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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 28th Mar 2016, 20:25
  #2121 (permalink)  
 
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Pobjoy,

And did you notice that a few days ago on this very thread Coville, when I described him as a long-retired VSO, denied he was such and claimed that his last rank was fg off.

Hmm, funny that the Air Marshal rank suddenly appears when he writes crack-covering, party-line untruths in the Torygraph.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 21:08
  #2122 (permalink)  
 
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Cats Five
There is no glider maker in the world that could supply sufficient (over 60) 2-seat gliders in that timeframe, even if negotiations had started years before and their entire production went to the Cadets.

I know that - you know that - so why have they not been ordered already ?
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 21:14
  #2123 (permalink)  
 
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Honorary President 2FTS?

I'm going to risk sounding very ignorant here, and so may I first put in a disclaimer that I'm a lovely chap and this is in no way meant to be taken as an aggressive post.

I've been in the organisation for a good number of years and yet this thread is the first mention I've heard that 2FTS has an Honorary President. I've seen no mention of it on the 2FTS 'Bader' site, no mention via e-mail to VGS post-holders, no mention in 2FTS routine orders. As I understand it, these are the methods of communication that one would expect to be informed of appointments at 2FTS.

Please forgive me if I've missed something here, that being the case I will of course concede that it is I who has been remiss. However it just strikes me as odd that an official figurehead has cropped up on a social media site and in the national press about whom I genuinely had previously heard nothing (at least not in relation to 2FTS) and certainly not during this two-year period of inactivity and lack of information.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 21:39
  #2124 (permalink)  
 
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AF, think one of the reasons for not using Vikings at Honington was that they could not be fitted with Transponders, very useful for operating in a MATZ.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 23:40
  #2125 (permalink)  
 
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I'm still hearing made up reasons for not using these other sites. The excuse about service flying/gliding clubs is lame - these are encroachments that have lower priority than a VGS, as a lodger unit paid for out of the Defence budget, to use a Government Aerodrome.

Also, the stuff about Honington - you don't need a transponder to fly into Honington and the flying club on the Stn don't have an issue with MLD or LAK - they either call RAPCON or they call them via landline beforehand. Pop ups are just as bad for the RAPCON controller if they are a light aircraft as they are a glider - there used to be a Pietenpol Aircamper flying out of there with no transponder without an issue. About 1/5th of the old Honington ATZ sits within the USAF's CMATZ and the rest is in completely clear Class G (ie. No MATZ).

Also I wonder how the BGA mamage to operate quite safely out of airfields that would be 'tight' for a VGS and then send them solo at age 14 vice nearly 3 years later for an Air Cadet.

Finally, gliders landing anywhere following a launch failure is practiced on a regular basis and also gliders are designed to land out on unprepared fields and then be trailered off to fly again - just how bumpy do you think the grass is around an airfield???

Point accepted on the Welsh gliding sites, never been to them. So if the Welsh (and Northern Irish) haven't got any suitable gliding sites for ab initio flying, then they're obviously not bothered, so let's keep them in England and Scotland then...[joke]. Seriously, there must be somewhere in Ulster and Wales where a youngster can glide safely without an egg whisk on the front?

LJ
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 00:38
  #2126 (permalink)  
 
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Polyfilla politics

1.3 vs & Airbus 38 Lovey chap;Hon pres 2fts has been 'parachuted in' to calm the angry seas with suitable 'spin'.
Too little and much too late for it to be taken seriously (not sure about the number of o's in that one) and of course just putting out the 'party line' to those who may take the bait (not on this thread).
Calling Syerston 2FTS means nothing in real terms as it is only as good as the service it delivers. Shiny new 'showrooms' (hangars) and a workshop that looks like a laboratory but can not repair the kit. Lovely new office complex for whatever is supposed to go on in them but no one seemed to notice that they could not fix GRP work despite having a bespoke shop. Ah but they certainly nailed those unofficial badge sewing bandits (shame about the airworthiness of aircraft bit). No changes will mean no NO CHANGE the Cadets have been failed but the spin 'spins away'. And the answer is to build a factory to inspect the fleet,keep the faith,and lets get the Cadets flying (they were until it was screwed up)
What was needed was a public flogging and the odd head on a pole on London Bridge, unfortunately Baldrick lost the whip and no one could find the stores number for an AXE.

LJ (as we are having an Easter truce) why would you expect common sense and reason to be part of the 'process'.Gliding and SLMG flying does not require that much airfield infrastructure as you well know,but it does require those who are part of the planning to have some idea of the way it works and what is possible. ASK THE B.... SCHOOLS they know best because they have been quite good at doing it for 70+years, and are quite capable of knowing what is possible.Why is it those in charge seemingly ignore the very people that have demonstrated their capability in delivering the goods and think they know best.By the way Kenley is very secure; it is owned by the City of London as a common; can not be developed for anything else, and will be available for gliding as long as the RAF wish,plus the City of London are quite proud to have a fine example of an 11 group Battle of Britain airfield under their care.

Last edited by POBJOY; 29th Mar 2016 at 13:12.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 10:39
  #2127 (permalink)  
 
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How can a transponder possibly be an issue in an Air Cadet glider? For club use, battery capacity on an all day cross-country could be a problem, but for a glider doing circuits its no big deal to swap batteries every few flights. A quick check suggests a mode S glider transponder might use 0.28A when active, so a typical 7AH (Amp Hour) gel cell battery should be more than adequate for a couple of hours reliable operation. As few cadets are likely to be at the top end of the weight range, carrying extra batteries instead of ballast weights would be a possibility too.

With regard to sites, the technology already exists to use the width limited ones; namely a retrieve winch. A 90 to 120 second launch cycle is easily achievable with one of these, and the fact that the parachute end of the cable is pulled back onto the launch run after release minimises the likelihood of the cable going where it shouldn't. An added benefit for site owners that are precious about the condition of their airfield, is that the cable only needs to be pulled out by a vehicle once a day, so the cable run doesn't get chewed up. Sure, its an extra piece of equipment to learn to operate, but one only has to go to Long Mynd to see what a slick launch cycle it offers.

Given how gliding started, its quite bizarre that Wales is considered unsuitable as it is too hilly. If the Welsh Air Cadets do lose their sites and still want to fly, perhaps they should speak to the Joint Services Hang Gliding and Paragliding Centre (JSHPC) near Crickhowell. Obviously hang glider control input is different, but so are bicycles and cars. Flying a hang glider on tethers is very safe and most definitely a group activity which will ensure the passengers are asleep in the minibus on the way home.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 11:08
  #2128 (permalink)  
 
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I know that - you know that - so why have they not been ordered already ?
Schleicher apparently declined the order for 70+ K21s. I reckon they would do that today, not wanting to devote their entire output to one customer for several years.

Grob no longer build gliders, neither do Centraire, which I think leaves the choices of a PW6 or a Perkoz, both Polish gliders. I have no idea if their builders would be able to fulfil a large order even over a great many years.

The DG1000, Duo Discus, Arcus & Quintus are not basic trainers.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 11:18
  #2129 (permalink)  
 
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Size of suitable airfields!

When I started to fly at Kenley (identified as one of the smaller ACO glider sites) we only used half of the available airfield because the powers that be decided to use half for weekend sports so we were prohibited from using that side!

This is a photograph taken by the late Alex Watson of a Prefect overhead the unused portion of the airfield, clearly showing the rugby posts and the prohibited area below.



The use of the cable retrieve system as mentioned in the previous post seems to have been completely overlooked by the "experts" at Syerston. Buying new winches is not going to increase the launch rate but this system would. But there what do we know, they seem to know everything.

I just had a look at the earlier thread on Air Cadet Gliding pix in the 80s, what a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will never be repeated. They have a lot to answer for!

Last edited by Frelon; 29th Mar 2016 at 11:53.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 12:36
  #2130 (permalink)  
 
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Cats Five


Schleicher apparently declined the order for 70+ K21s. I reckon they would do that today, not wanting to devote their entire output to one customer for several years.

Yes I had heard that - But they might have gone for a smaller order to allow the Air Cadets to operate a mixed fleet.
Of course Schleicher might balk at any MOD modifications LOL - it would have to be a 'standard' airframe buy (I know Iknow - it'll never happen ! )
No problem operating a mixed fleet when they get their shiny new shed built - as a K21 is simplicity itself to maintain (as of course is a Grob acro )
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 12:54
  #2131 (permalink)  
 
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Kenley

Ah Frelon Always good to see an image of this fabulous location before it was left to go to disrepair.If there was an 11 Group Battle of Britain airfield that should have been 'listed' then Kenley would head up the list.If you look closely there is even a 'ghost' of a Hurricane wishing it could land.

Back on thread; We are all now under no illusion regarding the complete lack of competent leadership that the gliding organisation has at the top, and the appalling way the 'end' that does know what to do has been treated. We were proud to operate from Kenley and preserve its availability for gliding i think the current bunch of banana's up top have no such respect for history or the VGS 'volunteers' that kept it going. They may try to 'rewrite' the VGS history to suit themselves,but as this thread proves there are too many out there who know the score and will not let them get away with it.
PM for you Frelon
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 12:54
  #2132 (permalink)  
 
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Point accepted on the Welsh gliding sites, never been to them. So if the Welsh (and Northern Irish) haven't got any suitable gliding sites for ab initio flying, then they're obviously not bothered, so let's keep them in England and Scotland then...[joke]. Seriously, there must be somewhere in Ulster and Wales where a youngster can glide safely without an egg whisk on the front?


LJ, would these "Egg Whisks" on the front be similar to the ones on the Tutor? You know, the ones that failed because the QSPs thought that Flick rolls would be great, but which AFAIK were prohibited by both the aircraft & propellor manufacturer.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 13:00
  #2133 (permalink)  
 
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New winches and retrieval systems are all well and good, but the thing that is really going to dictate output is the staff. There is going to be a greater burden on CT requirements with a larger school, assuming of course the squadrons can recruit the staff. With all training in-house, it is going to be difficult to provide instructors with sufficient continuation in order to progress. Also, staff turn over is far greater, with staff cadets joining the squadron, being productive for a short while before going off to Uni etc. It needs a better re-think than simply fewer but big squadrons operating in the same way as before.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 14:49
  #2134 (permalink)  
 
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I really would like to read the current AEF Flying Order Book then ACW342 ... Being blessed (or cursed) with a near eidetic memory for such detail ... The AEF Flying Order Book (70's) strictly prohibited any form of Flick Manoeuvre when carrying Air Cadets. Not because of the aircrafts capability (or lack of then), but it was considered an extreme manoeuvre likely to unnecessarily alarm the young passenger and not conducive to giving 'air experience'.

Coincidentally ... The same rationale drove the prohibition of spinning and continuous conventional aerobatics for non-First Timers (each manoeuvre required a period of straight and level before the next along with an inquiry as to the 'wellness' of the young passenger). Aerobatics of any form were prohibited for all First Timmers.

I can see no reason why those sound regulations, back then, should no longer apply today ... If they do ... Then it's a Flying Discipline matter.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 15:03
  #2135 (permalink)  
 
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The Americans didn't want 'proper' gliders at Honington because the Mildenhall heavy traffic routes in over there at 1500ft (the C130s often lower). In the days of TWCU, departing GR1s would be held on the ground unless they were visual with 'Mildenhall Traffic South'. The Flying Club has certainly operated non-transponder in recent years but the powered circuit is not a confliction.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 15:17
  #2136 (permalink)  
 
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But it had no objections to Watton where Lakenheath would route F-15's over the middle of the Airfield at 600 feet...................

Hmmmm

Anyway, Mildenhall won't be there much longer. By the time this debacle has played itself out they (C17/KC135) will be long gone..............


Arc
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 15:46
  #2137 (permalink)  
 
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Watton, 16 miles on Lakenheath centreline, fast jets, Mon - Fri, no bank holidays. Honington 11 miles on Mildenhall centreline, heavies, 24/7. Enough of a difference maybe? I don't remember ever doing 16 mile final at 600ft in a GR1.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 15:49
  #2138 (permalink)  
 
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I looked down on one (F15) when I was on the wire once...................

I think it would still hurt if it hit you...................

Arc
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 18:43
  #2139 (permalink)  
 
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Come in 54 - your time is up

Well after 2 years hanging on I've decided to call it quits.

The reasons are multiple but the new look organisation doesn't seem to fit what I can offer around my real life and as my SQN is due for chopping it seems like a convenient dovetail.

There was a lingering sense of shame that I was bailing out when the people remaining probably need all the help they can get but having seen (and participated in) a lot of behind the scenes work and effort for the RTF brushed aside with no warning then hey ho - time to move on.
- things like painting the briefing room on a winter Sunday evening which other members had procured at their own expense to make it happen.
- cleaning the aircraft every other month which are now either due for selling or scrapping.
- Cleaning the Buildings and Hangar for inspections and audits.
- Helping on courses for cadets to try and keep the unit as a going concern.

I don't even lay the blame with 2FTS - it's what I think of as the British Leyland syndrome. That slow growing cancer of paralysis across the RAF and Industry. Instead of trampling the problems to death in a matter of months and making things happen it was the slow decline of morale, updates and progress that made me realise it was going to be bad.

It's so frustrating that the best single gliding organisation in the world has been totally decimated and is no where near out of the woods yet. All that time from everyone, effort, perseverance. Gone.

What a waste.

But the most important aspect is the door it opened for me to get my foot into a Commercial aviation career. Willing to bet most reading this know of any number of cadets who have gone from nowhere through a VGS into Mil or Civ careers that would otherwise be unavailable.

My thoughts are with the remaining staff. All the best.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 19:09
  #2140 (permalink)  
 
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CS,
Not with cadets. I am reliably informed that neither the aircraft or propellor manufacturer included flick rolls in the range pf permitted manoeuvres. I am willing to stand corrected, but again, I am informed that the stresses involved in such were a major cause of Tutor propellor mishaps.
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