Episode 209: It’s Pitch Black, mate!

Steve’s turned off the lights in honour of exercise Pitch Black 12 currently under way in the Northern Territory. Suffice to say, Grant’s taken a rather dim view of this darkness thing, especially after stumbling over gear in the studio…

  • Exercise Pitch Black 12 is underway with aircraft from the RAAF, Indonesia (the Flankers! :), the USA, New Zealand & many more staging out of the RAAF bases at Darwin and Tindal. You can learn more at the ADF’s Pitch Black 12 page and the Pitch Black 12 Facebook page.
  • We clarify a point about our recent comment about the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia’s announcement that a 6c per litre increase (due to the Carbon Tax) would translate to an $18 per hour increase in operating costs. It wasn’t meaning ALL GA aircraft would see this increase but rather the AAAA’s example was for an Air Tractor 802F that burns 300 litres per hour, thus 6c per litre leads to $18 per hour of extra cost.
  • Rumours abound that the RedBull AirRace return in 2014 AND that it may come to Melbourne instead of Perth. There was some talk a while back about having it at on the other side of the bay at Geelong but now it may be Albert Park (where the Australian F1 Grand Prix is held) that gets the nod. Of course, the Gold Coast & Sydney are all vying for the race and Perth would love to have it back. Guess we’ll see :)
  • Australian scientists have come up with a nifty laser based system that replaces pitot tubes meaning less chance of icing over as occurred in Air France’s AF447
  • The skills shortage is being felt here in Australia for both pilots AND engineers (especially the engineers) leading to a heightened interest in careers forums & expos as well as the recent announcement by Virgin Australia & SkyWest to train pilots from ab-initio all the way through to the right hand seat of a turbo-prop where they’ll work for Virgin/SkyWest until reaching 1,500 hours, at which point they can look at progressing to Virgin’s jets. Of course, pilots going through the scheme have to commit to working for them for a given number of years to ‘pay back’ the training, but what the heck, this could be the future for wannabe airline pilots!

So there you go, a whole episode and we didn’t even talk about Qantas & Emirates (well, not much :)

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