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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 29th Mar 2016, 19:04
  #2141 (permalink)  
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GroundedGrob - thank you for the time you have put into the ACO. I do not think it is VGS staff alone who are considering their future, it is highly likely that some squadron staff are also considering where the ACO and themselves go from here.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 19:22
  #2142 (permalink)  
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I have deleted my original comments. Some of them were in major frustration I apologise.
Some of my points still stand though. As an 18 year old failed by the ACO and it's very slow and painful downfall in aviation opportunities, I moved to the BGA. The denial of flying to many likeminded young people is totally unacceptable, the training needs to be brought into the 21st century if you're going to use new gliders, fact as most two seaters other than the K21 will spin, spinning accidents at low level have killed in the past and they will do again. Many along with I will never totally understand the ACO way of doing things, but until differences are settled the glory days are over, my club along with many are finding it difficult to cooperate with 2FT/HQAC so have no option but to just reject cadet flying as unfeisable. Change is required, but in more places than first thought.

I can only hope that these are the darkest days and that I will be one of very few young air minded people to succeed by actually having to leave the ACO. Because I fear otherwise that at this rate there won't be many instructors in many years to come to teach aspiring aviators as the average age of instructors continues to rise (B1 or above) in both civillian and VGS gliding.


Last edited by planesandthings; 1st Apr 2016 at 17:35. Reason: Rethink
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 19:55
  #2143 (permalink)  
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Fair do's ACW342
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 07:13
  #2144 (permalink)  
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Best wishes for the future. An all too common story across the disorganisation, sadly.

I've lost interest as it's too painful to watch. My only remaining question is, are we dealing with an organisation which is utterly, wildly incompetent, or an organisation which is delivering a plan to get out of the cadet flying business entirely in the long term? There are no other theories which fit the facts, if you tune out what is being said and focus on what is being done.
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 07:21
  #2145 (permalink)  
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You clearly do understand the BGA way.

You clearly don't understand the MoD, ACO and VGS way !!

Your comments on VGS Training, Objectives, Service Clubs, policy and basing strategy are way off piste..............

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Old 30th Mar 2016, 09:14
  #2146 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Misconceptions BGA vs VGS


I think you are a brave young man posting here!! You appear to have no idea about the objectives of Air Cadet gliding.

Many regular posters here have been/are well established senior instructors with the Air Cadets, but they also instruct with the BGA. I wonder how they manage that??
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 09:16
  #2147 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Sub - I'm not given to conspiracy theories but something isn't right here.

Maybe using the illusion or reality of the first part to cover the move to your second point.

I'm led to believe there's a series of town hall meetings. Unfortunately I only found out at short notice (irrelevant now) and can't make them anyway due to WORK.

The last time this happened I arranged to sort cover for work so I could get to one. It was canx at short notice - maybe for valid reasons - but in this age of email and instant comms maybe a message direct to a sqn member who held a mailing list to forward on to others before people had their ducks in a row.

The whole show makes me miserable thinking about it.
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 14:50
  #2148 (permalink)  
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Last one out turn off the light

Ground Grob Good luck with your onward path in aviation;however you can always return (to an organisation, ATC or alternative) if the circumstances change.
The 'Schools' have been treated with utter contempt by the 'system' and frankly the Corps will never be the same again. Your time with the Air Cadets will have given you an insight into how good and how bad it can get and in most cases it is the PEOPLE that make an organisation not ranks and structure.
The ATC has sunk to a low level.but eventually there will be changes and it will rise again,so do not despair, be ready for the second coming, regards and the 'basic's' of gliding will always stand you in good stead whatever you fly.(Space shuttle dare i say more) PP
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 18:46
  #2149 (permalink)  
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It's not the ATC's problem. It's these pesky CGI's. Don't they know about the secret plan, you know, the one where all the higher ups pi$$ off the CGI's and then they're supposed to resign in disgust and then they'll be followed by the Uniforms cos their airfield are being sold off and they'll have nowhere to fly and then flying will be forbidden because gravity is an unacceptable H&S risk. But don't tell anybody, 'cos it's a secr......DOH!!
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 20:21
  #2150 (permalink)  
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Planes and Things - I'm afraid a lot of what you are saying is utter dribble. For a start there are very few actual serving service personnel who fly at RAFGSA clubs. 3 years ago the figure was less than a 100! The majority of the membership are civilians flying on the cheap subsidised by service sports grants mean't for servicemen!
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Old 30th Mar 2016, 22:07
  #2151 (permalink)  
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Planes and Things

The document that you need to read is JSP362 Ch14 and Ch15.

Basically, Service Flying Clubs are not paid for by the MOD or parenting Service. They are funded through non-public monies and Service Sports Charities. Furthermore, they are 'encroachments' using spare capacity on the Defence Estate, therefore they are a very low priority compared to taxpayer funded activity.

For the Air Cadet Organisation (ATC and CCF(RAF)), they are part of the RAF. They serve under AOC 22(Trg) Gp as one of the 5 functional areas under AVM Turner's command. The head of the ACO is a FTRS 1* paid for by tax payer's money, as are the rest of her staff - Regular, Reserve or Civil Service. They are a publically funded organisation and so they, and their subordinate units, have way more clout, as Lodger Units, over any encroachment activity.


Your naivety on this matter is poor and others have also contested your views on the quality of VGS solo training...'nuff said.


Last edited by Lima Juliet; 30th Mar 2016 at 22:19.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 00:15
  #2152 (permalink)  
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Local Paper - Wethersfield Airfield

Old RAF site at Wethersfield has potential for 4,850 homes... or as a prison site (From )
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 08:51
  #2153 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up


Well said

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Old 31st Mar 2016, 09:55
  #2154 (permalink)  
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New funding initiative for Air Cadet aircraft needed

Press release from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (formerly known as GAPAN):

New funding initiative for Air Cadet aircraft needed

The UK Air Cadet organization has given young people initial flight training in gliders and motor gliders for decades, taking many to solo standard thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteer instructors. The last two years has seen a suspension of flying activity due to problems in the management of a maintenance contract.

New proposals have been put forward which mean a significant reduction in the number of training squadrons, airfields and gliders, and the end of the motor glider fleet by 2019.

Whilst the new proposals aim to revive Air Cadet flying, they do so with a much-reduced ‘footprint’ for the organisation across the country. Travelling time to reach flying units will increase. There will also be a considerable reduction in overall airframe numbers. Lengthy lead times will also be incurred in reforming and retraining the instructor cadre, and are likely to lead to a long term reduction in the number of courses to solo standard.

Former Air Cadets have gone on to serve in large numbers in the Royal Air Force, The Fleet Air Arm and the Army Air Corps. Many have also gone into civilian aviation. The prospect of going solo has inspired generations of young people to be interested by the key subject areas of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM).

These subjects are critical, not only to future pilots and engineers in our armed forces and our airlines, but also to our country’s long term future as we seek to rebalance our economy away from a dependence on financial and other services.

If we are serious about ‘Winning The Global Race’ and inspiring our nations’ young people then it is time to look at a new funding mechanism for Air Cadet flying training aircraft that acknowledges current financial constraints in order to make these life-changing and motivational experiences as widely available as possible.

Additional new aircraft are needed, either more ‘Viking’ Gliders to add to the existing fleet, or a fleet of modern light training aircraft. These should all be operated on the civilian register to achieve operating efficiency and predictable costs. Military involvement would be confined to flight safety, training standardisation and core operating funding. This would re-energise UK Air Cadet flying training, and enable the critical developmental experience of going solo to be the core goal of the training program.

Now is the time to recognize the need for a new partnership funding approach between Central Government, the RAF and the aviation industry, as already used by the Sea Cadet Corps and marine industry to deliver sea training assets, to procure additional new aircraft for the Air Cadets.

Organisations such as our own Livery Company can and do provide gliding and flying training scholarships, but we cannot begin to bridge the gap in the numbers formerly trained by the Air Cadet organisation.

We call for a new approach, and offer to co-ordinate a new form of funding initiative between Central Government, the RAF and the UK aviation industry that could procure an additional, modern training fleet for the UK Air Cadet flight-training organization to make its benefits widely available across the country.

Captain Peter Benn
The Honourable Company of Air Pilots.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 10:01
  #2155 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
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664 VGS Newtownards 2007, in all three are pilots from 664, the crewman in the Puma was a former FSC and continued as staff when with 230 at Aldergrove, the Robinson pilot also a 664 instructor.
Not going to happen again .
ACW342 I believe this was the day your glasses escaped from the Puma door

Last edited by RUCAWO; 31st Mar 2016 at 11:53.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 12:04
  #2156 (permalink)  
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Well said Captain Peter Benn
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 12:36
  #2157 (permalink)  
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Just for the record ... Can we try and piece together a view on the pertinent financials here ...

Hansard (Public Domain info) records that the Air Cadet Glider Fleet Maintenance Contract (Syerston) was £9,400,034 for the 7 year period, 3 February 2008 to 31 March 2015. Say a RevEx spend of c. £1,342,862 pa. I appreciate that these maintenance arrangements wern't 'Full Life' for the fleet.


Does anyone know the original CapEx spend (Public Domain) for the acquisition of the original Viking and Vigilant (entire) fleet ?

We'll discount other CapEx and RevEx costs FTB

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 31st Mar 2016 at 12:58.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 12:50
  #2158 (permalink)  
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More Vikings is a non-starter. They have been out of production for years. And if by Light Aircraft he means 'Light Aircraft' rather than 'Motorgliders' I don't get it.................

However a replacement Motorglider would be worthwhile and replacement (rolling) of Viking with K21 makes better sense.

I do however endorse all the sentiments from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

Will anyone listen though I wonder ??


P.S.Coff - I seem to remember the purchase price for Viking as being approx £7M

Last edited by Arclite01; 31st Mar 2016 at 13:43. Reason: Viking
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 14:08
  #2159 (permalink)  
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Thanks Arc ... Let's see what else turns up
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 16:59
  #2160 (permalink)  
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Funding Requirements

The sentiments are fine; however it was/is not the lack of funding that saw the Air Cadets in the situation it is now in.
They have had the 'funds' but poorly overseen it. As we have seen with the ongoing 'recovery' situation there have been no 'savings' with the lack of flying just no end product, but it has been PAID FOR. The very idea that a new 'mini factory' is required to inspect and recover the fleet hardly shows a funds problem, but does highlight a serious management oversight about the results of having had the money BUT NOT GETTING THE GOODS.
I wonder if the Capt from the Hon Company is really aware of the full picture or has he had a 'sanitised' version from the senior RAF members of the company.
I just think it strange that we now have these 'well meaning comments' from elements that seemingly have had no earlier concerns despite the problem going back TWO YEARS.
It is not a new 'partnership funding approach' that is needed it is the acceptance that a serious change of ability is required (and more tech competence) to actually plan implement and oversee the use of the existing funding.
The above is hardly 'ground breaking' thinking it is the NORMAL way any business has to operate in the real world.
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