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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 19th Jan 2017, 15:21
  #3181 (permalink)  
 
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Little Ris is a housing development worth £lots - easy access to Cheltenham, Oxford, M40, M5 and the M4 corridor - Cala could ram it full of four and five beds at £800k a-piece and sell every one before it had been built...
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 17:10
  #3182 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pegasus107 View Post
Arclite01 - not factually accurate as Kinloss is available for AT a/c, Watton was used up to recently for VGS work, Bassingbourn has just degraded due to cost of keeping to flying status not necessarily due to Army involvement.

The big problem is the cost to keep runways up to a certain standard. Who pays? DIO, who look after the real estate, don't have the money as they can't keep what they do have up to a decent standard, let alone a strip of tarmac that the RAF might use.

For example, a strip of tarmac not a million miles from a big lake in Rutlandshire, hasn't been used in 6 years but its still in good state, good enough for anything that the RAF could throw at it. Just needs a sweep and spray the weeds.

But who pays........ Army? No, they don't have the need of a runway. RAF? No, its not part of their empire anymore. DIO? No, they can't afford it. But if the work was done, it would be the taxpayer who picks up the tab at the end of the day.
Pegasus 107, or anyone else.

Do you know why the VGS (611?) moved out of Watton? Is the airfield now derelict/beyond use?
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 15:50
  #3183 (permalink)  
 
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jmtw2,

The Air Cadets website published a news article dated 2nd December 2013 about 611 VGS that stated 'Following the disposal of Watton, Viking operations ceased in Easter 2012'. It isn't clear what state the airfield operating surfaces (including single tarmac runway) are in after 5 years of no use or use for farming/other purposes.
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 16:32
  #3184 (permalink)  
 
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Watton used to be my VGS. Flew over it last week.

Unused since 2012 and sold off to local farmer (who is gradually selling off bits to the local housing estate that now encroaches on the former airfield. Grass areas all ploughed up for crop. Perimeter track being broken up for hardcore in support of housing estate.

Runway being used to store bales in plastic although about 300 meters of the original 2000 meters at 1 end appears clear but I think is used as hardstand for farm machinery at various times.

Air Cadet Hangar still there but unsure what is stored in there. Local farmer got a bargain Ag store there !!

Original C Type hangars long destroyed (over 10 years ago). The VGS asked for one of the 4 remaining C type hangars for use as a base when they moved in but was told by DIO that it would cost £30K to refurb for use. Too expensive................ so they built a new hangar (about 1/4 the size) for £60K instead. That is building the farmer now has as an Ag store, full power and water etc, concrete base and sliding door facility (65 feet aperture) and internal portacabins (not included in original price).............

Vandalised MoD sign on main road still forlornly says '611 VGS'

So sad. It'll not see airfield use again IMHO.

Arc

Edit: I believe the sale price was £1.5M - ridiculous for over 600 acres of land plus hardstand and runway. In East Anglia now, Ag land is approaching £10,000 an acre. Another brilliant commercial decision by the MoD...........
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 17:41
  #3185 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, I was the WGLO when 611 were told to cease flying at Watton....

As an aside, it seems that the end of the RAFVR(T) commission is nigh:

http://http://www.raf.mod.uk/aircade...2D6D97895E4672
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 18:34
  #3186 (permalink)  
 
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Auster Fan, quite correct about the demise of the VR(T). Another nail in the coffin of what used to be a very good organisation, staff are already suffering from low morale, this will just make matters worse as people vote with their feet. Not even sure this change is legal, I thought you could only have your commission taken away (irrespective of whether a lesser one is on offer) if you had fallen foul of Military Law. Be interested if anyone has a qualified view on this. Mods, please feel free to move if this is too much thread drift.
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 18:38
  #3187 (permalink)  
 
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Arc,

This is sad but probably to be expected I suppose. You don't happen to have any photos do you?

Pity the grass has all been ploughed up. Was the grass used for Viking launches and/or landings by 611 or just the runway? And how many take-off/landing runs were there - just runway direction (11/29) or were there others for when there was a significant cross-wind?

Interested to know the facts, as are a few other people, if you can help.

jmtw2
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 19:05
  #3188 (permalink)  
 
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Must admit, I thought the initial grounding of ATC gliding was a short-term correction of some maintenance errors. Unfortunately, I now suspect that we can see the murder of the ATC in progress!

OAP
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 21:19
  #3189 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...t%20Report.pdf

In case Engines is still looking
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 21:25
  #3190 (permalink)  
 
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AusterFan (as I am having learned to fly in J1/N s) -the link seems to have been taken down
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 07:22
  #3191 (permalink)  
 
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Shaft109

I've read the report you provided a link to. To pick just one aspect; the repeated use of the phrase "self-declared area of non-compliance". This is clearly a euphemism for "There's no way we can be compliant, because there is an interdependency whereby MoD/MAA must provide complementary core services, which it doesn't". Given these core (centralised) services were largely chopped, and the subject of numerous highly critical reports throughout the 1990s warning of the effect, it begs the question how other project teams cope.

If I may refer to another thread running on PPRuNe. Nowhere does this gilder report mention, for example, a safety case or the status of the Master Airworthiness Reference. Yet, MoD acknowledges that the Hawk didn't have the former, and so the latter was fatally compromised. I'm afraid this smacks of the glider fleet being picked on as an easy target, perhaps to demonstrate that the new MAA regime is robust. Yes, there are organisational faults, but close analysis reveals many have arisen as a result of being denied resources, not because they don't know how to use or apply resources. One example is not having access to electronic data storage and management systems which others in MoD have had for 25 years and more.

I recommend other projects teams read this and ask themselves - would we pass? I know the answer, and I'd wager the "failings" are the same. I'd also like to see the MAA's recommendations, which should be the same as every ART report from 92-98 - implement mandated regulations. Only then, could you conduct a fair audit on the project team.

To paraphrase Engines - best of luck to those having to cope with this.
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 07:59
  #3192 (permalink)  
 
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jmtw2

No pictures I'm afraid.

There was the main run which was on the alignment of the runway. We used the hard runway and the grass for both take offs and landings.

There was a cross runway run also available for when wind direction and speed dictated it. I have a feeling that is was about half the length of the main run and was all grass. It was rarely used as I recall as usually we stuck to the main run whenever possible.

Arc
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 08:01
  #3193 (permalink)  
 
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What Watton Airfield Used to Look Like

Originally Posted by jmtw2 View Post
Arc,

This is sad but probably to be expected I suppose. You don't happen to have any photos do you?

Pity the grass has all been ploughed up. Was the grass used for Viking launches and/or landings by 611 or just the runway? And how many take-off/landing runs were there - just runway direction (11/29) or were there others for when there was a significant cross-wind?

Interested to know the facts, as are a few other people, if you can help.

jmtw2
jmtw2,

Google Earth shows what Watton airfield used to look like before it was handed over for farming. You can see clearly that there was a grass cross-runway, which was important (as you suggest) for coping with the Viking cross-wind limits. These limits were (and still are as far as I know) 5 knots for a cadet solo and 11 knots for Grade 1 pilots and Qualified Gliding Instructors.

Someone out there may have some more recent photos for you to take a look at so you can see what state the airfield's in now.
Attached Images
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How RAF Watton Was.jpg (127.2 KB, 30 views)
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 08:03
  #3194 (permalink)  
 
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.................and as for that business about removal of RAF VR(T) commissions

welcome to the cub scouts and brownies organization. Will they be issuing woggles ??

Arc
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 08:08
  #3195 (permalink)  
 
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tuc:-
implement mandated regulations.
For all the many threads that have run in this Forum re Airworthiness Related Fatal UK Military Air Accidents, or mercifully this one which doesn't, all can be reduced to these mere three words. They are not directed in the main at those who do the flying or do the servicing, they are directed at those who work in the dusty MOD corridors and whose preoccupation for too long has been damage limitation and the cover up of past scandal.

Principal among those of course is the military air regulator, aka the MAA itself. If ever there were an up to date illustration of the New Testament Parable told in Mathew 7, v 24-27, it is the MAA:-

Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.
I would commend some Bible reading in those MOD corridors. No acronyms of course, and the references to rain and flood are apocryphal before stats relating to them trigger a paper extolling the initiatives taken to counter water borne hazard. We once had an Air Safety System that worked. Then it was attacked by RAF VSOs for short term gains at the expense of safety and it has never recovered. In retrospect it was built on sand. Before it can be rebuilt it must be built on rock, ie independent and safe from future such attack and interference.

It took HM Coroners to tell the RAF that there is something wrong with their bloody aircraft. It takes ancient scripture to recommend a long term fix.
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 08:32
  #3196 (permalink)  
 
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Aah Watton, back in the days of Canberras and varsities and other odd things
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 09:37
  #3197 (permalink)  
 
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Shaft,

Thank you - and yes, I'm still looking. Your very helpful post triggered me to do something I should have done a long time ago, and go to the 'what do they know' site - I'm working through that now. Once again, my sincere thanks.

First response - the link you posted was the MAA's report on their CAMO Initial Audit Approval Report carried out in Dec 15. There's a lot there, and I'll post later once I've assembled my thoughts, but here are a few initial thoughts.

The MAA report helpfully tells us that this wasn't the first 'Initial Audit' - the first was carried out in December 2013, which was a 'fail'. Now this is interesting, as the DHAN 86 issued by OC2FTS in April 14 referred to a 'trial of the newly created CAME' at which 'evidence emerged' that 'called into question' the 'type and continuing airworthiness of the...fleets'. That now appears to be an example of being 'economical with the truth'.

Actually, it's a lie. In December 2013, 2FTS badly failed their initial CAMO approval audit. No 'trial'. OC 2FTS even had the gall to say in the DHAN that it was 'pleasing to note that the MODCAM process had proven its design utility'. A b*****d child of a phrase, a piece of mangled English that looked suspicious at the time. Now we know why.

This 2013 audit opened up a can of worms. Such a huge can of worms that it took two years to get ready for another audit. Which they failed again. The final 'Initial' (!) MAA approval finally happened in June 16.

I've also found the Feb 16 2FTS response to the failed audit in Dec 15, listing in detail their proposed analysis of why the problems were there, and their corrective and preventative actions. If anyone wants an example of what's going on with the UK's military airworthiness management, this could be a textbook example. In every one of the 25 issues raised, the response is a cut and paste version of the same story:

1. Analysis- The reason we had the problem was a lack of resources
2. Corrective action - We will get more resources to establish a CAMO team and prepare a compliant CAME plus processes.
3. Preventative action - We have got more resources, and we are establishing a CAMO team and reviewing our processes.

So, nobody failed to do their work (or as Tuc would say, 'follow mandated regulations'), the solution is more people, and it will all be OK because we'll pass the audit.

Hoop. I'd have rejected it and set it back for some proper staffing. There's more, but I'll just bore everyone. More digging required, though.

Best Regards as ever to all those having to tick the boxes while doing the actual airworthiness engineering stuff,

Engines
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 09:39
  #3198 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jmtw2 View Post
Arc,

This is sad but probably to be expected I suppose. You don't happen to have any photos do you?

Pity the grass has all been ploughed up. Was the grass used for Viking launches and/or landings by 611 or just the runway? And how many take-off/landing runs were there - just runway direction (11/29) or were there others for when there was a significant cross-wind?

Interested to know the facts, as are a few other people, if you can help.

jmtw2
I fly out of Old Buckenham, so next time I'm up I'll take a couple of pics. It's a sad waste of an airfield, as indeed is Swanton Morley...
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 16:29
  #3199 (permalink)  
 
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Report

I ironically spotted the link on the Wikipedia VGS page- placed in plain sight.
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Old 21st Jan 2017, 18:39
  #3200 (permalink)  
 
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Wander00, Ah Watton, don't forget the Lincolns !.
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