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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 22nd Mar 2016, 11:16
  #1981 (permalink)  
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Dave Unwin

No greater satisfaction than Cadets talking loudly, exchanging experiences and finally the descending silence as they fall asleep in the minibus on the way home from a day out at the Viking VGS.

Never had that on the way back from a day at the AEF !!

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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 11:38
  #1982 (permalink)  
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One of my erstwhile VGS colleagues once observed that watching other people fly was rather like watching other people have sex -- mildly interesting but not remotely involving.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 15:31
  #1983 (permalink)  
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From the Government eMail response sent to all petitioners today and posted by BEagle

combined with an increase of an extra 25 Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs) – a more than 50% increase on previous flights.
Clearly whoever wrote the original note, didn't proofread it ... I'm assuming it's a typo ... otherwise we will have more AEF's than Front Line Squadrons

BEagle, Airbus38 ...

If the MOD, 2FTS and the ACO continue to incorrectly describe these PTT's as 'Realistic Flight Simulators' ... then the remedy is simple ... such devices come under the jurisdiction of the MAA.

MAA : RA 2375 - Approval and Use of Flight Simulator Training Devices

Flight Simulators vary considerably in fidelity. They may be used as either preparation or substitution for live sorties in UK Military Aircraft. Their use must not prejudice the safe operation of that aircraft. Therefore, careful consideration is required to ensure the simulator is fit for purpose.

Specifically noting the requirement Point 3 ...

I suspect the phrase PTT (although apparently not defined by the MAA) has been deliberately used as training terminology by 2FTS. But given the involvement of 'minors' in formal flying training ... I believe a TNA should be undertaken (if not already done so) and the Viking & Vigilant PTT's assessed by a QintiQ TP against those TNA's, as it may well then be appropriate to DE-FUNCTION some of the PTT's attributes to protect against the real risk of 'NEGATIVE training' as outlined by BEagle. Then (I assume ?) 22 Group will need to 'approve' a Training Course/Cadet Gliding Qualification specifying exactly what level/type of 'synthetic' training is permissible (if any) during Cadet Glider Training/Qualification.

NB. To be read in conjunction with Posts #1923 by Airbus38 and #1976 by BEagle

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 22nd Mar 2016 at 22:23.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 15:58
  #1984 (permalink)  
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Another thought.........

If the additional Tutors had not been available as a result of the reduced BFT requirement what would they have done for the additional AEF Capacity which is being touted as such a great increase as part of this deal ??

I am assuming that there would have just been cuts to VGS and no 'sweetner' (if that is what it is) of increased AEF.............

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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 20:02
  #1985 (permalink)  
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The Grob Tutor is likely to be replaced with the Grob 120TP Prefect, a higher-performance aircraft with retractable undercarriage and a turboprop engine, under the future Ascent contract.

Given this aircraft's complexities, I think the exam question regarding this proposed uplift in powered AEF flying is 'When is the out of service date of the Grob Tutor in AEF and UAS service?'
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 20:33
  #1986 (permalink)  
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government response to petition

Full of 'non statements' and more misleading ones,bordering on untruths.
Just three of the contents are enlightening.

Air Cadet Flying will be safer:- How does it get safer than the actual historical VERY SAFE !

Relalistic synthetic flight simulation :- They are at the most 'procedure trainers' which are neither Realistic or simulate flight. In the case of the Vig their use 'would' have been for 'drills' (but no Vig's!!) The Vikings have no 'systems' that need this.

Value for Money:- They are having a laugh here, Amount of Cadet training will diminish (on top of that already lost forever).No evidence that there will be more flying at less cost.

To be fair the use of the PTtrainers at Cadet Squadrons as opposed to VGS sites will at least give some 'flavour' of aviation that may stimulate ongoing interest to the very young.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 21:19
  #1987 (permalink)  
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From my perspective I would be interested to know:

What happened to the monitoring of the original contract?
Was that sufficiently robust with the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place. If not why not?
What money has been recovered from the original contractor for failure to deliver, this could then offset some of return to flight costs.

Following the grounding why did it take 2years to get anything moving? It only took 3 years or so to get an availability contract in place for the dear old VC10! Sure there were challenges, but all parties worked together to overcome them on a vastly more complicated aircraft.

I might as well drop these questions to my MP, he has served on the PAC for a number of years and would be well versed in taking these questions forward.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 21:54
  #1988 (permalink)  
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c4aero ...

Welcome to you ...

I'm still mystified as to who will fly the upscaled Tutor AEF Fleet. I seem to recall that the AEF Flying Order Book (Chipmunk Days ... many years ago) made reference to the fact that only RAF and RN Pilots could be considered for AEF Cadet Flying Duties. Noting that Army Pilots could be considered based on their individual Fixed Wing experience. So as not to upset anyone of a khaki persuasion ... I believe this 'restriction' was connected with the 'truncated' Chipmunk syllabus designed at the time to get the aspiring Army pilot solo on fixed wing ASAP to then be followed by intensive rotary training to wings standard.

I also recall that the other primary driver was to have a serving/retired Military Pilot so as to "instil a military ethos' into the overall AEF experience.

Given the (sadly) reduced size of the RAF, RN and Army these days and known current shortages of AEF pilots ... Where are the additional aircrew to come from ?

I note the reference in the various briefing papers issued to date the 'possibility' of 'some' Vigilant QGI's converting ... if genuinely true, how realistic is this ?

Thank you ...

PS. Other 'Gems' from the old Chipmunk AEF Flying Order Book ... 'At the OC AEF's discretion, Cadets holding a Flying Scholarship qualification and in possession of a valid/current PPL, could occupy the Front Seat' (designed to hep FS Cadets keep their PPL's current ... If I remember correctly the Cadet recorded P1/s with the OC counter signing the Civilian Logbook which was acceptable to the CAA) ... The OC AEF was then invariably a QFI and could operate from the boot ... If only to check-out his staff.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 23rd Mar 2016 at 14:37.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 22:45
  #1989 (permalink)  
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The requirements/process of converting the Vigilant to the Tutor has been put to the VGS staff. However, the process dosen't appear to have been throught through properly as it appears that they had forgotten there are a number of Vigilant instructors who are serving RAF NCO, junior ones at that. Could this see the RAF finally having Corporal pilots like the AAC?
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 22:56
  #1990 (permalink)  
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OK VX275 ... Let's hear from c4aero
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 00:41
  #1991 (permalink)  
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Whilst I think what has happened to Air Cadet gliding is completely unacceptable and indefensible, I'm not sure I agree with you on the procedural trainers.

Whilst I don't expect them to be much more than a glider mockup with a big screen/projector, they could be both useful and interesting to the cadets (although not as interesting as actual flying).

Certainly 20 minutes on this could introduce the effects of controls in all 3 axis, and save at least one 5-minute Viking launch. Not that I am suggesting reducing the number of launches for each GIC, but the launch "saved" could be used for more productive practice with the cadet at the controls, rather than the instructor at the controls demonstrating/explaining.

When it came to cadets on the GS, it would be useful to practice proper landing technique over and over, getting some degree of "muscle memory" for the round out/hold off. And cadets having problems with ballooning or bouncing could go back to the trainer for a number of landing attempts to nail the technique rather than wasting circuits.
20 landing attempts on a trainer might take 10 minutes to practice. They wouldn't let every cadet approaching solo with 'landing issues' have 20 launches in a day just to practice the landings, instead they'd give them their Blue wings and send them on their way home.

Used properly with a good instructor, it could mean many more people get to go solo who would otherwise have just ended up with Blue wings.

I remember the BGA had rather a good glider simulator (with very realistic aerodynamics computations, you could accurately stall and spin it). If each VGS got one of those then they would be very valuable in teaching not only cadets, but new volunteer staff.

Whilst it certainly doesn't replace real flight, a lot of time during gliding lessons is spent demonstrating and explaining, i.e. see it, do it. Make the most of a training device on the ground and the time in the air can be much more productive.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 01:41
  #1992 (permalink)  
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Lama F
Unless a Glider simulator has motion and 'feel' it will not replicate the required handling that is required for landing,and as gliders do not have a vast array of flight, nav, and engine instrumentation there is little value in using them in conjunction with the actual flying training.
Slightly different with the Vig with the extra systems,but then these seem to be history now.
However as mentioned i do see the value to have even a simple 'trainer' available to Cadet Squadrons to raise awareness of aviation and promote 'flying training' that will be available when they are old enough to progress through whatever system is left. It may be that the age limit for solo is reduced to the BGA requirement which could be great for keeping the young starters (poss 12 year olds) enthused as they see the goal posts getting closer,rather than 4 years away.
The whole point about basic glider training was it gave an opportunity for 'anyone' to get hands on experience with a real flying machine in a controlled safe environment that also developed self confidence and decision making.As an exercise in that alone combined with the required team effort it has no equal and provided a basis for ongoing useful flying practices that were still relevant in this digital world(Space shuttle).What could be better 'value for money' than a Cadet getting his BGA A&B badge with so little air time,again this has no equal,and certainly will never be repeated.Going down to one solo was a real cop out and i never understood why it had to be.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 01:45
  #1993 (permalink)  
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CFS is demanding 500hrs P1 on the Vigilant at present. Having recently been in touch with three of the binned sqns, I can count on one hand the number of people thinking of applying to cross train and still have a finger or two left over. Nobody has figured out if the Convex can be done locally or if volunteers would have to take a month or two off work.

The VGS guys have been told that they will need to be commissioned if they want to fly the Tutor. No NCO pilots allowed. Personnel affected by this nonsense have been asked to submit their re-role requests (Tutor/Viking/Ground Instructor/Admin/ATC sqn) by 31Mar. CGIs will become extinct, as will VGS FSCs.

I too would love to know where the AEFs will get the pilots to fly the additional Tutors, given that many can't fill the seats they've already got and whatever pilots they pick up from the Vigilant squadrons they will likely lose an equivalent number through the loss of holding officers once MFTS training starts and EFT gets taught on the 120TP. As I see it, the only way would be to bring in civilian pilots from the outside, thus losing the rationale of the "military ethos".
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 07:38
  #1994 (permalink)  
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OK CF ... Let's hear from c4aero
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 07:44
  #1995 (permalink)  
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Not wishing to dilute the already weak offerings being made to (former) VGS pilots, there are those of us within the ACO, holding thousands of relevant flying hours as pilots, instructors and examiners who would jump at the opportunity of flying for an AEF.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 08:26
  #1996 (permalink)  
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Hi CGB ...

What's preventing you and 'others' then if you are Ex Mil ? Is it because you have been commissioned as a VRT Squadron Officer and the Wing/Region won't let you

Back in the 70's there were quite a few AEF Pilots who were also Squadron Officers ...
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 08:38
  #1997 (permalink)  
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One VGS pilot who is a good friend has been "offered" transfer to another VGS with travel provided, he must commit to two full weekends a month, OK so far.

1. He is married so has a life.
2. He is a police officer who on his duty roster gives him two weekends a month off .
3. The police unit he is with is a Public Order unit with CT duties and the units rest days can be and are cancelled at the last minute and at certain times of the year are cancelled all together.
4. He is an ATC Sqn Commander so has other cadet commitments some weekends and camps.

He has the figures for AEF but it appears that he would need to be B1 and he is at B2 due to him having to cancel his B1 course because of work.
He could fly locally as his shift hours allowed him to fly in the morning before duty on lates ,16:00-midnight or on "nights" 19:00 -03:00 he could fly in the afternoons.

Will he fly with the ACO again ? I would think not !
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 08:43
  #1998 (permalink)  
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If NCO AEF pilots are not allowed, will this prevent regular RAF junior ranks (many of whom are VGS pilots) from flying the Tutor?

Surely if the issue is that AEF pilots need to be service personnel, then the fact that someone is already serving in a regular capacity should not be an issue?

There is a vast, currently untapped potential, of regular RAF personnel who hold PPLs who I'm sure would love to fly for AEFs, and who could contribute the vital military ethos.

Creating links between the AEFs and RAF Flying Clubs and schemes such as the Junior Ranks Pilot Scheme would be an excellent idea, in my opinion.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 08:55
  #1999 (permalink)  
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I don't want to appear cynical ... But this is looking more like what's called in the Corporate World as a 'Constructive Sanction'. In other words you say publicly 'YES' but then use conditions/criteria that make it almost impossible to achieve. Even if 'someone' had all the right credentials there is no guarantee they would pass the proposed Tutor conversion course ...

To be clear and honest with everyone ... I come from the view point that Cadet AEF in the Tutor should only be undertaken by appropriately experienced/qualified UK Mil/Ex Mil Pilots (Full Brevet). But that doesn't prevent me from objectively debating the wider issues. I have no axe to grind ... My last connection with the ACO/AEF World was in the early 80's.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 23rd Mar 2016 at 09:14.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 09:13
  #2000 (permalink)  
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