson who gives us a very quick overview of what makes Tocumwal aerodrome so important, the Tocumwal Aviation Museum he's established, and of course, the Drome Cafe. The Tocumwal aerodrome was the RAAF's biggest airbase in its entire history, operating B-24s, Bostons, Mosquitos, Beaufighters, Tiger Moths, Kittyhawks, Mustangs and Spitfires during WW2, then after WW2 it became the boneyard where aircraft were decommissioned and scrapped.Matt talks about the aircraft in the museum, including his CA-25 Winjeel and Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, plus the Ceres cropduster and an Aermacchi MB-326 that was recently donated by...

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Exclusive: OzRunways Acquired by Boeing

    Exclusive: OzRunways Acquired by Boeing

    It's big news down under as Bas Scheffers, CEO of OzRunways, joins us to announce that Boeing have purchased the company. It's a massive validation of the efforts put in by the OzRunways team over the past 10+ years and provides the opportunity for the OzRunways, ForeFlight and Jeppesen teams to work close together to help improve their respective products.
    In this exclusive interview, Bas talks about the history of OzRunways' interactions with ForeFlight, confirms for us that OzRunways will continue and not be subsumed into ForeFlight, and answer's the question of whether VH-EFB could be transferred to a new aircraft,
    We've known Bas for many years and have worked and socialised with him, Rowan and the OzRunways team since they started. It's a fantastic step forward for the product and the company, so we're looking forward to seeing how this progresses over the coming years.

    • 30 min
    Bush Flying 737s in Alaska, a long-haul Gipsy Moth, & more of the Steve Padgett Story

    Bush Flying 737s in Alaska, a long-haul Gipsy Moth, & more of the Steve Padgett Story

    Welcome to our first episode for 2024 with this episode featuring a great set of interviews to kick off the new year. From Grant recording chats with Jerry & Jan Chisum in their incredible hangar home over in New Zealand to the next part in the Steve Padgett story, this episode covers flying from the UK to NZ in a Gipsy Moth back in 1934, bush flying 737s in Alaska, setting up Sunshine Express Airlines, and so much more.
    If you're wondering where Bridge Pa is, it's just outside Hastings which is near Napier on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island. The easiest way to find it is to use Google Maps and look for Hastings Aerodrome at Bridge Pa (or click that link :) ).
    The episode unfolds as:
    06:16 - Grant chats with Jerry Chishum about learning to fly with his father while growing up in Alaska, how eventually his father got into helicopters while he went on to larger aircraft. This lead to him flying civilian Hercules aircraft from Fairbanks, then proceeding on to 737-200s with gravel kits on some less than brilliant runways that were frequently covered in snow, ice and slush. Bush flying a 737... who knew?
    Jerry also flew the MD-11 and compares flying that to flying the Hercules (like a big Super Cub) and the 737. Suffice to say, he wasn't a fan of the MD-11.
    Jerry steps us through the history of the Gipsy Moth aircraft, his visits to New Zealand, how he met Jan, and flying WW1 replicas such as the Fokker Triplane, Fokker D.VII and the S.E.5.
    31:52 - We then bring Jan onto the show, introducing her by her maiden name of Jan White. She tells us how she learnt to fly, getting into tail draggers like the Piper Cub, and then transitioning to flying Tiger Moths. Jan also talks about flying in the UK before returning to New Zealand, where she flew the Tiger Moth in competitions, eventually meeting Jerry at one.
    Jan also talks about her father buying a 1929 Gipsy Moth when he was living in the UK in the early 1930s, then how he flew it to Sydney, Australia in 1934. She discusses his trip, the adventures he had, and that the most difficult flights were getting from Darwin to Sydney. Jan also talks about the memorabilia her father kept that she now has, including his maps, a letter from Nancy Bird Walton, and even the receipt from buying the aircraft.
    52:04 - Our second part of our interview with Steve Padgett OAM covers purchasing Red Baron at Noosa Airport, which had a Grumman AgCat biplane for tourist flights, and setting up Sunshine Express Airlines, initially with Bandierante aircraft, to fly passengers on routes to and from the Sunshine Coast. Steve talks about dealing with the Civil Aviation Authority of the time and how the process was a lot different back in the 1990s with much less red tape.
    Sunshine Express also flew Fairchild Metros and worked closely with Ansett Airlines, flying passengers for them until that airline went into liquidation, owing Steve's company a large amount of money. Fortunately, Steve got a call from Qantas who wanted to work with them, although Qantas were able to dictate much tighter terms.
    Steve also talks about helping to set up Bangkok Airways in Thailand and his experience acquiring & operating Austin Aero in Texas. He wraps up this part of the interview by giving us a comparison between the aviation environment in the USA versus here in Australia.
    The next part of this interview will include Steve starting, along with Don Kendell and Max Hazelton, the organisation that became the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA). It will also cover Alliance Airlines and his work with the a...

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Flying with Angels & the Padgett Story Begins

    Flying with Angels & the Padgett Story Begins

    Steve's back in the studio after his heart attack and subsequent surgery. As you'd expect, it was a major experience for him and he's very appreciative of the support he's received from our audience. He's now a member of the zipper club, has been cleared to drive cars again, and is working towards his Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) medical so he can drive trains once again. You can read more about Steve's unexpected journey on his Proceed Aspect site, but for now, he's back and we're producing episodes once again. This one unfolds with:
    6:01 - We catch up with Marjorie Pagani, CEO of Angel Flight, who gives us a quick history of Angel Flight, and how the organisation is funded. She also updates us on their efforts to fly doctors, nurses, interns and locums into rural and regional areas that would otherwise take days to drive to. We discuss their criteria for pilots and opportunities for volunteering in other roles, then we chat about Marjorie's background, her flying, and how she became involved with Angel Flight. We wrap up by looking at their relationship with CASA, the types of aircraft being used for their flights, and a reminder of how you can help keep Angel Flight going. You can learn more about Angel Flight through the FAQ on their website.29:43 - Back in 2019, we interviewed Steve Padgett OAM for the Airwaves by Aviation Trader show that we were producing for the previous owners of Aviation Trader. The new owners of Aviation Trader have very generously agreed to let us run that interview on PCDU and here's the first part of the three part chat we recorded back then. We hope you find it as interesting and inspiring as we do.
    Steve's career in aviation started in the 1960s during the heyday of Australian aviation, but it all began as Canterbury Boys High School where he joined the Air Training Corps and discovered he had a passion for flying. This led to a scholarship with the RAAF that allowed him to obtain his private pilot certificate. From there, he worked as a driver in airfeight and swept hangar floors to fund his commercial and instructor ratings, before eventually getting into marketing and working for Hawker de Havilland selling aircraft. This allowed him to work with people such as Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson (premier of QLD) and his regular pilot, Beryl Young, along with WW2 fighter pilots such as Brian "Blackjack" Walker. Eventually in 1979, he started his own company, partnering with Bib Stilwell selling Learjets and the Embraer Bandierante and Brasilia, before creating Aeromil Pacific in Queensland.
    We wrap up this first part with a hint from Steve about starting, along with Don Kendell and Max Hazelton, the organisation that became the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA). As to Alliance Airlines and his work with the RAAF Cadets, well, they will also be covered in a

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Pacific Airshow Vibes

    Pacific Airshow Vibes

    It's been a while between episodes but Steve's been in hospital for a major operation plus Grant's been travelling for airshows and also getting current in hot air balloons once again (yup, there's a new danger area being declared for operations in the vicinity of YBLA, YWGT & YILA :) ). With Steve in hospital, Grant turns to ATC Ben for help with the intro and outro on this episode which is packed full of content, including:
    0:07:07 - Steve & Grant catch up with Kevin Elliott, CEO of Pacific Airshow, for a post-event debrief from their Gold Goast show.0:36:18 - Henry Young was 99 years old when he visited the Gold Coast show and he talked to the guys about flying Seafires during WW2 and Sea Furies in the 1950s. His story includes being in New Zealand at the start of the war, his training in the USA, flying from HMAS Sydney when it was first introduced to the Royal Australian Navy, and how he met his wife. We could have talked for hours and it was amazing to get his views on how far we've come since he was flying military aircraft and formation demonstrations.0:51:15 - The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service team were at the show performing a winching demonstration while also having one of their Eurocopter EC135 P2 aircraft parked on the Surfers Paradise Esplanade to help their fundraising and merch sales. The guys caught up with Paul "Gibbo" Gibson, their chief pilot, to discuss his career, the operations they undertake and his experiences flying helicopters.1:05:08 - Steve & Grant also spoke with Mandy Hentschel, the Service's Fundraising and Events Coordinator, about the efforts required to keep these vital life saving helicopters operating and available to patrol and perform rescues on Queensland's beaches.1:09:50 - Grant and ATC Ben wrap up the episode with a discussion on Ben's activities in the world of air traffic control and performing operations from Melbourne.
    Leave your message for the crew of Dumptruck 11: pacificairshowaus.com/memorial
    Watch the RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet display from on-board the aircraft: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LDjhO_gq1Y&t=122s
    More information about the Queensland Westpac Lifesaver rescue helicopter service, including how you can help keep them operating: www.lifesaving.com.au/about/what-we-do/westpac-lifesaver-rescue-helicopter-service
    Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/westpacheliqld/
    Episode title image by Grant McHerron, Southern Skies Media.
    Voiceovers: Terry Daniel from Your Voice Over.

    • 1 hr 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Jamie Dodson ,

Fun Aussie Podcast!

I've been listening to Grant and Steven for almost two years and enjoy their reporting and very strange Aussie humor. They cover Pacific air routes as well as "Down Under" aviation. They are a hoot to follow and have a segment on another great podcast, Aviation Geeks. Even if you aren't a pilot, you'll enjoy this mad cap romp through the Aussie world of aviation. Cheers! Jamie

STornblom ,

Very good aviation podcast

For a couple of guys from down under, you keep the rest of us very well informed of what is happening in Australia and the South Pacific. I really enjoy int interviews and your sound board mixer is great. Keep up the good work!

ExpatsinEngland ,

An alternative perspective

These guys are informative, funny and well produced. They really love flying, are committed to providing content on nearly all sectors of the industry and provide a unique perspective with the Aussie point of view. Would highly recommend.

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