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Air Cadet Gliding pix in the 80s (pre glass)

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Air Cadet Gliding pix in the 80s (pre glass)

Old 16th Jul 2007, 19:53
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nottingham
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Kirton Mid 60's Mmmmm

Me too.Remember Fg Offs Deane and Plaskett? Some weird osmosis seemed to be at work in those days as they were able to instill the stuff of flight into even the doziest of cadets. Must have done a good job 'cos my mate Brian went on to be UK gliding champion. My first solos were flown on a freezing Febraury day only 6 weeks after my 16th birthday. (I'd conned the adj into signing the forms) I remember that I landed amidst snow flurries off the third. the CO was almost as white as the snow at the thought of what might have happened as I'd leapt into cloud off the winch. Who needs instruments (we do) Good job the turn and slip string thing worked as advertised. Sorry when Kirton went and we shuffled about rather for awhile. Dabbled on 644 as well before commissioning.

Last edited by Prangster; 17th Jul 2007 at 12:53. Reason: spelling
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Old 16th Jul 2007, 20:04
  #42 (permalink)  
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Brian S, Mr Prangster?

If so, did some tugging for him out of Mmabatho.
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 01:46
  #43 (permalink)  
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.........And I also flew with John Wynch (who I think has sadly passed away) who once you got him talking about the 'old days' really opened up - telling all sorts of interesting stories about flying the T53 (XV951) and even brought in some pictures from home to show us................
.........And Bruce Tapson who taught me to fly on the Venture in '81 - his favourite phrase - 'Ace of the base' will stay with me always !
I think they showed that Trappers can be human too !
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 08:06
  #44 (permalink)  
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Aaaahh memories!

I flew at 621(hence my PPRuNe moniker) at Weston Super Mud, although I soloed at CGS @ Syerston in '81 in the barge as I was too tall for the Mk3.

I ended up as a staff cadet and Civilian Instructor at 621, and flew for many years there. Best time of my life

I'll post some classic pics when I return home, but you'll have to wait 'til december

The stories could fill the forum- a certain staff cadet rolling a lightweight Landy, and ending up in a court of enquiry..and getting paid for it!!(he got travelling expenses, meal allowances etc etc, and actually made money on the deal)

Reverse tug'o'war with 2 lightweights, driving down to the winch and getting 2 wheels off going round the corner at the end of the runway, towing cables out at 50mph on summer courses, and then the nights out...

We even acquired a roadsign that was positioned 3 miles from the village of 'Mark'(work it out), just down the road from WSM, the cadet with the spanners got shot at by a local with his air rifle as he was unscrewing it, but it looked good in the crew room in our gas-lit Nissen hut(we were the last gas powered school..). The same cheeky chappy, also stole the Staishs' pennant from the flagpole after breakfast one morning- that caused some trouble I can tell you...
Then there were 'Hangar races' over the top of the (rotting) Bessoneau,
Riding Ben Hur style on the Mk3 trailer, with a rope around the steering wheel of the landy, to 'influence' the direction(you couldn't call it steering!)-this one had a hand throttle, due to it having been a hearse in a previous life(chrome bumpers etc!!). You basically set the throttle, then climbed out over the back, leaving a bemused passenger sitting there

We did some flying too, but due to WSMs position on the coast, thermals were few and far between, unless the wind was easterly. Brilliant soaring for an hour or so as the sea breeze front came in, but then bugger all for the rest of the day(much like gliding here in Cyprus). I've lost count the number of times I got grounded for staying up too long...
Other highs and lows- loops in the barge, beat ups, trying to fly the barge from the left hand seat on 3-monthly checks, formation flying and launching- 2 winches, a barge and a mk3 to get some air to air shots, and the all time classic- taking the seatback out of a mk3 and flying facing backwards, legs down the fuselage(you'll have to wait for the pics of that!)...

In answer to someones comments about goggles, we were issued with mk8 glass goggles at some point(the old dakkka dakkka dakka, hun in the sun types) but they were supersceded by the Uvex versions. Rumour has it, they were introduced after someone blamed their abortion of a landing on having been blinded by a cloud of insects on approach..hmm.

Oh, and I haven't mentioned Halesland! The rugged outcrop on the top of the mendips, now used by Mendip GC.
This site was used for advanced training- a couple of barges, a Prefect or 2, and a swallow were usually based there. We always got the sh1tty slots at the beginning and end of the year, to open and shut down the site during the summer. Some good soaring, but also some bluddy awful flights too.
The social life was good though- the Strawberry special down in Draycott, and the other one that I can't remember the name of. A memorable fancy dress night sticks in my mind...
Oh, and finally for now, the sledge! This was at Halesland, an old escort Mk2 bonnet with a winch cable bridle attached to the front. You hung on for grim death whilst being towed through the sheep sh1t and mud in full flying gear...we had a similar version at WSM, but made from a Morris commercial cars' bonnet, lifted from Westlands airfield dump.

Someone mentioned barging in Cyprus- well we still do it! I resoloed a barge last month after a 23 year lay off. Still a real gentlemans conveyance when the thermals are gently popping, but a real handful when the wind gets up...

Anyway, enough for now...
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 08:16
  #45 (permalink)  
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Just had a look at the pics on 615s website- and there's 'my' barge! I soloed in WB922, The Royal Barge(cos Prince Andy also went solo in it)

621, now based at Hullavington, operate 922 as part of an historic flight. They've got an old barrage balloon winch as well...
http://www.621vgs.co.uk/ and check out 'vintage flight'
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Old 17th Jul 2007, 12:50
  #46 (permalink)  
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Air cAdet Gliding

Yes was Brian S we started as cadets together on 138 (First Nottigham) Sqn ATC he went on gliding I went after women.
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 00:22
  #47 (permalink)  
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"Thank you for trusting in me 637 Sqn and Flt Lt John Diamond, wherever you may be, you helped set me off on this long and much loved career in aviation" K.Whyjelly

Pleased to report that Flt Lt John Dimond RAFVR(T) (A1* Category Instructor) is still instructing with 637 VGS at Little Rissington.

A superb instructor, made my dreams of going solo a reality. I think he's due to retire soon, after nearly 40 years of volunteering to teach cadets each weekend! Thanks John if you read this
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 00:49
  #48 (permalink)  
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Hi, I also did my early Air Cadet gliding at Locking (WSM), and your mention of Halesland brings back memories of chasing off the cows, so that "we" could use their strip!.

I think I was there around 1983 (can't find my old 3822 to check it)
Other memories are of the "Heron" pub at the end of Locking road (now re-named)
And the piles of those blue disabled car bodies, buts thats another story, and not for public telling
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 09:02
  #49 (permalink)  
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Ahh, 1976, that long hot summer.

Used to ride my "Sports Moped" from home near Driffield to Linton every Friday evening and spend the weekend billeted there.
642 ACGS if I remember correctly, my instructor was (I think) Dave Butt, and it is with great fondness I remember my course, and the first solo.

Gave me a passion for flying then, great days.
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 10:33
  #50 (permalink)  
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In 1986 I was flying gliders with the Fuerza Aerea Argentina. My instructor was a former Luftwaffe Me109 pilot, and he was very magnanimous to the young "Inglese", even after I did my first (and hopefully last) wheels up landing.
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 11:25
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TMK03 View Post
"Thank you for trusting in me 637 Sqn and Flt Lt John Diamond, wherever you may be, you helped set me off on this long and much loved career in aviation" K.Whyjelly

Pleased to report that Flt Lt John Dimond RAFVR(T) (A1* Category Instructor) is still instructing with 637 VGS at Little Rissington.

A superb instructor, made my dreams of going solo a reality. I think he's due to retire soon, after nearly 40 years of volunteering to teach cadets each weekend! Thanks John if you read this
Thanks for that snippet of info TMK03............and if you do get to read this John, my heartfelt thanks once more.
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 12:52
  #52 (permalink)  
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Air Cadet Gliding - Good old days!

It is reassuring to see that many of us remember the good old days of wooden gliders, muddy airfields, wellington boots and denims, last flight of the day etc., with great affection.

This is certainly not the way to remember Air Cadet gliding!

Last edited by Frelon; 13th Jan 2020 at 11:49. Reason: Added picture that Photobucket removed!
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 14:25
  #53 (permalink)  
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I'll be amazed if this posts.... My first solo: T21 WB927 in February 1973, 631 GS at RAF Sealand.
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 15:30
  #54 (permalink)  
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I wangled two A&B courses

This thread has brought back some memories.

I too did the Gliding A&B in these machines. Luckily I got to do
it twice. Well unluckily for one glider and cadet. One course
was at RAF Ouston and the other near Arbroath I think (RNAS
Arbroath?), I am not sure and I have no real idea which was first,
but maybe Ouston.

I signed up for the first available course when I turned 16 in 1969
and the courses would have been in 69 or 70.

I don't recall all that much about it now other than quite a lot
about how to fly a glider, a few minor details and one major one.
We had T21s and all went swimmingly, the weather was good, we
were getting 1000 foot launches and flight times were 4-5 mins. I
think we did a turn in a thermal-ette once. As far as I recall the
norm was to be sent solo after the minimum of 20 launches or close
to it. No one seemed in any trouble of any kind.

Got the nose ballast in and did my first solo. Can't recall a thing
about it - which is quite good I guess. We were operating several
aircraft, two or three maybe, not sure, and I recall watching as
another first solo went all-out. The glider climbed away ever more
steeply right from the ground and the cable broke almost immediately.
The machine continued to pitch up until the stall which I estimated
at the time to have ocurred at 100 feet. One wing (right?) dropped
and the glider slid neatly, tip first, into the ground. The wing
shattered into the proverbial matchwood and the still yawing machine
then nosed into the ground. The soloist received a minor injury, a
cut on one calf, and the nose area was sort of split open at some
seams but generally intact looking otherwise.

Sadly all flying stopped.

It appeared to me as if the student had panicked and just pulled
back right from the off causing the crash. It had never before now
occurred to me that it might have been caused by some mechanical
failure. I feel that a lack of nose balast would have been noticed
by us for sure. Just no doubt at all on the last one.

It was clear the the wing had absorbed pretty much all of the energy
and that the outcome for the pilot could have been somewhat more
serious if there had been time for the nose to get to the bottom
before impact.

We were put in a hut (some sort of barrack hut) with a pot bellied
stove which we huddled round feeling bored and cold. I have the
idea that the crash cadet was with us and that the cut was maybe
of the 'couple of stiches' nature.

I guess it would have been the last day anyway and that we went
home as scheduled.

Never heard any more about it. I kept a postcard sized piece of
fabric or thin plywood from the skin for years but I have lost it now.
Since I had not completed the course I got to go on another one.

The second course was some months later and this time it was Mk3s
and was less eventful.

About the only thing I recall is that I got a severe earful from
instructor (down a tube?) when on an early landing I employed the
Sedburgh technique of gently pulling the spoilers to steepen the
approach. This seemed to shake my instructor rudely awake. I was
informed rather loudly that the spoilers were not to be used
*at-all*. My use of the spoilers did not cause difficulty with
the flight and I retained the controls and landed uneventfully
however I obviously did as I was told and left them strictly alone
thereafter. I think that I had to do the full 20 launches before
they let me go on my own again.

The Mk3 had a very noticably inferior performance, maybe 700 feet
and 3 minutes flight time. Never saw a sniff of positive climb.

Sorry to have injected a possibly negative tone here, if anyone
objects I will delete the message.

It was not however, for some mad reason, in any way a negative
experience for me. I couldn't wait for my next go. I did not
understand at the time why I was not able to complete my 3 solos,
I just wanted to go again. There were after all plenty more gliders
and I was convinced that the cause of the crash was pilot error (well,
panic induced pilot error) so there was nothing to worry about since
I was not going to be panicking

I don't know if I told my parents about the crash. Probably did, I was
really, really stupid then. On the other hand, I can't imagine my mother
letting me go right back if she had known.

The very last thing is that the boss (or someone) at one of the courses
had a Citreon DS (green?) which I got a ride in across the airfield. Magic

Was altogether a fine thing which would have led to a career in flying
had I had a clue. As it turns out I am sure that it was on one of these
trips that I first went to a pub. That one has stuck more that the flying

We had day-glo bits I am sure, no goggles that I remember, and was
it really true that we went solo after about an hours flying time!!!
Do they still do it like that today?

Last edited by jimjim1; 19th Jan 2009 at 16:03. Reason: manual line breaks
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 15:49
  #55 (permalink)  
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I know when the ATC re-equiped with Venture, Viking and Vanguard the standing joke in our area was that they were the NEW V-Force as the RAF Procurement ?? (EXCUSE THE SPELLING IF IT IS WRONG) could NOT afford the REAL THING ???.: ok:
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 16:03
  #56 (permalink)  
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First solo at Syerston 1986

20 years of military aviation since - inspired by that first circuit!

Thanks a million ATC
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 16:57
  #57 (permalink)  
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Lovely thread!! I was a Staff Cadet at 613 Gliding School at RAF Halton around about 1958 to59. Apart from family,they were some of the best days of my life.
Someone who posted in July referred to a civvy instructor named Bird. This was Dickie Bird, who became a partner in my Driving School, and subsequently, after we had both got our PPls, went on to part own Wycombe Air Centre. Last I heard, he had over 14,000 hours, and was a FRAeS [fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society]
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 20:20
  #58 (permalink)  
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Does anyone remember an aircadets unit at Christchurch (Hampshire) in the late 50s? I am trying to remember some names... Jack Brayburne and Paddy Delaney come to mind. Does anyone have any memories?
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 20:20
  #59 (permalink)  
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And for those of us old enough to remember No 1 Gliding Centre at RAF Hawkinge in the 50s and 60s, click on:

Scale Soaring UK

and then on '1956 - Air Training Corps'. Movies of Sedberghs and Cadet Mk3s. Old and grainy, but then so am I.

Thank you Flt Lt Geoff Naylor for sending me solo.

And for those who flew at RAF Halton, look at '1960 Glide First, Jets Later'.

Last edited by D120A; 19th Jan 2009 at 23:40. Reason: Another 1960 reference, same site
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Old 19th Jan 2009, 20:33
  #60 (permalink)  
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Halcyon days indeed! I did my gliding course over an interminable number of weekends at Benson, with 612 VGS - motor gliders (Venture?). caused a bitof a stir when I soloed and decided to take the first turn-off from the runway, still going about 20kn! All worked out OK in the end though!
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