Episode 742: Airshow vs OzDesk and, once again, the OzDesk had to lose

Sorry for no Oz Desk this week but Grant was doing commentary up at the Benalla Airshow a few hours north of Melbourne over the weekend and Steve’s been busy reffing basketball games. Throw in some day job stuff and there just wasn’t time available for the boys to record an Oz Desk :(

In the meantime, you can hear the boys over on their Plane Crazy Down Under show which is back with two new episodes since the end of February. Woo hoo :)

Posted in Skipped | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 742: Airshow vs OzDesk and, once again, the OzDesk had to lose

Episode 741: You fly, I’ll drink!


The ATSB releases their preliminary report on the Gold Coast helicopter mid-air collision, providing a high level overview of the facts gathered to date.

Straddy Brewairy Tours launch a sight-seeing flight that combines beer sampling with views of Stradbroke Island then lands at the brewery for lunch (and more beers, of course :) ). Suffice to say, Grant is very keen to try this one out, although Steve wants to be flying the aircraft with the pilot…

The Google Wing drone delivery platform is going to be trialling automated loading of deliveries in Australia. Steve hopes they start servicing Melbourne so he can get his coffees delivered directly to his desk!

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 741: You fly, I’ll drink!

Episode 740: Avalon’s back and we’re loving it, Chief!


The boys have made it to the Australian International Airshow 2023 (aka Avalon) and have been kept extremely busy recording content for the Australian Defence Magazine podcast as well as the recently revived Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. Woo hoo!

The show has featured plenty of military and some GA announcements but not a lot on the airline front as far as the boys could tell. In addition to the AH-64E Apache, F-35A and P-8A doorstop interview opportunities with the Defence Minister, there was also the announcement that the RAAF are standing up 9SQN once again to fly the MQ-4C Triton UCAS. This news was scooped a few days in advance of the official announcement because we all saw the 9SQN emblem proudly painted on the aircraft’s fins. Oooops :)

Speaking of drones, Grant interviewed a representative of the team developing the “Wanderer,” a sovereign, low cost ISR drone with all components made in Australia that’s been designed and built by the RAAF and the Defence Science and Technology Group. Very neat stuff!

At this year’s airshow, Peter Meehan announced he was hanging up the microphone and retiring from the commentary team. He has been the “Voice of Avalon” since 1992 and is handing over the team anchor role to our friend Tony Moclair. Steve & Grant grabbed a quick chat with them both about the transition.

It wouldn’t be an Avalon without at least one tanker on the ramp and, this year, we had three examples of the USAF’s current tankers: KC-135, KC-10 and KC-46. Grant’s calling them Grandpa, Juniour and Cousin It…

KC-10, KC-46 & KC-135

Three USAF Tankers at Avalon: KC-10, KC-46 & KC-135

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 740: Avalon’s back and we’re loving it, Chief!

Episode 739: Avalon Preparation at the OzDesk

Sorry folks, the boys are getting ready for the Australian International Airshow 2023, aka “Avalon Airshow” or just “Avalon.” We’ll be there recording plenty of content for the Australian Defence Magazine podcast as well as Plane Crazy Down Under and maybe a few snippets for others. Steve’s going to be filing news stories for AIR News and Grant’s going to also be on the commentary team.

There may even be some time to sleep in there too… maybe…

Posted in Skipped | Tagged , | Comments Off on Episode 739: Avalon Preparation at the OzDesk

Episode 738: Kiwi retirements, military rumours and preparations for Avalon 2023


The boys were a bit cheeky this week as they were able to re-use a big chunk of the content they recorded last week, even though Qantas hasn’t had any turn backs this week. Go figure!

CEA Technologies will be upgrading the fixed and portable training emitters at the ADFs test ranges while the RAAF’s EA-18G Growlers will be updated in alignment with the US Navy’s aircraft development projects.

The Kiwi’s are retiring the first of their C-130Hs that was due to undergo heavy maintenance one year out from their first C-130J arriving, so it was deemed more economical to retire the airframe. Meanwhile, the retirement of the P-3K2 fleet has left a six month capability gap for their maritime patrol which the Kiwi’s are hoping to fill with assistance from the RAAF and the USA.

Keeping with Defence, the Australian government’s Defence Strategic Review has been delivered to the Prime Minister but not yet made public, so the leaks have started to flow with rumours of more Tritons and F-35As being ordered.

Meanwhile, the Australian government are launching an aviation white paper process which is further delaying the urgently required efforts that the sector desperately needs. They could easily implement a few recommendations from the past three or four reviews and inquiries that obviously are required, all in parallel to the white paper. Sadly, it’s not likely to happen :(

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 738: Kiwi retirements, military rumours and preparations for Avalon 2023

Episode 737: No time for Oz this episode

We were ready to go but the Geeks had no time for us this episode given the news topics to be discussed and the guest’s cool new product. All good, we’ll have something ready for next episode :)

Posted in Skipped | Comments Off on Episode 737: No time for Oz this episode

Episode 736: Anniversaries abound, from marriages to Emiroo


February seems to be anniversary time in Oz as it’s a cracker time for a Summer wedding, but that’s not been the case this week as it’s been rather cold and we haven’t (yet) seen any snow, and certainly none in Sydney. Snow however, was exactly what greeted a Sydney bound passenger this week as confusion with the spelling of the airport’s name (and IATA code) when booking saw him arrive in a rather chilly Sidney, Montana.

Speaking of anniversaries, it’s been ten years since the Qantas and Emirates codeshare agreement was formed, giving rise to the unofficial name Emiroo and joke airline code QFEK. We look at what that has meant to Australian travellers

Meanwhile, Qantas is still in the sights of local media however, with another turnback, this time for a QantasLink Dash 8 due to severe turbulence. The event forced CEO Alan Joyce to go on the offensive, pointing out a few facts about turnbacks, comparing them not only to airlines overall, but specifically the local rival, Virgin Australia

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 736: Anniversaries abound, from marriages to Emiroo

Episode 735: Floods vs Gas, it’s all on in Steve’s sim session


Steve’s a little tired after being recertified as an instructor…not for airplanes…but for trains. We discuss the similarities in approaches to training between rail and aviation, including one of Steve’s more interesting sim sessions.

Meanwhile, across the Tasman Sea at New Zealand’s capital, Auckland, double hassles hit when first an Air New Zealand 777 took out runway edge lights on landing, forcing the runway to close temporarily. Then, after it was re-opened, the city and surrounding areas were hit with historic levels of flooding, leading to the airport’s closure for well over 24 hours, leaving passengers from all corners of the globe stranded for many hours in the terminal. There were also two international flights that turned around about half way to Auckland and returned to their departure airports. DOH!

Leaving the surface for a moment, Grant’s literally over the moon following Saber Astronautics’ plans to send Australian tech to the International Space Station in coming years, including beer in a specially made zero-G bottle.

Coming back to airports, flights were temporarily halted in and out of Sydney Airport this weekend when the control tower had to be evacuated following the smell of gaseous fumes in the ventilation system.

And finally, we pay tribute to local aviation photographer Matt Savage, of Mach One Aeromedia , who passed away recently after a long battle with illness. Matt was a man who shared our passion for aviation, and was a big supporter of our work. Though he left us way too soon, his skill with the lens will live on as a lasting legacy for all of us to enjoy.

Train Simulator Collision Screen

Steve’s sim session may have gone off the rails?

Silhouetted Cessna (photo by Matt Savage)

Matt Savage has flown West :(

 

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 735: Floods vs Gas, it’s all on in Steve’s sim session

Episode 734: Bonza, a smattering of military and Qantas maintenance woes


After the Geeks asking how long the boys have been producing the OzDesk, they start with a bit of history and how they started submitting news via email, then recording separately until, on Episode 52 in June 2009, the first OzDesk was heard. With almost 300 OzDesks produced, Grant’s very happy that he’s only had to admit this next bit very few times. Yes, Grant was wr… He was incorr… OK, yeah, he screwed up by saying that Bonza weren’t using travel agents at all. Bzzzzt! They are using agents but their clients still have to download Bonza’s app. Ooops…

Meanwhile, Bonza’s announced their first route which will be from the Sunshine Coast up to the Whitsundays, aka Prosperpine airport. Their first flight will be on 31st January so we’re looking forward to seeing how they develop from there.

Grant tries to head off the next big news item by diverting to military news, such as:

Despite Grant’s best efforts, they have to talk about the Qantas maintenance news items which have been making headlines, but the biggest shock is that the boys are in agreement with Qantas management on this topic. Who knew, right?

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 734: Bonza, a smattering of military and Qantas maintenance woes

Episode 733: Bonza gets its AOC & there’s an Ozzie constellation in space


It’s been only a week and the boys are back with a new OzDesk which could be setting a bit of a trend, but they had to come back to talk about the big big news. Yes, it was rumour when they recorded last week and it was still rumour when the Geeks released Episode 732, but now it’s fact: Bonza has received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). The boys note that Bonza will be avoiding Brisbane and Sydney, which has annoyed some travel agents, while Grant also points out how similar Bonza’s approach is to the original Virgin Blue.

Meanwhile, the big three Chinese airlines are coming back to Australia in force now that China has dropped their quarantine requirements for visiting their country.

Finally, the boys cover the Australian company Skykraft which early in January launched a constellation of five satellites via Space-X and has now completed their initial checks and verifications, allowing the satellites to commence operations. These Australian-built satellites are using majority Australian developed components and are working with Airservices Australia to provide ADSB & VHF coverage for aircraft operating in areas without coverage, such as a large part of Australia and the oceanic regions around the country. Skykraft’s goal is to expand the constellation over time so that it eventually provides global coverage.

Posted in Australia Desk | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 733: Bonza gets its AOC & there’s an Ozzie constellation in space