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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 28th May 2016, 07:54
  #2561 (permalink)  
 
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A&B

My point being a 16 year old Cadet was able to attain this certificate before he could drive a motor car. This was the USP for the organisation and a source of pride on the Squadrons. Was sadly replaced with oodles of dual and One solo.

A Cadet could then apply for an advanced course (more solo's and check out to single seater), and the keen ones would get into a school as a SC.

Brilliant system that made the ATC different to all other organisations,and it was the SOLO aspect that gave the Cadets the inspiration and confidence.
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Old 28th May 2016, 09:32
  #2562 (permalink)  
 
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Worse is to come sadly. I understand the experts who got us into this situation now what to change the commission structure and smash volunteer morale even further. Give it a couple of years and ATC squadrons will be closing through a lack of staff. It's almost as if they want to have a smaller organisation, maybe this is budget cutting through the back door. Either way as someone who is now a senior manager in industry, responsible for employee engagement for a large number of people, I have a new case study of how not to engage a workforce.....
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Old 28th May 2016, 12:50
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Royal Aeronautical Society | Insight Blog | In the latest AEROSPACE magazine - June 2016


Why does the RAeS get involved? If it didn't support the RAF would the current CAS do what a predecessor did and threaten to withdraw membership?
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Old 28th May 2016, 18:15
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The BGA had to come into line with EASA and the age for solo was lowered to 14 some time ago. Even at 16 it was still before the legal driving age.
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Old 28th May 2016, 19:52
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Read AVM Turners article. It speactaculary fails to provide any information on how and why the cluster [email protected]@@ that was the maintenance occured nor whether the MoD has clawed any money back from the contractor responsible or whether anyone has been censured over this.
Letter inbound to MP.
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Old 28th May 2016, 20:26
  #2566 (permalink)  
 
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Smaller Organisation

S-Salad What happened to the Prime ministers statement about increasing Cadet Units in Schools. Was this just an idea or have the schools failed to engage with it.
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Old 28th May 2016, 21:17
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This recent interview will cheer you up (not):

Interview with Air Vice Marshal Turner, HQ RAF - Military Training International

It looks like they are planning to spend 1/2bn to merge all initial training at Cranwell at some point. Somehow, someone thinks spending 1/2bn will save 1bn over 10 years - I would like to see the maths for that utter folly. I wonder if this will be another bright idea like the one to move Cosford to go St Athan, hold on lets go to Lyneham, in fact let's leave Cosford where it is because we can't afford it! With MFTS and legacy flying training at Cranwell, and RAFCAM expecting to move there as well, plus an expanded UAS/AEF, and then the usual Cranwell stuff one wonders where it will all fit. There is a shortage of Married Quarters in Lincolnshire and so where is everyone going to live? Is this the end of Henlow, Honington and Halton? They're building a massive new med centre at Honington so it must be time to close it!

I wonder how many gliders we could buy with 1/2bn?

The B Word
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Old 28th May 2016, 22:28
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Pobjoy - My understanding is that whilst they wanted to expand cadet forces in schools, they didn't want to pay for it in full and expected the schools to stump up most the cash, schools had other ideas. I did have one local (state) school ask me for advice given my background but funding was the killer....

Last edited by side salad; 28th May 2016 at 22:28. Reason: old age
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Old 28th May 2016, 23:16
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Official Cadet figures here: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...stics_2016.pdf

Released this week...
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Old 29th May 2016, 07:29
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100 new CCF units in state schools already up and running. Under resourced but happening thanks to LIBOR money.

Now they want 150 more by 2020. Not going to be easy as all the low hanging fruit has been picked...

But at the same time, the numbers in existing cadet units are falling.
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Old 29th May 2016, 08:19
  #2571 (permalink)  
 
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Recent interview with AVM

Lots of scrambled thinking to go with the scrambled egg.
If I was running the Air Force I would wonder why all this wonderful system stuffed full of high ranking staff could not keep a fleet of Gliders operational !
It beggars belief. Mind you website operational capability spot on and twatter/facebook 'cascading' at an all time high. The government had budgeted 50 million for Cadet expansion yet numbers fall, and there is a Staff/Cadet ratio of approx. 3.5, so huge amounts of money going somewhere but not getting any results, also not doing any 'actual' gliding but the 'enabling' of facilities for the PTT at the surviving VGS is alive and well.
Any reasoned look at the situation would find it hard to believe someone was actually in charge of this current state of play; not to mention being paid for it.

Last edited by POBJOY; 29th May 2016 at 08:59. Reason: add content
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Old 29th May 2016, 12:06
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Any reasoned look at the situation would find it hard to believe someone was actually in charge of this current state of play; not to mention being paid for it.
Oh, there's someone in charge all right, POBJOY, but their agenda is different to ours. This charade was brought about by those who were in charge whereby
this wonderful system stuffed full of high ranking staff could not keep a fleet of Gliders operational !
Their agenda now is to protect those who created that wonderful system and those who have ever since covered that up. There is something rotten in this State and it needs cleaning out ASAP.

We now have a situation when previously respected and honourable institutions such as the RAeS, even the RAF itself, have been infected by this corruption and act as apologists for the MOD. Time then for a latter day Trenchard to step forward and purge the system, reinstate UK Military Airworthiness and Air Accident Investigation, and then reform the MOD itself.

Tall order, but if not then we may see the demise of the world's first independent Air Force before it even reaches its centenary.
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Old 29th May 2016, 16:04
  #2573 (permalink)  
 
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Chugalug2

The original reason for setting up the RAF was strategic use of air power, this was first identified in the report by LT Gen Jan Smuts in August 1917, Smuts commented

"the day may not be far off when aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may become the principal operations of war, to which the older forms of miltary and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate".

Following the demise of the Vulcan some say that the RAF can no longer forefill the role it was set up for and should be dissolved back into the other services.

I do not hold this veiw but as you raised the prospect of the end of the RAF I was think it was time to play devils advocate.
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Old 30th May 2016, 07:59
  #2574 (permalink)  
 
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A and C, thank you for your post. You are quite right that some people do indeed question the need for a separate UK Air Force and would like to see it returned to the separate air arms of the Army and Navy from whence it came. That rather misses the point that I was trying to make though, and obviously failed to do so. My fault, for which I apologise.

By using the word demise I was trying to imply a withering away of a once powerful force to a state of impotence, due to the ever spreading contagion of unairworthiness amongst its fleets. That is the real implication of the grounding of the ACO fleet, a fate shared with the RAF's maritime fleet. It is the tip of an airworthiness iceberg that infects every RAF fleet, operational or otherwise.

All that is needed to start the long hard road of regaining control of airworthiness is for the RAF to acknowledge that it was its own VSOs that caused this situation and for its subsequent cover-up. Then and only then will the vital need for separate and independent Regulator and Investigator, from the MOD and each other, be made clear.

That isn't going to be achieved by committee, it can only be done by one person, of sufficient stature and power, to force through such an acknowledgement. Once that happens then the real work can begin, and the sooner the better.

Time is of the essence, for the withering away continues until such time that it can be checked.

Self Regulation Doesn't Work, and in Aviation It Kills!
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Old 30th May 2016, 11:23
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Chugalug2

We are in violent agreement about independent regulation and I have to work under the oversight of EASA/UK CAA who are not slow to let you know if you are falling short of the mark.
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Old 30th May 2016, 12:00
  #2576 (permalink)  

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100 new CCF units in state schools already up and running. Under resourced but happening thanks to LIBOR money.

Now they want 150 more by 2020. Not going to be easy as all the low hanging fruit has been picked...
Although the new initiative now extends to the "Devolved Administrations" - i.e. Wales, Scotland and Norn Iron - the original CEP (Cadet Expansion Programme) was for England only as Education - under whose remit it falls - was a devolved responsibility.
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Old 30th May 2016, 12:22
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A & C

I beg to differ on EASA/CAA airworthiness in respect of pilot licencing, supervision, recency and competence. In fact, I would be so bold to say that in some areas of their responsibility it appears to be non-existent compared the supervision of commercial air transport.

As an EASA licenced pilot there is little supervision of what I do and in the very unlikely event of being caught by the CAA doing something wrong then it can take years for them to do anything about it. I also hear rumours that there are rogue maintainers within the GA community that only get caught out when there is an accident - I think the accidents in Caernarfon and Cranfield in recent years are indicative of that?

So maybe all is not as rosey in EASA/CAA land in the non-commercial sector?

Chug

You often espouse that the MAA is not fit for purpose regarding its independence. What is your suggestion, then? But before you answer I would offer that even if the CAA oversaw MoD aviation then the fact that these are 2 Governent bodies means that they cannot be truly independent? Furthermore, if an independent body were set up outwith the Government then who pays for that? One could argue that it is almost impossible to achieve true independence without taking people out of the loop - everyone has their own centre of gravity to lean one way or another!

--------------------------------------

Back to the thread. I believe that taking gliding out of MAA-land and into EASA/CAA/BGA-land would be a good thing. Having a tiny fleet of 75-odd MAA regulated gliders makes no sense at all - in expense, manpower and effort. If we wanted some more independent oversight (but even then not 100% independent) then flying gliders under EASA/CAA/BGA rules and regs would save a whole load of heartache and the ability of enjoying synergy with the civil regustered fleet. You can still put a roundel on a civvy reg aircraft and even apply for an exemption from the CAA to carry military registrations - trying to run them on an airworthiness system from the MAA is just plain dumb...

The vast majority of gliding carried out by the military in the last 26 months (yes, that's how long it has been!) have been on JSAT courses or via the 3 Single Service Gliding Assocs - funny old thing they fly EASA/CAA/BGA gliders that cost about 3/4s of the cost to run one than those on the military register. Taking that example, if we can only afford to run 75 Vikings then we could have 300 Grob 103s running for the same cost. Utter madness...

IMHO of course!

LJ
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Old 30th May 2016, 12:30
  #2578 (permalink)  
 
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A and C, thank you for your "violent agreement"! I understand that the MAA is counting as independent airworthiness auditing the issue of ARC's by EASA. I am very suspicious of such moves by the MOD. I don't doubt for a minute the strict compliance that EASA demands of commercial aviation that you refer to, but does the same go for the military airworthiness of member states? The words "bite", "hand", and "feed" come to mind!

Unless and until Regulator, Investigator, and Operator (aka the MOD) are separate and independent of each other, UK Military Airworthiness will continue to remain blighted.
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Old 30th May 2016, 13:01
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Chug, Others,

Perhaps I might be allowed to offer a couple of observations here.

I think A and C brings up a good point - just how WOULD any organisation run (presumably by the government) that was 'responsible for the regulation, surveillance, inspection and assurance of the defence air operating and technical domains' (this text taken from the MAA website) be truly 'independent'?

I've suggested before that the RN, ARMY and RAF should all have organisations in place to 'enhance the delivery of operational capability through the continual improvement in military air safety, appropriate culture, ....and practice'. The MoD should properly be the guardian of higher 'joint' regulation affecting air safety. My suggestion for more 'independence' would be met, in my view, a (very active) supervising board made up from recognised experts and professional organisations. But hey, that's just my view.

The reasons I make these points is that the Air Cadet gliding scandal (and scandal it most certainly is) raises some issues that should, in my personal view, be addressed in public. These are simple training aircraft being used by school children and flown by volunteers. Here's my stab at a starting list I'd like to see answers to:

Was a full airworthiness and safety audit of the fleet conducted on their initial introduction to the Military Register and who signed it off? (As Tucumseh would remind us, this has ALWAYS been a requirement). Did the Vigilant and the Viking have proper safety cases and risk registers? Did they have approved and controlled configurations? Did they have proper accredited DA support?

What had 22 Group RAF been doing with the Air Cadet Fleet since 2010 when they took full charge? Who has been responsible for supervising the maintenance of the fleet? How about the PT in DE&S? Plenty of very senior people around there who should be answering some questions.

What exactly was it that was serious enough to warrant, in 2014, the whole fleet of ATC gliders and aircraft to be grounded over an Easter week, which is one of the Air Cadets busiest? Can't have been 'technical issues' across two fleets, could it? Are we looking at a systemic issue?

But to my mind, one of the biggest questions to be answered is this - where was the Military Aviation Authority? Hadn't they carried out audits of the Air Cadet Fleet? (They were, after all, RAF aircraft). Wasn't the PT checked out? Hadn't they checked out 22 Group?

My final point - these issues deserve much better answers than the spin and froth that has recently been offered up in an RAeS publication.

Anyone on PPRuNe got any details on these issues?

Best Regards as ever to those trying to get Cadets into the air

Engines
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Old 30th May 2016, 13:02
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LJ:-
You often espouse that the MAA is not fit for purpose regarding its independence. What is your suggestion, then?
Sorry Leon, we clashed (posting that is ;-). Of course, no system is or can be perfect. No doubt an independent MAA, or just as importantly MilAAIB, will be open to much justified criticism. My hope though is that it could at least be free of the malevolent influence of the MOD (and the RAF Star Chamber!) if placed outside that body.

AFAIK, the CAA is a Self Funding Public Corporation. Of course, it is still prone to government pressures, but at least it is not dependent on it for its very existence. In any case, the parlous state of UK Military Airworthiness was not brought about directly by UK governments per se, but rather by the incompetent and malevolent action of RAF VSOs desperately trying to claw monies out of ring fenced Air Safety budgets that their own gross negligence dictated. The possibility that such illegal action and orders could be resorted to had never been anticipated, but they were, and in covering that up to this very day UK Military Air Safety continues to be subverted.

My solution? Well, I could suggest that by sending an SAE and Postal Order for 10/- to I, Horace Batchelor, at Dept 1, Keynsham (spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M), Bristol, you too can receive my famous Infra Draw Method of Independent Air Regulation and Investigation, but I might fall foul of some EU regulation or other!

Suffice to say that this is truly a matter of National Security, way above my OAP rate, but can and must be attended to. The real difficulty isn't the solution but the opposition from the MOD. That must be met head on and overcome. When we have an independent MAA and MilAAIB (wedded to the CAA and AAIB? Mixed civilian and Service staffed? Why not?), then I would suggest a complete reform of the MOD might be a good idea, but let's do one thing at a time!

As to funding, this would come from the long suffering British Taxpayer, via HM Treasury. Yes, I can see the problems too, but as I said earlier, the real cause of this was RAF VSOs within the MOD, not HM Government. The problem with my solution will be the personnel rather than the money. Would a dedicated branch (Air Safety?) of professional military regulators and investigators help get the Star Chamber off their backs? You are more in the know regarding the modern RAF than I. How bad is it?
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