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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 15th Apr 2016, 13:25
  #2281 (permalink)  
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VSO Turkeys don't vote for VSO Christmas to they ?, they don't want their chances of a shiny, shiny OBE or KBE going down the pan.................

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Old 15th Apr 2016, 14:49
  #2282 (permalink)  
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Turkeys 'Form orderly queue please'

ARC The sad fact is that most of the people that could have helped have little or no indepth knowledge of the subject.
This means they rely entirely on briefings from those that can manipulate the information to their own ends.
That is why the position of Cmt 2 FTS was so important,and why the selection made was so disastrous.
The ACO has been led down what will prove to be a one way street to Decline City. The 'jewel' of the 'hands on' flying available to anyone has been sacrificed on the alter of incompetence and personal agenda's,and the system is in such 'mega denial mode' they can not see what has happened and why.
It will be interesting to see if the Scouting movement can take up the slack from this debacle, and whether some of the decades of Cadet Gliding can help them do this.
With no changes on the horizon at Syerston the future is just a 'downward spiral'.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 15:45
  #2283 (permalink)  
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Julian Brazier MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Reserves,
House Of Commons
Houses Of Parliament
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 17:07
  #2284 (permalink)  
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Given, again, the continued public reference to the use of 'Simulators' by the Minister for 'Glider Training' ... The comments made by Airbus38 and BEagle at Posts 1923, 1976 and 1986 remain entirely apposite.

I was recently PM'd with the following information ...

The 2 FTS ‘PTT – Operations and Training Manual’ confirms that (direct quotes):

“This device does not meet the MAA specifications to be designated as a simulator”

And ...

“Due to the lack of feedback on the controls, not all elements of the syllabus can be demonstrated and practiced”
My Bold

So out of curiosity, more than anything, I looked up the MAA Regulations (available on-line and in the Public Domain) fully expecting to see how the MAA 'Define and Specify' Flight Simulators for use by the UK Military ... Here is what I found ...

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

I have also included two screen grabs to preserve the present information.

Image Credit : MAA Public Document RA 2375

Contrast this with the EASA 'Certification Specifications for Aeroplane Flight Simulation Training Devices' and the MAA Regulatory Article begins to look a little 'thin'. Whilst I'm not readily conversant with modern day terminology such as ADH or AM(MF), it still seems a bit perplexing for the MAA to 'Devolve' a responsibility to 'Approve FSTD's' without first fully Defining and Specifying what a FSTD is or isn't ... after all the MAA published mandate on RA's is ...

The purpose of Regulatory Articles (RA) is to provide the framework of policy, rules, directives, standards, processes and the associated direction, advice and guidance, which governs military aviation activity and against which air safety is assessed.

Now see EASA Example ...

Certification Specifications for Aeroplane Flight Simulation Training Devices

Page 5 of the above document helpfully describes the various sub-categories of Civilian FSTD's.

Some might think I'm being pedantic ... But without a clear Definition and Specification by the MAA on FSTD's there is a clear anomaly between MAA RA 2375 and the 2FTS PTT OTM ... and without a MAA FSTD Definition who decides on 'what' elements can be taught ?

In closing ... have a look at this video of the Vigilant PTT at Topcliffe. To be clear ... I'm not making any criticism of the Instructing Staff ... My specific point relates the the availability of the completely unnatural 'Slew View' Function to view the deployed spoilers ... As a minimum this function IMHO should be inhibited as in real life you turn your head. Keeping your head 'Looking Out' is the Airmanship point ... relying on the slewing of views could well induce bad and dangerous habits. I assume the Viking PTT has the same 'Slew View' Function.

Vigilant PTT : Slew View : Potentially Bad Habit Forming

Happy to stand corrected/respond to further comments.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 17:17
  #2285 (permalink)  
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Well I tried - the reply I have received to my "RAF 100" suggestion , that they sorted Air Cadet gliding

Thank you for contacting RAF100 with your thoughts on Air Cadet Gliding. Unfortunately this does not fall within my remit to resolve, however, I am aware that AVM Knighton is working closely with AVM Turner to try to improve issues such as gliding.

Kind regards

Your ideas formThis form was sent at: 02-Apr-2016 12:16
YOURIDEA: Get Air cadet gliding sorted
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 17:32
  #2286 (permalink)  
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The RA provides the "framework". The problem is, there is nobody willing to mandate and ensure that it is implemented. That was the basic issue reiterated by the Nimrod XV230 senior Reviewing Officer, and then reiterated again by Haddon-Cave. And, given the above RA dilutes hitherto mandated regulations to "should" instead of "shall", it can be seen the current MAA regime is a regression.

You are not being pedantic. You are absolutely right.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 18:07
  #2287 (permalink)  
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Cheers Tuc
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 20:54
  #2288 (permalink)  
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To be fair the PTT is good from an instructor POV as a proceedure trainer and keeping existing skills sharp but yes the all important lookout is neglected as the screens force you to stare forwards.

Not sure it's quite sharp enough as an initial trainer
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 21:11
  #2289 (permalink)  
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Thanks S109

But at c. £25K a pop (£625K for 25) it seems a bit excessive for just a 'Procedures Trainer' ... Most of us just sat in a cockpit, in the hanger, with the FRC's and drilled until hands and brain eventually synchronised

Initial Trainer/PTT all a bit meaningless without a formal MAA FSTD Definition/Specification ...

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 16th Apr 2016 at 09:15.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 21:33
  #2290 (permalink)  
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Coff, I started at 664 at age 46 and sat in the hangar with a FSC aged 17 and went through the FRC's as you do. I'm now retired and he's flying left hand seat in executive jets.

Just think of how many cadets won't become FSCs and who are not going to get the opportunities to light the fires of aviation ambition (and not be trained by the crusty old CGI's who formed the backbone of the VGS's)
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 22:22
  #2291 (permalink)  
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On the basis that a 'Glider' has few systems, nav equipment,electrics, comms,fire control,or indeed anything needing a static 'procedure' simulator where exactly does a PTT fit in with the Viking fleet (If we are to believe the recovery program).
The main 'emergency' situation for Gliders is the low cable break,and the training for this is best done 'for real', this is the only sensible way to get a student used to the combined attitude change and decision making which is a total waste of time in a static PTT. The PTT may have had a place in the Vig's with a modicum of things to 'practice' but as they are history that requirement goes with them.
By all means let the Cadet Squadrons have them as something to give a semblance of 'aviation' but do not pretend they are a substitute for 'hands on' gliding.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 22:55
  #2292 (permalink)  
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As an avid home simulation fan myself, I have something to add to this discussion:

The idea of using fixed screens for flight simulator displays is fast becoming old fashioned, the future is in Virtual Reality goggles.

Without wanting to geek anyone out - essentially they feature a screen that you mount to your head, which fills your entire peripheral vision with the simulated scene. The headset tracks the movement of your head in 360 degrees and moves the view in the simulator accordingly - so real head movement will mirror the simulator head movement, giving you the ability to practice good lookout.

The goggles present two different views to each eye, with one offset slightly from the other, in order to give true 3D vision, which gives the critical aspect of depth perception, important for judging height on round-out, etc.

Everyone I know who has tried it say that the feeling of immersion is fantastic, and that you feel like you’re really sitting in the cockpit.

Compatible with all major consumer sims, including FSX (and its modern successor, Prepar3D by Lockheed Martin) a VR goggle flight-sim system can be purchased for around £2,500 all in.

In future, low-cost motion platforms will also be available, which, when coupled with the fact that VR goggles fill your entire peripheral vision, will trick the brain into believing that the motion is real.


While the PTTs will be useful for practicing procedural drills, VR goggle-based sims would be useful for practicing visual circuits, developing good lookout, etc.

I had more than one instructor ask me upon landing whether I had any home simulation experience, and when I replied in the affirmative, they said it showed in my flying.

One instructor summed it up well – simulation teaches you to recognise what a “good picture” should look like, thus allowing you to, for example, judge whether your approach is too high or too shallow, and adjust accordingly.

A simulation company called Iris Simulations (owned by an ex-cadet) has already developed a fantastic Tutor, and are working on a Viking.

The technology that is out there right now really is going to blur the lines between low-cost desktop simulation, and high-end full motion dome simulators.

Last edited by HP90; 16th Apr 2016 at 00:16.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 12:20
  #2293 (permalink)  
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HP90 Whilst not denying the quality of the new technology the ATC do not have this or should be having it at the expense of the real experience.
The top brass are using the 'excuse' of PTT to suggest it is now a real part of the training package (which it is not).
We are in danger of talking ourselves out of the whole point of ATC gliding which was to provide a REAL flying experience to any Cadet up to solo standard using simple technology.
Just because the cretons in charge (up top) could not manage to keep the system in shape does not mean the original purpose was not excellent or the VGS were not doing a good job under difficult circumstances.
With a lower entry age limit and a potential long wait to attain 'The Solo' the ACO have lost the plot on the reality that few Cadets will have stayed long enough to go solo.
Giving them different badges on the extended 'dual' journey is a complete farce as it does not even lead them to a BGA cert when they solo.
Just because the F...W...s in charge are on different planet and believe their own spin on FB and Twatter does not mean they have any idea what they had was World Class, or how 'they' have destroyed a fine system.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 13:12
  #2294 (permalink)  
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I have this dream that someone like Dave reads this thread and drags those responsible to No.10 (on a Sunday) and locks them in a room until they come out with a simple, workeable fix...............................
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 15:50
  #2295 (permalink)  
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HP90 ...

Thank you for your contribution.

However ... We need to be perfectly clear here. Initial Flying Training (for Gliding even more so) involves the 'teaching' by an instructor 121 and the 'learning' of a highly practical skill by the student that requires full immersion in the 'real' world thus allowing the ab initio Pilot to develop/master the necessary eye, hand, feet and brain coordination to succeed. The student then builds on these foundations as they progress through their training ... FACT There is NO substitute for this as mentioned by Pobjoy

In fact there are many Mil & Civ QFI's who will say that anyone wishing to learn to fly should stay well away from any form of 'simulation' (especially Desktop PC 'Game' simulation) until they have gained 'safe habits' and sufficient experience with 'real' world flying first ... Even then to be cautious about such usage.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for proper 'synthetic' training ... But not at the ab initio stage. A 'procedures' trainer is perfectly acceptable (aka a Cardboard Bomber) to learn NORMAL and EMERGENCY FRC Drills ... But it's just as easy to sit in a cockpit in the hanger and 'chant' away until your checks and drills become second nature. That way, when your QFI pulls the throttle on take-off and asks you to perform an EFATO, you have a sporting chance of getting most of the exercise right

Turning to your comments on VRG's, yes it partially solves the 'view' issue, but they introduce more inconsistencies with the 'real world' flying environment. Just using your Tutor T1 example screen shot ... If I were to reach out (goggles on) with my right hand to adjust the OBS Knob, I wouldn't see MY right hand doing the necessary. In any case (unless you intend to go for the open cockpit 'Biggles' experience ... the goggles you show are again an 'unnatural' experience)

These Air Cadet PTT's are based on the X-Plane 'Game' software (£49.99 from TransAir) with many other 'add-ons' both soft and hard (scenery, cockpits and simulated gauges etc). If they are to be NO more than a 'procedures trainer' then there is no need for the visuals IMHO. So any reasonably informed observer would have a valid case to question the CapEx spend of £650K if they are to be no more than a 'procedures trainer'.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 16th Apr 2016 at 17:09.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:26
  #2296 (permalink)  
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I think the PTTs are going to end up being a useful 'fill-in' for an organisation that has not only failed to extract its digit, but has followed it up its own orifice.

With the PTTs, they can now build up a whole virtual flying world, and an additional, spurious hoop to jump through for both adult volunteers and cadets. The only way to save PTTs, which became obsolete as soon as the decision was made to retire the entire VIGI fleet, will be to cobble together some simulator-based pipeline around them.

So, the choice seems to be clear - you can either fly or be in the ATC. The 2 ends are mutually exclusive during the 75th anniversary of the Air Training Corps.

Stand by for a smug little press release involving a PTT, a celeb, a cadet and a growbag-suited instructor letting us all know how much better things are now that we don't actually fly any more.

PS: no disrespect at all aimed at ATC volunteers and cadets. Any disrespect is aimed squarely at the 'professionals' and Senior Officers who broke the faith and brought a fine institution to its knees. Have any operational aircraft types been subjected to a catastrophic long-term grounding like this, or is it just the Tutor, Vigi & Viking?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 22:50
  #2297 (permalink)  
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1960's Stimulators

In the 60's we did not have simulators we had real live STIMULATORS.
One of these was the 1 Ton Austin 4x4 open body truck that was the main 'prime mover' for the winches,and also hauled cables.
However at lunch time this beast 'driven by staff Cadets not old enough to have a civvy licence' would do a quick round up of the course Cadets (in wellies) who would then leap up into the back and be transported with much laughter and sometimes singing off to the NAFFI or Airmens mess.The effect of course Cadets being assisted by S-Cadets was an essential part of the organisation,and it made the system quite unique in a 'service based operation'.The level of 'self development',and motivation whilst using service equipment has never been surpassed, and the sight of 'other Cadets' seemingly running the ground ops had an electric effect on the Students. This is what ATC Gliding was about;Cadets helping Cadets to go flying and eventually go solo.We had the best system in the world which cost very little in real terms,and nobody had the right to throw it away because it did not suit their blinkered views on how it should be done.
ATC Gliding was/should be a 'HANDS ON' experience ; this is what made it special,and STIMULATING.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 02:27
  #2298 (permalink)  
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Just to address some points raised here:

I’ll start by saying that I’ve thought for a while that small-scale flying and gliding clubs could make much better use of modern low-end simulation technology, in order to reduce the time it takes to get to solo, and thus reduce the cost of doing so (although with regard cadet gliding, the emphasis should be on saving time, not money).

I completely agree that simulation should not replace any “live” flying – all elements of the syllabus should be flown for real, not exclusively a simulator. However, that’s not to say that simulators can’t augment real flying.

I also agree that elementary training should be about getting a basic feel for flying – and feel is the one thing you really can’t get in a simulator. A common criticism of simulators is that aircraft fly like they’re on rails, and I would have to agree with this. You can’t simulate that random patch of sink or lift, or that random gust on approach, etc.

One thing that really surprised me when I first started learning to glide (having used simulators for a number of years beforehand) is how much the nose wanted to wonder around – in the simulator, it always stayed pointed where I wanted it. Another thing the simulator doesn’t replicate very well is adverse yaw, which makes getting a sense of the required co-ordination a lot harder.

And of course, simulators can’t give you force feedback, nor the sensations of G, and most critically, cannot give you the “pucker factor” of knowing that an error may well cost you your life.

Thus, in elementary training, I see simulators being used in the context of “familiarisation”, rather than actual “teaching” – meaning, being used to give a general overview of the concept in question, rather than how to actually physically fly it.

An example: When learning to fly circuits, my instructors would typically demonstrate how a circuit should be flown, while talking through the basic principles (once overhead X, make a 90-degree turn and position the wingtip in line with Y, etc.). Once running through that, they would ask me to follow through on the controls the next time around, before finally letting me have a go myself on the third flight.

But, what if that initial familiarisation flight could be done in a simulator, so that upon taking to the air, you already know the basic concept of how the circuit should be flown, allowing you to proceed straight to the follow-through stage? The end result would still be that you’ve flown a circuit, but you’ve reduced the number of flights it takes to do it.

There are numerous other examples too, such as stalling, spinning, how to center in a thermal, etc.

It might not be much of a reduction, but if you can shave off one flight here and there, then it all mounts up. I know I’m going to get pilloried for suggesting this, with people saying that the goal should be to get cadets more air time, not less, but whilst I agree with that, if the use of simulation can make the difference between having enough time to get to solo, and not, then which is better?

A point that’s been raised here before is that, at AEFs, cadets typically sit around just waiting to fly – well, imagine a networked simulator, with one instructor running through the basic concept of flying a circuit, or a stall, with 10 or so cadets all viewing that same simulation via their own VR goggles, listening to the instructor via audio. Wouldn’t that be a much better use of time than watching Top Gun?

Some other points I want to make:

I don’t quite know how those PTTs allegedly cost £25,000 each – guys build full replica 737 flight decks for less than that.

With regard not being able to see your hands in a simulator – there is in fact a solution for that – see this video:

And here’s another good video demonstrating the principle of VR goggles:

Whilst it’s true that X-Plane and FSX are marketed as “games”, not many people know that Lockheed Martin actually bought the rights to FSX from Microsoft, and now market a much enhanced version of it as a professional simulator under the name “Prepar3D”. This was apparently because LM saw a gap in the market for low-end simulators amongst their military customers, and Prepar3D is in fact now used in many military simulators around the world.

The Canadian air cadets recently set up their own simulation centre using Prepar3D, you can read about it here:
Canadian Air Cadets Get Prepar3D® ? Lockheed Martin - Prepar3D

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that I think simulators can indeed have a place in basic flying training, but more as a familiarisation/overview device, rather than as a traditional training device.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 08:09
  #2299 (permalink)  
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c4aero hasn't graced these pages for a while. However, perhaps he would be willing to post the text of his recent letter to the Air League? The last paragraph of which basically implies "Stop moaning, shut up and get on with it......" (not a direct quote, merely my interpretation).

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Old 18th Apr 2016, 10:08
  #2300 (permalink)  
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"Stop moaning, shut up and get on with it......"

Well, if retired VSOs (even if they say they are only Flying Officers) disseminate this type of demotivating message with regard to the Jewel in the Crown of the Air Cadet operation, there could well be more of this crass stuff coming from the current batch of VSOs.

I am not too sure I would volunteer my services to this lot of has beens!!

Stand by for incoming
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