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Old 24th Apr 2014, 07:24   #1 (permalink)
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Air Cadets grounded?

Anyone know what's happening with VGSs? Old Viking mate tells me they are all grounded indefinitely for engineering problems?
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 08:46   #2 (permalink)
 
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A missive was issued by OC 2FTS on 17 Apr stating:
Quote:
All Air Cadet Gliding is paused for the Easter weekend. To amplify, no gliding will take place over the Easter period. A further update will be published after the Easter holidays.
No updates since.

Last edited by Aggamemnon; 24th Apr 2014 at 08:47. Reason: Fix formatting & add date
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 09:06   #3 (permalink)
 
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A colleague who is a VGS instructor tells me that they will not be flying until at least the 6th May. What is disappointing is the way the grounding happened which was during a week when most Sqns were running an Easter course and then it was towards the end of the week when most Cadets would be nearing solo standard.


A considerable number of people will have given up a weeks annual holiday to run these courses to have it wasted due to politics. I'm sure the grounding could have waited until the end of the courses as the gliders were no different at the end of the week to what they were at the start of the week. There are many identical gliders in civilian use and they are not grounded its seems like MAA politics again.


I sat back quietly wondering how long it would take for a thread to appear on this topic.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 09:17   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
as the gliders were no different at the end of the week to what they were at the start of the week.
If there was a worry about a potential airworthiness fault at the end of the week, then what had already NOT happened at the start of the week is immaterial, I'd have thought.

MUCH more important is the loss to the credibility of the organisation if something had happened which would most certainly have been prevented by a grounding.

You can't have it both ways.

CG
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 09:26   #5 (permalink)

 
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Granted CG, but what's with all this "paused" crap?
Use of weasel language does not fill me with confidence.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 09:33   #6 (permalink)
 
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And, 'to amplify'. Wassat all about!

I was more picturing someone saying on Wednesday, "Sir, I am really not happy with the wear on the-hold-the-wing-on widget, I've never seen it like this before." How do you ignore it? They are kids after all.

Wasn't concentrating on the lingo.

CG
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 14:33   #7 (permalink)
 
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If you ground all the VGS over Easter you can save money by not having someone on standby to answer all servicing extension / limitation requests they'd be receiving on Saturday morning from 26 VGSs doing what they do - flying the pants off the aircraft.
<A cynical ex VGS instructor>
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 15:16   #8 (permalink)
 
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Knowing nothing about this at all other than what's been posted above it reads like a cost saving measure rather than an airworthiness one.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 16:41   #9 (permalink)
 
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Sorry to stop a good winge, an Airworthiness Directive with regard to rudder control pulleys was issued in effect 'grounding' the Grob Acros, Astirs etc., the engineers no doubt imposed the same restriction to the ATC Vikings. The delay in return them to flying is probably a best guess on aquiring the spares, the programme to fit and flight test the entire fleet.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 19:03   #10 (permalink)
 
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Extract from EASA AD 2014-0067, effective 1 April:

Control cable pulleys made from plastic (white or brown material) in the rudder control unit were reported to develop cracks due to aging. In one case, jamming of the rudder control unit was reported.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could cause cable pulleys to break, potentially jamming the rudder control unit and resulting in loss of control of the sailplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Fiberglas-Technik issued Technische Mitteilung/Service Bulletin TM-G05/SB-G05 and Anweisung/ Instructions A/I-G05 (one document) to provide instructions for the replacement of plastic cable pulleys with pulleys made from aluminium.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 19:04   #11 (permalink)
 
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There was also a problem with the prop hubs on the Vigis that needed inspecting.

I heard that OC 2FTS was flying when the recommendation to pause flying in order to take stock of the situation (read, old fashioned grounding). I'm sure that OC 2 FTS woukd have preferred not to have interrupted his flying!

I suspect there are other, more commercially sensitive reasons, why we haven't heard the full story of this 'pause'.

LJ
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 19:21   #12 (permalink)
 
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So in this case, the MAA have acted quickly and decisively in accordance with the EASA AD. Imagine the PR disaster and PPRuNe meltdown if something bad had happened and they had taken no action. Damned if they do and damned if they don't.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 21:22   #13 (permalink)


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Well sort off, the AD does give a time limit to comply, so they have actual been stricter than the AD requires.

Table 1: Compliance time for replacement

Rudder control unit configuration

Compliance time (after the effective date of this AD)

Open cable cage

Within 1 month

Closed cable cage

Within 3 months


http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_a...AD_2014-0067_1
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 22:23   #14 (permalink)
 
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Air Cadets grounded?

Many people will be amazed that cadets actually go flying at all. I cannot remember the last time I actually noticed or saw an RAF Air Cadet. I mean it must be fantastic for a kid to be taught to fly etc - they need to raise their profile a bit.
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 12:05   #15 (permalink)
 
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I left the ACO last June after nearly 30 years service and in the last 18 months, the Air Cadets in the area that I live had pretty much forgotten what an aircraft looked like (unless they happened to get AEF of some description at Annual Camp). The local VGS was grounded for over a year due to the airfield on which they were based being sold to a private landowner and there was a very protracted move to their new base. Combine that with the grounding of the Tutor fleet following the prop problems and it left few flying opportunities; if I'm honest, many, but not all cadets who join do so because of the many other activities that the ACO offers and have little interest in aircraft.
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 12:22   #16 (permalink)

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Quote:
I'm sure that OC 2 FTS would have preferred not to have interrupted his flying!
He'd just gone solo too!

We tried to get a solo barrel out of him on the Wednesday night at Linton but he wasn't playing.........

How do you get a drink out of an air defender .........???
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 12:53   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
the AD does give a time limit to comply, so they have actual been stricter than the AD requires.
True, but can one really fault them for this? The actual impact of grounding the aircraft is nil (other than frustration/disappointment) whereas the potential fallout from a mishap had the aircraft kept flying is enormous.
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 12:56   #18 (permalink)
 
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Tha MAA does not 'ground' any platforms and has no authority to do so. It is the responsibility of the applicable PT/CAMO/DH to monitor ADs, SBs and any in-service arisings etc and act accordingly.
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 13:20   #19 (permalink)
 
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No involvement, but it sounds like a sound decision to me.
Duty of care might be that although the AD says a time limit, there is no grace for these service operated recreational machines?

OAP
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Old 25th Apr 2014, 13:38   #20 (permalink)
 
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Auster Fan wrote:
Quote:
....if I'm honest, many, but not all cadets who join do so because of the many other activities that the ACO offers and have little interest in aircraft.
Good grief. Which part of 'Air' in 'Air Cadets' don't they understand?
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