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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 9th Aug 2016, 22:27
  #2801 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Leon, good point, and I'm not sure what is meant by the AAIB "convening a five member Board of Inquiry". The BoI would surely have been convened by the AOC (38 Gp?), and as was made clear by SoS Healey was not to be held in public. I can only assume that the AAIB took a lead role in the Inquiry and so was free to use its expertise to swiftly find the cause and have its recommendations constitute much of the BoI's findings. A rather more proactive state of affairs than occurred in the Mull BoI whereby the AAIB Inspector was greatly constrained in his role. Hopefully we can source the BoI Report and all will be made clear...
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 06:52
  #2802 (permalink)  
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I think the article suffers a little from a confusion of terminology and the common misconceptions about the role of the AAIB (or AIB in those days) in a military accident investigation; where they don't so much investigate but examine part of the evidence. Any attempt at investigation is severely restricted by not being permitted access to key data, which means they cannot focus correctly or swiftly on areas of obvious interest (such as the aircraft not being airworthy). Also, their final reports are heavily edited and very often bear no relation to the Inspectors' reports. Chinook ZA721 in 1987 is the obvious example, where the AAIB almost immediately produced photographic evidence of most likely cause, and MoD buried it and said cause not determined.
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 07:27
  #2803 (permalink)  
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Thanks tuc. Unfortunately I can find no link to the BoI for TG577, but hope that others more adept at t'internet might find some link to it, if only a summary. I'm afraid that wiki is not the best authority on anything, simply the most convenient. Your point about the AAIB's role in BoI's is well made. They do not conduct the Inquiry, the RAF Board does. They merely contribute what the Board asks them to and, as you say, a great deal of that may never appear in the final RAF published report. Hence the call for an independent military investigator "sistered" to the AAIB.
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 08:56
  #2804 (permalink)  
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Grounded Vigilants

Shaft109 says...

OK lets say I bought a Vigilant and paperwork as they are right now and wanted to put it on the CAA Register.

WHat would be required and what sort of cost are you looking at?
Of course you don't think the VSOs would allow any of their grounded Air Cadet Grob 109s to get out into the public domain to show how easy it would be to get them into the air again
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 14:06
  #2805 (permalink)  
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This link does not cover the TG577 BoI but has an eye witness claim that a CAA Inspector (?) was at the crash scene very quickly post the accident, and just as quickly searched for and discovered the fractured bolt(s). I suspect that he was possibly an AAIB Inspector who lived close by.

Thus the AAIB would have deduced the probable cause of the accident before the RAF even had time to convene the BoI. Could that be the cause of confusion in the Wiki version of events? The accident features about half-way down the page:-

Hastings Bangs and Prangs and Splashes and Crashes

The crash of Hastings TG577 at Little Baldon, Oxfordshire

Information kindly supplied by David Rayner on October 20th 2003 (June 2005 David Rayner has recently started his own website page on TG577 so if anyone can help click here http://www.aaahs.org.uk/crash1965.html )

RAF Handley Page Hastings C1 TG577 crashed at Little Baldon, Oxfordshire at 1600hrs GMT Tuesday 6th July 1965. All 41 passengers and crew on board died. The aircraft was based at RAF Colerne Wiltshire.

An RAF Board of Inquiry was opened at RAF Abingdon to establish the cause of the crash into a barley field of 100 acres at Little Baldon.

Many eye witnesses saw the aircraft in difficulties, which was full of parachutists heading for a drop over Weston-on-the-Green, the pilot radioed that he was in some sort of trouble and apparently avoided missing the nearby village of Berinsfield. The first ambulance arrived from Didcot but the plane was an inferno. There were no survivors, an all night guard was placed around the scene of the crash with many sightseers jamming the local roads.

One lady eyewitness thought the Hastings was performing stunts whilst a male farm worker who had arrived on the scene thought he saw that some soldiers had deployed their parachutes. Apparently Hastings TG577 had landed upside down in the field.

Salvage experts were concentrating on checking the elevator tail bolts connected to the tail plane, the BoI had later determined that the cause of the accident was due to metal fatigue of two of the elevator bolts, this put stress on two more bolts that failed. The Hastings climbed steeply out of control, stalled and crashed into the field. It was trying to return to Abingdon and I understand that a Beverley aircraft was already at the end of the runway preparing to take off, but TG577 couldnt make it back to Abingdon.

This in effect grounded all Hastings aircraft and only a few Hastings carried on in service being replaced by the C130 Hercules. The elevator bolt fatigue was an ongoing problem with this type of aircraft and several Hastings crashed due to this design fault since it first flew in 1946.

An Inquest was held at The Guildhall in Abingdon with a verdict of accidental death, all victims died from multiple injuries, the aircraft was reported as recently being serviced.

At this point in time this was the worst peacetime accident involving any passenger aircraft of the Royal Air Force.

Received from David Barrott on July 3rd 2004:

Reference the crash of TG577. As I recollect, (being in close contact with several RAF and Parachute Regiment personnel at the time) .

Shortly after takeoff the pilot requested a priority landing at RAF Abingdon as he was experiencing some stiffness in the elevator controls. He was asked if he was declaring an emergency and requesting emergency clearance but
declined. Shortly after the aircraft assumed a nose down attitude. The pilot corrected this, but the elevators went hard up and locked there. The aircraft went to near vertical before stalling and dropping to land inverted. The altitude at the commencement of the manoeuvre was approximately
5000'. The First vehicles on site were the ambulance and fire tender from UKAEA Culham Laboratory, who's drivers were subsequently reprimanded for leaving their base without permission although their CO was in Reading at the time. They had reached the crash site cross-country by breaching the
fence of the Culham Naval Stores depot and a bill for replacement of the fence was received within a month.

Added on 4th November 2004 by Ch/Tech Ray Bunce ex RAF Benson via Doug Adams

One specific that I have been provided with some additional comments for are your article

about the Hastings TG577 tragedy in July 1965. Most of the comments serve to complement

or supplement the fuller details already printed. My cousin is Ray Bunce who, as Chief Technician R.A. Bunce, was NCO in charge of the RAF Benson Duty Crew on that fateful evening, and took the call to attend the scene.

The crew travelled to the crash site, a barley field it is reported, travelling in the standard

3 ton Bedfords provided. The crew arrived after about an hour, presumably after the

chaps from Culham mentioned in your main article. The severity of the crash was

already known or generally anticipated as they travelled expecting only to assist in the

recovery of bodies. On arrival at the scene the only recognisable piece of aircraft was the (upside down) tail unit.

Already at the scene, presumably called from his local base or home, was the Inspector

from the CAA who straightforwardly advised that he had no doubt of the cause, fatigue in the

elevator attachment bolts and was looking for these bolts to satisfy himself this was the

case. On finding the two broken parts of one of these bolts, he reassembled it for the crew to

look at, to show how difficult this fatigue was to detect visually. (My own comment but, given all that had been said and documented about these bolts failing in other situations, why had an effective correction not been made before more crashes and fatalities?)

A rather poignant In Memoriam here which lists 30 RAF and 11 Army Airborne of the 41 total fatalities, a ratio that I was hitherto unaware of:-


Last edited by Chugalug2; 10th Aug 2016 at 14:56.
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Old 13th Aug 2016, 21:20
  #2806 (permalink)  
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A little bird told me today that the Vigilants could return to cadet flying. Unfortunatley it looks like it will be Swedish Air Cadets not UK ones.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 11:43
  #2807 (permalink)  
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Sounds about right !
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 14:48
  #2808 (permalink)  
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Oh, that's just perfect, aircraft which were used as stepping stones to train allied aircrew are to be used by a nation which played both sides and gained financial benefits from doing so , { ask me how I really feel about this!}
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 19:14
  #2809 (permalink)  
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As an ex staff member I attended 612 VGS disbandment parade today. Amongst the guests were a Lord Lieutenant, Air Chief Marshall, Air Vice Marshal, Major General, Brigadier and Colonel, as well as a number of local Mayors. Anyone representing HQAC, 2FTS or CGS were noticable by their absence.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 21:09
  #2810 (permalink)  
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Indeed VX275 I was there too, a great event. OC 2FTS was sadly on leave though he was definitely invited, I understand.

Spooky that a civvy glider 'landed out' on the runway while we were listening to the speeches.

I then ferried an aircraft to Membury to a hangar full of Vikings. An interesting visit... And on the way home we encountered what looked like a civvy G109.
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 10:11
  #2811 (permalink)  
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Wink The 612 Funeral vs 75th ACO celebrations @ Cranwell

just really a very sad but telling coincidence that 612 officially closes down as one of the, or THE most productive VGS in the UK on the very same day that the ACO parades itself to celebrate 75 yrs. Shame nobody publicised at the 75th Cranwell event that the opportunities we gave years ago have now evaporated into the shambles where we have very few A/C of any type operating on a VGS anywhere, where we have built accommodation blocks at questionable airfields but can't use them as they have no aircraft and as the pictures show, immaculate aircraft stood in a disused hangar posing the un-answered question of who and what are we going to do with them ? Can't help thinking despite all the "airworthiness" issues, that for a large part the Vigilant didn't fit in with OC 3 FTS vision for the future. When he finishes next year we can all evaluate his "legacy". What does it all prove? The Amateurs were the professionals and vice versa !!
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 12:48
  #2812 (permalink)  
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The Cranwell parade was on Saturday, the 612VGS Flag Lowering was on Sunday afternoon. Plenty of time to drive down even with a hangover from Saturday night. Also, hadn't anyone at Cranwell / Syerston ever heard of the concept of delegation.
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 13:51
  #2813 (permalink)  
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Is there some policy afoot to stop ATC cadets from even seeing aeroplanes? As a retired RAF A2 Bulldog QFI owning my own Bulldog with a valid C of A, I approached HQ Air Cadets with a view to flying a few of my own ATC Sqn. No reply. This week I offered to just show the cadets around a very interesting hangar full of old jets. Oh dear, cannot do that, was the reply, you have to get permission, but the ATC internet is down, so you cannot even ask; moreover, you will need copies in triplicate of the airfield's public liability insurance etc. This is enough for me to think why should I even bother.
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 14:55
  #2814 (permalink)  
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The document you need to comply with is Air Cadet Trg Order 35 (ACTO35). There are a whole lot of qualifying criteria you need to meet. Hours on type, hours in last 30 days, Class 2 medical, under 65, etc... Lots of other stuff. When cleared, no aeros either if I recall correctly. All measures to derisk the activity as the Cadets will be doing this in Cadet time so there is a liability issue if it all goes wrong during the flight - I guess its the same showing them around a hangar as well. You'll also need to have some DBS clearance done to prove that you are able to work with children, or be chaperoned by someone who is.

I do know that a lot of 2FTS are away on summer leave at the moment as well. I have been waiting for an answer since last week on another matter from the same chap who does ACTO35 stuff. My advice is to ask for the ACTO35 from your local ATC sqn to see if you meet the criteria first.

The B Word
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 16:07
  #2815 (permalink)  
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The problem with ACTO35 isn't the criteria, it's the process - which I suspect is just undermanned.
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 20:38
  #2816 (permalink)  
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When the Corps were having problems with the Tutors I wrote to my local Wing pointing out that a local civvy flying school was available to help. The school has been CAA audited as a Flight Training Organisation (twice) and passed with no adverse comments. I was assured that details had been passed up the line, and would be dealt with in due course.

Bear in mind that this was April 2015.......... so far, nothing heard, not even an acknowledgement of having received the details allegedly passed on.

Last edited by bobward; 16th Aug 2016 at 20:39. Reason: Carnt spell some worms properleeee
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 07:04
  #2817 (permalink)  
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Rightly or wrongly, the RAF has decided that merely because a flying school is CAA approved (or a BGA club similarly) they still have to audit it. This means that there is no blanket permission to use either.

To be fair to them, the RN does the same with RYA centres - I am issued with an 'approved list' I can use for cadets.

Now, whether a system of approval of civilian FTOs would be cheaper than the current system is worthy of debate.
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 13:31
  #2818 (permalink)  
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Health and Safety / Red tape crap

Rightly or wrongly, the RAF has decided that merely because a flying school is CAA approved (or a BGA club similarly) they still have to audit it. This means that there is no blanket permission to use either.
This week I offered to just show the cadets around a very interesting hangar full of old jets. Oh dear, cannot do that, was the reply, you have to get permission, but the ATC internet is down, so you cannot even ask; moreover, you will need copies in triplicate of the airfield's public liability insurance etc.
A solution to the problem.

The cadets are 'on duty' for a sightseeing mini-bus ride from the squadron to 2 yards short of an airfield / civvy gliding club / any other 'highly dangerous' activity. They disembark and become 'off-duty'.
What they get up to during the day is between them and the 'host' organisation.
At a set time, they all meet 2 yards away from the 'dangerous activity' for an 'on duty' sightseeing mini-bus trip back to their squadron.
The squadron only have to complete the paperwork for a mini-bus trip
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 14:33
  #2819 (permalink)  
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Which would be OK until someone stubs their toe and 'elf and safety" and the lawyers get involved
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 16:47
  #2820 (permalink)  
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The problem with ACTO35 isn't the criteria, it's the process - which I suspect is just undermanned.
Requires auth at Regional HQ and HQ 2FTS. Until very recently auth at the 2FTS level was either Wg Cdr Flying or Comdt 2 FTS personally. Not that he has a fetish for micromanagement or anything...
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