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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 15th Feb 2017, 19:43
  #3261 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Cats

Pobjoy was talking about the Cadet Mk3 - not the Viking. Viking circuits always at least 5 minutes sometimes 10 or 12................. (average 8 mins)

I have some Cadet Mk3 circuits of 2 minutes (not launch failures !)

Arc
Hence my comments about glass etc. However the constant talk about the past as a reply to a question about now makes it hard to understand what would be done now, if the gliders were airworthy.
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Old 19th Feb 2017, 14:09
  #3262 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Is that Swanton Morley as a replacement for Wethersfield and South Cerney as a replacement for Merryfield ??

I don't get that. South Cerney is so close to Little Ris as makes no odds, except that the site may have a longer life in MoD hands. Swanton has trees all over it and the Army have already said the site is closing in 2023................and Swanton is inside the Norwich CTA ............

unless these 2 are additional short term 'flexibility' sites..................

Arc
Arc,

So what effect do you think the Norwich CTA and their operating procedures would have if a VGS/Vikings were to move to Swanton Morley? No flying at all on some days (depending on RW in use at Norwich)? Low ceiling for operations on other days (I think the airfield elevation at Swanton Morley is about 150 feet?)? Safe?
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 09:31
  #3263 (permalink)  
 
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ATFQ

Not convinced that in it's current state the surface and airfield is really suitable for VGS Winch Launch operations.

CTA is not a safety issue as such. The CTA issue could be overcome by activating the Swanton Box anytime the VGS was operating however the maximum flexibility of operations is not best served by this approach IMHO. A local agreement with Norwich might be workable, after all, Wethersfield operate with Stansted close by............ and they have a REAL number of aircraft movements

The CTA is currently 1500' (so 1350') - this would easily be exceeded on a good winch launch. But is plenty high enough for Winch Launch and circuit training. Frustrating on a soaring day though.............

It would just be nice to have a VGS back again............. issues around hangarage etc can be overcome...............

Arc
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 11:08
  #3264 (permalink)  
 
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Pegpilot

I read that, always tickles me how the AEF flying gods need ATC to operate 3 or 4 GA aircraft.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 12:33
  #3265 (permalink)  
 
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Standing back from this - something is wrong here.

How many obstacles / excuses do we put in the way before they get back up and running?

Of course safety is paramount but the ACO is absolutely drowning in Red Tape and people are drifting away in droves as the effort required exceeds the rewards.

Other countries' ACOs seem to make it happen in a common sense, safe environment and the BGA simply keep on trucking.

We try and replace A/C with Part Task trainers that while useful in specific circumstances esp for instructor currency simply are not the real thing.

Frustrating as ever the Cadets bear the brunt.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 12:57
  #3266 (permalink)  
 
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The something that is wrong is that the UK ACO Gliders are not airworthy. The reason for that is because the UK Military Air Regulator is dysfunctional. The reason for that is the attack on UK Military Air Safety by VSOs in Haddon-Cave's "Golden Period" dealt it a fatal blow (try running a system that requires continuous review and audit given 28% cuts per annum for in excess of three years and VSO orders to suborn the regs. It doesn't work!).

The only ray of light in this gloomy scenario is that the fleet was grounded before someone died. Other fleets haven't been so lucky, there have been 70 deaths in airworthiness related UK military fatal air accidents itemised in this forum. The latest being Sean Cunningham's death at Scampton in 2014.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 15:13
  #3267 (permalink)  
 
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" I read that, always tickles me how the AEF flying gods need ATC to operate 3 or 4 GA aircraft."

Is that right? Surely adequate SA could be maintained by the pilots simply broadcasting their position & intention in the blind. Are these pilots low-houred, inexperienced at flying without ATC or just not very good?

Last edited by Thud105; 20th Feb 2017 at 15:14. Reason: clarity.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 16:13
  #3268 (permalink)  
 
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Is that right? Surely adequate SA could be maintained by the pilots simply broadcasting their position & intention in the blind. Are these pilots low-houred, inexperienced at flying without ATC or just not very good?
https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/6-20...-february-2009
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 17:42
  #3269 (permalink)  
 
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Hmmmm. Funny how the rest of the world manages. I visited Lasham when I was visiting the UK a while back. I must've witnessed about 100 movements that afternoon;- winch launches, aerotow combinations and motorgliders taking off, gliders, motorgliders and tugs landing. No ATC (and, for the gliders - no go-around). They seemed to cope.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 22:30
  #3270 (permalink)  
 
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Airworthiness/incompetence

Whilst i agree there is certainly an AW issue in all this, the real culprit has to be overall incompetence/negligence in the ATC organisation/RAF/MOD.
The AW issues have been well covered,but it is only compounded by the ongoing scenario.
Implementation of the useless PTT farce
Complete lack of direction re equipment replacement
Total lack of management skills re VGS closures/new operations
Complete lack of leadership from HQ AC and 2 FTS
No obvious cogent plan as to how the remaining VGS will get going or be staffed,and by whom.
Lots of people are still in well paid full time jobs whilst all this chaos 'cascades' around them.
No one up top has grasped the fact that no one K w t h is going on or what to do.
No one is in charge of this driverless runaway train which can not hit the buffers because there are none;so it rolls along with various clueless staff retiring, or being promoted out of the line so no one can be brought to task.
A COMPLETE AND UTTER DISGRACE TO THOSE WHO RAN THIS CAPABLE OPERATION FOR SO LONG AND PUT SO MUCH BACK IN TO THE SYSTEM.
THE CADETS HAVE BEEN DENIED LIFE BUILDING CHANCES,AND HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY THROWN AWAY TO NO AVAIL.

REMEMBER WE ARE TALKING ABOUT GLIDERS FOR GOODNESS SAKE; MONtY PYTHON WOULD BE PROUD.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 22:59
  #3271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
ATFQ

Not convinced that in it's current state the surface and airfield is really suitable for VGS Winch Launch operations.

CTA is not a safety issue as such. The CTA issue could be overcome by activating the Swanton Box anytime the VGS was operating however the maximum flexibility of operations is not best served by this approach IMHO. A local agreement with Norwich might be workable, after all, Wethersfield operate with Stansted close by............ and they have a REAL number of aircraft movements

The CTA is currently 1500' (so 1350') - this would easily be exceeded on a good winch launch. But is plenty high enough for Winch Launch and circuit training. Frustrating on a soaring day though.............

It would just be nice to have a VGS back again............. issues around hangarage etc can be overcome...............

Arc
Arc,

Swanton Morley looks a shade too close to the Norwich RW centreline?

It would be nice to have a VGS back again I agree, but it needs to be in the right place too, near to where most of the cadets are who would like to be flown!
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 08:12
  #3272 (permalink)  
 
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JMTW2

Swanton is well clear of the RW Centerline for Norwich. Also there is the 'get out of jail free card' of the Swanton Box.

And it was never an issue when the VGS was based there before...........the VGS moved out because the Army moved in and needed the airfield for their Polo pitches !! (yes - I kid you not)

WRT the Cadets - the previous VGS was responsible for Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge and Lincs based Cadets so there is plenty of trade hereabouts..........

Arc
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 09:00
  #3273 (permalink)  
 
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POBJOY

On the basis of the evidence, I agree with your thoughts. I had considered "giving something back" with the ATC but, I would not go near them now. The ATC is being murdered IMO.

OAP
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 09:49
  #3274 (permalink)  
 
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WRT the Cadets - the previous VGS was responsible for Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge and Lincs based Cadets so there is plenty of trade hereabouts..........
No quite correct. Lincs based sqns go (well should go) across to Syerston. Cambs based sqns go across to Henlow, Wethersfield with only a couple going to Watton/Honington.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 10:19
  #3275 (permalink)  
 
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Well said indeed Pobjoy. The fleets are grounded for airworthiness reasons, but you rightly list many of the failings that led to this. Predictable, predicted, notified and ignored.

I remain of the opinion the Air Cadet fleets are being singled out in an attempt to show MoD/MAA is being tough, to divert attention from the serious systemic failings affecting front line fleets and their support. The aircraft can be made fit for purpose. I doubt if the MoD/MAA can.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 10:58
  #3276 (permalink)  
 
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Chug

Sorry I meant to elaborate more on my question of why? it was more rhetorical as Tuc and Engines have explained exactly why they are grounded from the airworthiness side.

The thrust was why can these problems with aircraft and systems not be trampled to death within weeks?

To use the phrase "either sh1t or get off the pot" before everyone walks away.
I understand that this is beginning to happen.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 11:52
  #3277 (permalink)  
 
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S109, point taken. Another thing in the favour of the ACO fleet is that it can be, and apparently is being, restored to airworthiness (in part at least, and obviously far too slowly for the Air Cadets purposes). More complex and sophisticated systems and aircraft are less easily dealt with. The really big elephant in all this is the Regulator itself. It has to be reformed and made independent of the MoD, together with the Air Accident Investigator. Unless and until the MAA and the MilAAIB are outwith the MoD and independent of each other, then UK Military Air Safety will remain compromised, and we can expect more "pauses" and/or airworthiness related air accidents. That reform will inevitably point up the serious and deliberate maladministration, illegal orders and actions that have been the subject of continuous and continuing high level cover-up. In short what does the RAF High Command prefer, airworthy fleets or untarnished VSO reputations? It can't have both.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 21st Feb 2017 at 12:06.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 12:01
  #3278 (permalink)  
 
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The thrust was why can these problems with aircraft and systems not be trampled to death within weeks?
MoD got rid of the people and the system which would never let it happen in the first place. When it did happen, under a regime that actively encouraged it, there were many who saw it coming (e.g. RAF's own Director of Flight Safety) but the culture created by senior officers meant few risked their careers by raising concerns.

It is very difficult to explain after all these years how we felt when instructed to undertake a 5 hour drive, just to be carpeted by a 1 Star for having the temerity to meet legal obligations. And then being threatened with dismissal by his 2 Star boss for refusing to disobey illegal orders (to make false declarations about airworthiness and probity). My elderly boss, because he apparently couldn't get a grip of his staff, was given a new working pattern. Monday 0730 - 1800 in London, drive to Harrogate; Tuesday 0730 - 1800 in Harrogate, drive to London, and so on. Month after month, relentlessly driving him into the ground for simply supporting his staff who were stuck between a rock and a hard place - meet legal obligations and face the sack, or commit fraud and endanger aircrew. Some did the right thing, others didn't. This explains why some aircraft and equipments are robust, while others are (in the immortal words) "positively dangerous". It also explains why some problems became apparent immediately, while others crept up over many years.

None of this is new. No apologies for repeating it, but it was all in the evidence to, for example, the Nimrod Review.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 21:07
  #3279 (permalink)  
 
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Lack of Air Cadet Gliding Opportunities in London and South East Region

Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
JMTW2

Swanton is well clear of the RW Centerline for Norwich. Also there is the 'get out of jail free card' of the Swanton Box.

And it was never an issue when the VGS was based there before...........the VGS moved out because the Army moved in and needed the airfield for their Polo pitches !! (yes - I kid you not)

WRT the Cadets - the previous VGS was responsible for Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge and Lincs based Cadets so there is plenty of trade hereabouts..........

Arc
I wonder what London and South East Region thinks? Where would all of their cadets who used to glide at Wethersfield go to, realistically, within a reasonable travelling distance? 615 VGS at Kenley does extremely well but can't serve the whole catchment area. And Swanton Morley is not even in the catchment area.
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 12:36
  #3280 (permalink)  
 
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ATFQ

I believe that the future strategy is to have accom on site so that gliding will become a full weekend activity rather than a 1 day 'there and back' activity. So distance will supposedly be less of an issue.

This introduces problems all of it's own but lets not go there..............

Arc
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