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Old 17th May 2017, 17:28   #3541 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Fitter2 View Post
<snip>

My guess is 7-10 years before a single new glider was seen under the current system, and the cost including MOD overheads doubling the equivalent ex-works price to the civilian world.
That might give them time to sort out the organisational issues that have lead to the current situation. it would then take many more years to replace the fleet, as I suspect the K21 would be the only serious contender (not the Perkoz or PW6) and Shleicher can already sell as many as they can build so the ATC might get 2 per year.
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Old 17th May 2017, 18:24   #3542 (permalink)
 
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That might give them time to sort out the organisational issues that have lead to the current situation. it would then take many more years to replace the fleet, as I suspect the K21 would be the only serious contender (not the Perkoz or PW6) and Shleicher can already sell as many as they can build so the ATC might get 2 per year.
Pity the Schwiezer 2-33 is out of production.(I presume) Would be much easier to maintain to the required standard with minor items being done on the unit.
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Old 17th May 2017, 18:34   #3543 (permalink)
 
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And as I said before - if the lead time is that long -- they should already have been ordered,the waiting list would now be 3 years down the line - whenever a replacement is ordered then it is a long lead item,this is what planned replacement means (ie one must think ahead).
If you get new gliders delivered (assuming you have somebody qualified to complete acceptance checks etc) there would not be any paperwork problems with the a/c.
Problems with how they are 'organising' the ACO gliding 'organisation' is of course another matter

I had a couple of laughs at the job advert - obviously the 2 'A' levels would make one a wonderful gliding instructor LOL......but they missed out the part which should have said ''bring your own glider'' .
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Old 18th May 2017, 05:30   #3544 (permalink)
 
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And as I said before - if the lead time is that long -- they should already have been ordered,the waiting list would now be 3 years down the line - whenever a replacement is ordered then it is a long lead item,this is what planned replacement means (ie one must think ahead).
If you get new gliders delivered (assuming you have somebody qualified to complete acceptance checks etc) there would not be any paperwork problems with the a/c.
Problems with how they are 'organising' the ACO gliding 'organisation' is of course another matter

I had a couple of laughs at the job advert - obviously the 2 'A' levels would make one a wonderful gliding instructor LOL......but they missed out the part which should have said ''bring your own glider'' .
At 2 gliders a year it will take too long to use new gliders to resolve the issue, and unless the organisational​ issues are resolved you will simply have two sets of unairworthy gliders. I suspect most of them will be recoverable, it won't take anything like as long, let's hope the organisational​ issues are resolved
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Old 18th May 2017, 05:32   #3545 (permalink)
 
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Pity the Schwiezer 2-33 is out of production.(I presume) Would be much easier to maintain to the required standard with minor items being done on the unit.
No, there would simply be unairworthy metal gliders instead of glass. The fabric of the gliders isn't the issue, the way the organisation has been run is. They would be in the same pickle if the gliders were T21s
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:54   #3546 (permalink)
 
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Three years down the line, lots of cash spent, number of serviceable airframes still in the low single figures, ongoing issues with the 109, with no improvement in sight at all. RAFGSA providing GS in minimal numbers, however I know of at least one club that won't allow Cdts solo unless they are of an "exceptional" standard as they're frightened a kid will prang the two seater.


I am still waiting for the increased AEF opportunities that were promised to appear, I won't hold my breath. At least one of my Cdts got his GS recently, albeit as I say without going solo, which for me defies the whole point of GS.
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Old 19th May 2017, 21:30   #3547 (permalink)
 
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Three years down the line, lots of cash spent, number of serviceable airframes still in the low single figures, ongoing issues with the 109, with no improvement in sight at all. RAFGSA providing GS in minimal numbers, however I know of at least one club that won't allow Cdts solo unless they are of an "exceptional" standard as they're frightened a kid will prang the two seater.


I am still waiting for the increased AEF opportunities that were promised to appear, I won't hold my breath. At least one of my Cdts got his GS recently, albeit as I say without going solo, which for me defies the whole point of GS.
A shame to hear that cadet solos are being restricted. I've seen plenty of examples of most GSA clubs having sent under 16s solo under BGA regs so I suspect it's an issue with the ACO directly, and I imagine GS is offered at minimal numbers because as you'd expect, the club's members and interests come first.

Once again, the answer is, if cadets want to glide they should be strongly advised to apply for the many civilian gliding scholarships across the country which provide far better pathways than the ACO will ever do again.

Not sure about the specifics in your case, but GS was never built on any guarantee of solo, it's the same with ACPS, a number of people do not meet the satisfactory standard in the time and funding given, fact of life with the ACO. Encourage him to look at continuing in the BGA however.
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Old 20th May 2017, 11:14   #3548 (permalink)
 
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planesandthings and cats_five (and possibly others) whilst your comments are well meaning you should remember that the UK Air Cadet gliding operation, when at it's peak, sent hundreds of enthusiastic cadets solo each year. Few of these cadets had transport to get to their local club nor the funds to pay for their gliding (even at junior rates). Remember this was not about turning these 16 year olds into super soaring pilots but to train them to fly one of Her Majesty's gliders safely round the circuit. This process involved team work and many other skills associated with learning to fly and gave them new found confidence in themselves. At the end of this process they had the choice of trying to find the funds to continue to fly with a local gliding club, or if selected becoming a staff cadet. Few that I knew of continued with a club,

Despite this most cadets remember their gliding courses with a great degree of fondness. It is interesting to see how many ex cadets come to my gliding club to take up gliding (again) as an adult indicating that they could not afford to do it before!
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Old 20th May 2017, 12:50   #3549 (permalink)
 
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How True

Frelon, How very true. I joined my local Sqn. a month or two before the required age of, I think, 13 years 8 months (might have been 4 months). By the time I was 16 I had been in full time employment for 1 year and 2 months (yes, work it out, full time employment at 14 years and 10 months!) and when I was 16 my enlightened employer of the time thought that yes, they could get a return on their money by releasing me to go on a gliding course with the ATC. This involved the Saturday night Heysham steamer (no cabins or bunks, just a good old fashioned great coat to keep out the November cold, whilst crossing the Irish Sea)

After the crossing, a Sunday train service to Euston Station in London, a long wait for a connection to Norwich from Liverpool Street and await a minibus to take us to Swanton Morley (I was a Cadet Sergeant, in charge of two others). It's too long a story to regale you with the goings on, including a couple of "chaps" from a CCF at a boarding school who had never heard of but thoroughly enjoyed a working class delicacy known as a "Chip Buttie" Sadly I was the only one of the three from "N'Orn I'rn) who soloed. Sadly the other two got weathered out alongside several other students.

That was it, I wanted to fly BUT I was earning only £6 a week, £4:10s:0d of which went to my Mother (my Father was earning a princely £18 or so, so my input, along with my Brother's was needed to keep the family finances in the black) Membership of the Ulster GC, then at the old RAF station Long Kesh, was WAAY beyond my means until I joined the RAF and on my first posting, to Wattisham, hotfooted round the peri track to stump up my cash to join the RAFGSA at the Anglia GC.

So yes, the ATC gliding system lit a fire in me which was fuelled by both the RAFGSA and RAFGGA, a fire which burned from the mid 60s of the 20th century through to the first decade of the 21st, but dimmed sadly by ill health. I still study the clouds, look up at the sky and watch the guys and girls from Bellarena soar Binevenagh Mountain and the cliffs overlooking Benone strand (where I once landed due to a treacherous N'Wly dying away to nothing whilst at the furthest end of the ridge.)

What a sad end to an organisation that helped so many youngsters of all classes, creed and ethnicity. I fear it will never return to those glory days, and all because some RAF officers didn't do their job in monitoring the contractors at all stages.

Last edited by ACW342; 20th May 2017 at 15:27.
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Old 20th May 2017, 13:28   #3550 (permalink)
 
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ACW324, an excellent post which PTFN should be forced to read!
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Old 20th May 2017, 13:41   #3551 (permalink)
 
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With a view to re-visiting this debacle for my monthly column for Pilot magazine I started asking some of the aviators I respect how they'd first flown. It didn't matter if they were a 22,000hr 747 Captain, an Air Marshal, a senior test pilot with a major aircraft manufacturer, a Shuttleworth Collection pilot or a Regional Examiner for the BGA - the results were always the same. Either a T-21 or T-31, followed by a big grin at the recollection. Those responsible for the destruction of ATC gliding should truly hang their heads in shame.
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Old 20th May 2017, 13:47   #3552 (permalink)
 
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DU - So true, so true. Keep banging away at them
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Old 20th May 2017, 16:30   #3553 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
With a view to re-visiting this debacle for my monthly column for Pilot magazine I started asking some of the aviators I respect how they'd first flown. It didn't matter if they were a 22,000hr 747 Captain, an Air Marshal, a senior test pilot with a major aircraft manufacturer, a Shuttleworth Collection pilot or a Regional Examiner for the BGA - the results were always the same. Either a T-21 or T-31, followed by a big grin at the recollection. Those responsible for the destruction of ATC gliding should truly hang their heads in shame.
Well said. But here's a thought, link those high achievers with the boys (and girls) on the street who chose to make an effort for several nights a week, and at weekends, for the chance of being around aircraft and sometimes, flying. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the ATC lifted many young people up, and on their way forward in life!

OAP
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Old 20th May 2017, 16:32   #3554 (permalink)
 
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The light that burns 'forever'

Frelon you are so correct in your missive. The organisation (as was) gave us an opportunity to make what we could of the ability to get airborne and even go solo in HM machine. The fact this was absolutely classless and not really cost restrictive was the added bonus. The system rewarded 'EFFORT' and also encouraged high standards plus self development. The level of leadership shown by those running the actual schools (as were) was evidenced by the amount of delegation shown to all levels of both pupils and staff alike, and how it stayed with them in adult life. To be a staff cadet on a school was an amazing experience, and it occurred at an age that set the datum for later life. I well remember when the CCF cadets came on a continuous course how surprised they were to find most of the actual jobs being done by other cadets, and we all got on so well together with mass collections of the cadets (at food times) by the 1 ton Austin being driven usually by another cadet. It sparked a light that could never be extinguished, and is still as bright in my case 54 years later.
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Old 21st May 2017, 06:50   #3555 (permalink)
 
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To echo POBJOY. The Scouts had a mass rally and camp at Halton one weekend and when we arrived on saturday to open the hangar to get the gliders out, several scouts wandered over to watch.
One or two were from my school but a couple of years below me and were amazed to see me handling the aircraft, then hopping into a Land Rover to tow them to the launch point.
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Old 21st May 2017, 10:33   #3556 (permalink)
 
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Maybe I have missed something but who other than the RAF ! maintains and supports the G109 and glider fleet ? is it Syerston based or at the Flights ?.
.
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Old 21st May 2017, 20:29   #3557 (permalink)
 
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Zetec

Quote:
Announcement Date : July 1, 2008
SERCO take over responsibility for the maintenance of the Viking T.1 and Vigilant T.1 fleets from the Royal Air Force Central Gliding Schoolís Engineering Flight. RAF technicians remain at RAF Syerston to work alongside SERCO for the next six months, providing training and advice.

SERCO is tasked to ensure a 100% fleet availability using 31 technicians/engineers. Maintenance is managed from RAF Syerston, with four remote engineering centres established at RAF Kinloss, RAF Odiham, RAF Cosford and MOD St. Athan.
That's who...

It is rumoured that Serco, Marshall Aerospace and Southern Sailplanes are doing the recovery work to return the aircraft back to airworthy condition. It is further rumoured that the average recovery cost per aircraft would be an insurance write-off on any normal day in civvy street...
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Old 21st May 2017, 20:33   #3558 (permalink)
 
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Maintenence and support

Zetec 2 The problem is the RAF have not been seen to actually 'control/oversee' the status of the fleet to satisfy basic airworthiness conditions. The outsourced engineering and audit control has been found wanting and as yet no one at RAF/MOD level has been able to find a sensible way ahead. There are reputations at stake here therefore delay and (lots of meetings) means the trail gets colder every week. I suspect many of those involved have retired or moved elsewhere therefore making it an even more difficult job of sorting it out. Mind you we do have an unenviable safety record for ATC gliding as from 2014 due in the main to the lack of any activity. At the end of the day the fleet was used by the Air Training Corps Volunteers under RAF/MOD scrutiny, and the Corps has been let down by the full time paid staff who were responsible for its overall airworthiness.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 08:43   #3559 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the above replies re Syerston etc and support, appreciated,
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Old 26th May 2017, 21:35   #3560 (permalink)
 
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If a shortage of engines is preventing more Vigilants from being kept in the air, how is it that Soaring Oxford are selling zeroed engines overhauled by Grob?

https://afors.com/aircraftView/40293
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