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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 5th Mar 2017, 10:12
  #3301 (permalink)  
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Some good news at last. But it appears it takes about 5 months then, from return to flight with 2FTS supervision to flying cadets. A few other VGSs have come live again such as 622, but many are still deathly quiet, even ones that don't require conversion such as 615 at Kenley and 626 down in Cornwall. Sounds like the start of a very long 'unpause'. Nearly a year on since the re-structuring and disbandment news.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 09:17
  #3302 (permalink)  
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Good to see some positive news out of this whole fiasco..................
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 10:39
  #3303 (permalink)  
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Forget the politics this is what it's all about:

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Old 7th Mar 2017, 18:21
  #3304 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by boswell bear View Post
645 VGS flew their first cadets since "the pause" today.
I think by now it has to be termed, "The Great Pause" (of 2014).
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 08:10
  #3305 (permalink)  
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You mean 'the really great pause' surely.............

(I get your joke/reference/programme)

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Old 8th Mar 2017, 14:48
  #3306 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post

You mean 'the really great pause' surely.............

(I get your joke/reference/programme)

The 2014 eruption of Incompetence...?
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 10:07
  #3307 (permalink)  
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The 2014 eruption of Incompetence...?

No more like the uncovering of years of previous incompetence and putting a stop to it before anything happened
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 20:09
  #3308 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Shaft109 View Post
The 2014 eruption of Incompetence...?

No more like the uncovering of years of previous incompetence and putting a stop to it before anything happened
Putting a stop to everything yes, and not having the competence to resolve it. 3 years is an outstanding testament to that.
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Old 10th Mar 2017, 09:09
  #3309 (permalink)  
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Having had the opportunity to read both the Vigilant and Viking Aging Aircraft Audit reports the pause should have started in 2009 when they were published.
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Old 10th Mar 2017, 18:16
  #3310 (permalink)  
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Are the Vigilant and Viking Aging Aircraft Audit reports available online?
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Old 10th Mar 2017, 18:35
  #3311 (permalink)  
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Fact: there has been a pause and, yes, it has been painfully long.

The milk has been spilt. The only focus now should be on getting back to a better place. That this will take time does not mean that it should not be the focus.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 12:42
  #3312 (permalink)  
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Perhaps I might offer a comment here.

You say that 'the only focus now should be on getting back to a better place'. I fully understand why anyone involved in executing the recovery should think that. At the tactical level, that's absolutely right, just get on and clear the problems, get the cadets back in the air. Great.

Except for a couple of rather important points. Where exactly ARE the RAF getting back to? (And how do they 'get back' to a 'better place'? Is that the same 'place' as the 'worse place' they were previously in?). Sorry if that sounded sarcastic, it's not my intention. My point is that an organisation can only get itself sorted out if it understands what went wrong, identifies who was responsible, and then acts to stop it happening again. Honestly, I'm not convinced that the RAF can do that. Why do I come to that conclusion? First, what might be called 'cultural' failings. The RAF's leadership has, time and again, been shown where it has failed to achieve or maintain airworthiness in its aircraft fleets. Almost every time, it has ignored or, even worse, covered up, its failings. Sorry, but I don't see any signs that this aspect is changing.

My second reason for concern is more particular to the ATC fleet issue. Looking at OC 2FTS's response to the MAA's CAMO audit, the reason for the failings was identified as 'lack of resources'. His proposal is to 'obtain more resources' and to set up offices of people dedicated to producing the 'airworthiness assurance' documentation required by the MAA regs. Sorry, I don't buy that. Lack of resources wasn't the reason for failure to document repairs. It was a failure by RAF engineering officers to carry out their mandated duties. Loss of configuration control was due to a failure by MoD PT personnel to implement mandated regulations that have existed for many years. Same with toleration of poor documentation and lack of quality control. Failure to implement simple regulations. Common sense regulations. All the 'assurance' in the world won't make an organisation do the right thing if it's not organised and led properly.

Going forward, what I'd like to see is some equivalent of the system elsewhere in the public sector where an organisation is identified as 'failing' or 'unsatisfactory', and then put under 'special measures', where an external team comes in and does what is required to get it back up to an acceptable standard. To my mind, that would properly fulfil the MAA's remit to ensure that schoolchildren are, in the future, being flown in airworthy aircraft. Of course, labelling 2FTS a 'failing' organisation would be anathema to the RAF. As would labelling a DE&S PT as 'failing'. And that's kind of my point. Until this IS admitted, real progress will likely be nil.

Best Regards as ever to all those working honestly and hard to pick up the pieces,

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Old 12th Mar 2017, 09:00
  #3313 (permalink)  
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Engines On the basis that the 'issues' relating to the 'pause' happened when part of 3 FTS it seems that the ATC were 'sold a pup' by the TFR of responsibility to a new organisation.
Did OC the new 2FTS have any other option than the action he took even if his 'handling' of the situation was less than open to the staff he inherited.
It rather looks as if the RAF have sought to pass the buck to a volunteer organisation that had no part in the original failings.
The 'back handed' comments re 'volunteers' and the civilian element almost seem to be an attempt to rewrite history to the point that the RAF could run the organisation fine, but well, look what happened when we handed it over.
Of course those of us with a memory of past events know different, but the public perception may well be what the RAF/MOD are more interested in, and those in charge at the top have hardly a great reputation for seeing the truth coming out.
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 13:23
  #3314 (permalink)  
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We discussed nearly 3 years ago (post #97) the apparent Walting by a very small, but not insignificant, number of people involved in Air Cadet work. I can't help thinking that this may also have shaped 2FTS' thinking on personnel, the new commission and who was invited to continue. I have highlighted in bold some pretty significant issues that surround what appears to be the Grand Master Walt, but surely those around him in ACO knew that things weren't right; so why did it take so long to find him out? Was it because some of his early behaviour was a part of the VR(T) culture and was seen as a 'norm'? Taken from: https://thewaltercumpershunterclub.w...esley-tierney/

Meet walting biggles Wesley Tireney. Gliding instructor who faked a pilot’s licence and illegally flew planes for six years – risking the lives of children

First the Facts that are true:
Wesley was a qualified gliding instructor with a VGS (Volunteer Gliding Squadron) where he was qualified to fly the Grob 109B or as the Air Force call it, The Vigilant motor glider.

No civilian qualifications were needed for this; it was a military instructional qualification specific to the aircraft type. In becoming a VGS instructor, one of the routes you can take is by going through the gliding scholarship process (as an Air Cadet) and then apply to be a staff cadet.

This is the route that Wesley took. From there, a bit more advanced training is undertaken and over a few years you eventually work your way up to going on an instructors course, after flying more solo hours and taking cadets up on experience flights after various training and flying assessments.

VGS’s fly Air Cadets on experience flights and also conduct Gliding Scholarship training, teaching a cadet up to a solo standard where they fly the aircraft on their own for one circuit.

The VGS’s also do more advanced training beyond that for staff. Wesley was only ever a B1 instructor. A B1 instructor on a VGS is someone who has passed their probationary period as a junior instructor.

He was at 616VGS (Henlow) then moved to 644VGS (Syerston) where he converted to the Viking conventional glider. It is understood that before he moved on from 616VGS his exaggerated stories sparked a unit enquiry to take place.

Wesley also did have a commission in the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) branch. This is a commission given to adult volunteers of the Air Cadet forces, to give it some military structure and empower them with various authorisation to help run their detached ATC units.

The same is true for VR(T) commissions on the VGS. It goes without saying a lot of trust is put into them, as the VR(T) commission is afforded the same courtesy as a regular commission. As an interesting aside, Wesley brought his own Commissioning sword – which is almost embarrassing for VR(T) commissions. An early sign of Walt-like behaviour.

As for the rest on his CV: the majority of it is total fabrication.

Every civilian flying qualification he lists on his CV is a complete lie – he hasn’t even made any attempt to progress towards a civilian flying qualification by taking any flying lessons e.g. training for a Private Pilot’s Licence.

The claim of the 1700 hours is a total lie. He was flying aeroplanes as pilot in command on which he had never received any training. It was only luck that he didn’t manage to kill someone as these types of aeroplanes are far more complex especially when it goes wrong.

He had no training on what to do if it did. He took family, friends and young children flying, with absolutely no licence or proper training. There are over 200 accounts of him doing so illegally, for which he has recently been prosecuted.

Gliding instructor faked a pilot?s licence and illegally flew planes for six years - risking the lives of children - Mirror Online

Even more staggering and a perfect example of his increasingly delusional behaviour is the fact that he was signing private pilots off for their bi-annual proficiency check; this can only be done by a Flying Examiner.

Examiners have thousands of flying hours and many years of experience under their belt. The purpose of the bi-annual check is for the pilot to prove to the examiner that they can operate the aircraft safely and in accordance with rules, so the examiner can be certain they have met a minimum standard.

As private pilots only have to have this check every 2 years, this is a chance for the examiner to plug gaps in their knowledge and re-train as appropriate.

The chance of one of these private pilots (who Wesley signed off) having a serious or fatal accident was therefore increased a lot more than if an experience examiner were assessing them. Some attached photos show him flying with a private owner – Where you can see him wearing his own custom designed Alpha flying helmet and sporting military flying gloves, whilst in a light single engine General Aviation aircraft.

Again, this shows the lengths he goes to in order to portray the image of being ‘better’ or more skilled/experienced than he ever was.

Certain post nominals on his CV are made up, especially the ‘cfs’ part. A cfs post nominal is ‘Central Flying School’ – you gain this post nominal on being awarded a flying qualification by RAF Central Flying School – a qualification such as an A2 or A1 category instructor – These are ‘above average’ or ‘exceptional’ instructors respectively.

The amount of experience, knowledge and flying skill/discipline you need to have as an A category instructor goes without saying.

They are very experienced instructors who have shown they can reach a very high standard in all areas.

Wesley never achieved this, nor was he even close to, which is a huge insult to all those that have.
As for the rest of the Professional Qualifications on his CV, again a large majority of this is total fabrication.

Anything flying related is a lie – the only flying qualification he ever had was a B1 with a VGS and the rest is made up. We are very doubtful of the all the Flight safety/Ground Ops qualifications, as there would be no need for him to have done half of these in his role – they are certainly exaggerated if he received any form of training and almost certainly not full MOD/military qualifications.
With regards to his other VGS ‘achievements’, he may have filled various ground roles, but was certainly not the Deputy Chief Flying instructor, which is an important and highly responsible Flying Supervisors post.

It should also be noted here that Wesley has never been qualified to fly the Tutor aircraft, but on his CV he claims to be a Staff pilot on 5 AEF and 7 AEF.

An AEF (Air Experience Flights) offer 20 min flights to Air Cadets in the Grob Tutor where they can do things such as aerobatics, usually flown by retired military pilots. 5 and 7 AEF have been informed and have never had dealings with him in any ‘staff’ capacity.

Wesley involved himself in various voluntary organisations to add to his ‘Walt’ status, the biggest example being the BBMF.

It is known that the BBMF volunteers have a very important role to play. They are all given black coveralls with the BBMF crest/ badges to be easily identified by the public at events when they are performing various roles; Ground crew, fund raising, PR, etc.

Wesley volunteered with the BBMF and took his image a step further. He had his black flying suit embroided with his gliding brevet in an almost identical fashion to a Display Pilot, so with the other badges the BBMF wear, a member of the public would be none the wiser.

Especially when posing around the aircraft at air shows, desperately trying to look like something he wasn’t. It has been heard second hand through acquaintances that he was known to claim he had flown into the air shows in some of the aircraft that were displaying there.

He was known to frequently turn up to other public events in flying clothing, which did not require it, whilst wearing other items he’d purchased at his own expense (e.g. NATO leather flying jacket) to fuel the image that he was a full time military pilot, or something certainly more elevated than he was.
With regards to Wesley’s ‘job’ in the RAF – he started out at RAF Syerston as an Operations Assistant, which was a civilian role.

He was never full time military or RAFR. Despite what he claims, his role was only ever ground base helping out with the operations and manning the air ground radio. However, on social media profiles and to others outside the industry he claimed that he was a Military Air Traffic Controller – those in the Air Traffic trade will know how laughable this is.

It should be noted that in his CV where he claims to have covered the role of Duty Operations Controller at RAF Brize Norton (responsible on behalf of the Station Commander) – this is also entirely fabricated and again showcases his delusional thoughts.

After various run-ins and occurrences with other staff, he ended up moving on amd in suspicious circumstances most likely due to getting individuals in trouble with various lies which ended up with someone having their posting cut short. It can be said he did not leave on good terms.
Moving on from RAF Syerston, Wesley was focusing his sights more in the civilian aviation community. Not through choice; Wesley left in VRT in disgrace –

The Air Force Board stripped him of his commission and discharged him as it was found out he was involved in various fraudulent activities involving transport and travel claims. However, this did not stop him wearing his uniform and rank to gain access to military stations and using his MOD90 to still act as an Officer. Even living in the officers mess at Cranwell for quite a while until he was detected.

Despite this, he claimed to be attached to an RAF auxiliary unit (Additional Commitments) at Waddington, still with a commission as a Flying Officer. Whether this is true or not is unknown – this is a story that he told to various acquaintances and is being researched.
With regards to his recent employment at North Weald airfield as a Flight Information Services Officer, this qualification was also forged.

Whilst a FISO is not an Air Traffic Controller, they are still more responsible than someone manning an Air Ground radio.

They are expected to perform various responsible duties regarding the movements of aircraft. Here is where colleagues grew suspicious of Wesley’s ‘qualifications’ which sparked the investigation, which has just come to a close.

Alongside these forged qualifications, his stint at North Weald (during which he involved himself with other airfield organisations) highlighted other unscrupulous activities – he was a thief.

Over the years, Wesley ‘acquired’ many items and artefacts. Paintings and pictures (the ones usually found hanging on the walls in a Mess), a plethora of aircraft parts (notably vintage ones) which were taken from owners and maintenance organisations, valuable flying manuals and aircraft documents from the WW1 & WW2 era, vintage flying clothing, a surplus ‘personal stock’ of current NATO kit (watches, flying clothing etc) and even a vintage motorcycle.

It was only by chance that someone stumbled across all these items, hidden away in a locked room in an old hanger on an airfield. Usually this wouldn’t cause suspicion – it was only because the person who found them knew the owner of several of these items, which were reported to the police as missing.

In the attached photos, you can see a photo of a propeller (taken by the owner) whilst it was in storage.

This mysteriously disappeared from the hanger and after lengthy searching and asking around, was reported to the police.

In the other photo, you can see a propeller remarkably similar (Very pointed tips, Red tips, Distinctive and contrasting laminations – two light and three dark, Broad silver-coloured leading edge protector) in Wesley’s house…after it was reported stolen.

This photo was taken by a visitor to Wesley’s house who knew of various items going missing and had a suspicion of where they might be.

The actual owner of the propeller who also inspects LAA aircraft has never seen another like it in all his years of doing so. The propeller is believed to have been given away by Wesley.

As of now, the police have been involved and suffice to say that he has already been charged and summoned for theft and is awaiting prosecution in court.
None of these actions can be blamed on anyone else.

He knew exactly what he was doing and was not misguided in anyway. It has only come to an end because he was caught, not because he owned up to it. He is a completely untrustworthy, calculated, narcissistic individual with delusions of grandeur.
This individual has never been in the regular RAF, nor is he a military pilot and certainly never served in any operational capacity.
Further what does it mean for our screening/supervisory system if we allow people like this to work around our minors for such a long time?

I hope I am wrong on this cultural observation. I have observed some lesser-spotted VR(T) Walts in my time trying to carry on as if they were a part of the Battle of Britain - it would be funny if they hadn't been taking themselves so seriously!

For those that do a fine job and just crack on with teaching the Cadets, then please forgive me as I don't mean you. But for anyone who reads this and even if the slightest bit touches a nerve then please have a word yourself in private and realise that you do no-one any favours. Hopefully, this Wesley business is a wake up call for all in light blue of what tolerance of a Walt can lead to.


Last edited by iRaven; 12th Mar 2017 at 13:36.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 09:19
  #3315 (permalink)  
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iRaven post 3315

With the greatest of respect, please post this to the relevant thread - there is one concerning this guy. What THIS thread is all about is the failure of the RAF to maintain airworthy Aircraft for the VGS side of 2 FTS.

We should ALL not be in any doubt whatsoever, that whilst this chap was a complete con-artist,( and criminal ) he had nothing whatsoever to do with the failure of RAF hierarchy and the fleet of allegedly non-airworthy aircraft. I accept that much more caution should have been shown at times, but suffice it to say he was detected at VGS level and a Unit inquiry was held.

He sadly remained un-detected for some time in other places, namely BBMF, and some civilian flying organisations.Sadly all this awful case has done, is to perhaps assist the RAF case for the ending of RAFVR(T) commissions with an inferior substitution of a Queens Commission in the Cadet Corps. It only takes one..............to ruin a lifetime of good work by hundreds of others.

All that this does is to deflect attention from where it should be directed, and that is to the various management levels within the RAF who were tasked with maintaining a brand new fleet of Grob aircraft in the required manner over the years since they were purchased by MoD.

What we should also stress is that not ONE person or Officer within the RAF VR(T), was in any way responsible for the last three years of shambles and the huge waste of taxpayer money, with the attendant loss of Air Cadet VGS activity for just short of three years.

Each and every VGS unit conducted their Engineering and flying training activity to the highest of standards required, with very few exceptions which were always detected and appropriate sanctions made where required.

How do I know? I served on three VGS units, (one on a front line active RAF station) and during that time received an RAF Flight safety award for my own Engineering vigilance which potentially prevented the loss of an aircraft. I also held roles involving screening of staff, where we had a very highly tuned nose for "Walter's", " Risk takers", and complete "Barclays bankers" . I attended Station Flight Safety meetings, and at NO time were we the subject of any criticism or follow up actions. More than one of our staff instructors were serving GD Pilot Officers, one of whom was of Air rank, and thus we were highly regarded by a series of Stn Cdrs, one of whom became CAS. Our Eng Officer was a former and recent Wg Cdr Eng thus you may safely assume that not a lot got past him !

The only major failure that must be addressed with regard to VGS ops was by the professionals within the RAF, at middle and senior ranks in letting a brand new fleet of aircraft deteriorate to the point where airworthiness was severely in doubt !

Remember, just because you are a professional, you are not immune from error and misjudgement, human failings occur across the spectrum.

Thought for the day...........Noah was an amateur, but the Captain of the Titanic was a professional !

Last edited by EnigmAviation; 13th Mar 2017 at 10:02.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 10:12
  #3316 (permalink)  
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The case above is highly relevant to this thread, as the individual above was applauded and promoted for being a 'whistleblower' at 616. He reported his CO, CFI and duty instructor to the centre, where he was employed, following what can only be described as a fit of pique.

The deeply flawed inquiry that itgenerated may have been central to, or at least reinforced the view of, theneed for fewer VGS with a higher level of on-site supervision.

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Old 13th Mar 2017, 11:33
  #3317 (permalink)  
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I knew the CFI and CO at 616.

As a total outsider at that VGS - and without going into too much detail I think it was a storm in a teacup. Actually more likely was the fact that they had his card marked and it was only a matter of time before they had him 'bang to rights'.

Their only fault was that they waited too long to nail him to the mast and that gave him the opportunity to get to CGS first and give his viewpoint. The disappointing thing was that his view was 'believed' over and above those of the VGS Exec team............

Anyway it appears that he is now being finally sorted out. Maybe too little too late.............. but hey-ho


P.S. Nothing to do with airworthiness IMHO............
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 11:52
  #3318 (permalink)  
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Wes the Walt has nothing to do with VGS aircraft airworthiness.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 13:39
  #3319 (permalink)  
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Boswell Bear ,

Exactly - totally agree, and BTW well said "Engines" and "Pobjoy" let's keep to the subject matter and not be blown off course by misplaced references to a prize criminal "Walter"
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 18:57
  #3320 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the support. Perhaps I can help take this thread along a bit more. In an earlier post I offered the idea of getting an organisation labelled as 'failing' or 'unsatisfactory' - in this case such a process would be aimed at two organisations: the DE&S Project Team and 2FTS. Let's take a look at why.

DE&S are first in the frame. They are responsible for loss of maintenance records, (a very probable) lack of configuration control an (almost certain) shortfall in maintenance publications and an (almost certain) failure to properly supervise the various maintenance contracts that were used in place of RAF in house maintenance. I'd lay a decent side bet that they've also failed to maintain a proper Aircraft Design Organisation (ADO) technical support contract. I'd like to know if they've got a (proper) safety case in place. They would no doubt plead shortage of resources, difficulty in dealing with an offshore aircraft supplier, plagues of locusts, etc.

Incidentally, if anyone has access to the ageing aircraft audits for the Viking and Vigilant, I'd really appreciate a link, or a PM.

22 Gp and 2FTS: These are on the hook for allowing aircraft under their charge to become non-airworthy. These aircraft are on the military register, and are fully 'owned' by the RAF, who made quite a song and dance about taking them under full control in 2010. But that wasn't the end of the changes. Here's my summary (please correct me if wrong)

2010: Control of VGS moved from HQ ATC to 1 EFTS
2011: No.1 EFTS absorbed into No.3 Flying Training School
2014: Gliders handed over from 3FTS to newly formed 2FTS

I wonder whether anyone in the ivory towers raised any risk flags about three changes of responsibility for airworthiness in as many years...

There were plenty of people responsible for airworthiness in the chains throughout that period. You can start at the Technical Officers in the VGSs, through 2FTS, through Group, through HQ Air, all the way up to ACAS, who was responsible for the RTS. I'm not saying they all failed. But sure as hell some of them have, or this lot wouldn't have happened. Yes, 2FTS were left 'holding the tar baby' when the full picture merged under the glare of the CAMO audits in 2013. But here's an important point - the 'new' MAA regs don't ask a 'CAMO' to do anything that a properly run organisation wouldn't have already been doing.

So when 2FTS proudly took over the reins from 3FTS (or when OC 3FTS took over from 1FTS, or when 1FTS took over) exactly how did he know he was taking on an airworthy fleet? Any inspections? Any audits? Any checks on selected airframes? Any checks on selected MF700s and log packs? Any special QA checks on the organisation? Any review of previous QA inspections and results? Anything at all that would have been absolutely standard, normal, commonplace (choose your adjective) a decade or so earlier? Silence. Tumbleweed.

So, those are my suggestions for where the fault lies - any comments? If anyone has any information they'd like to share via PM, please let me know.

A final thought to all aircrew out there. This is not the result of 'new MAA regs'. It's not the result of 'engineers getting all risk averse'. This is a really, really, bad event - the MoD and the RAF have lost control of the airworthiness of a fleet of simple aircraft, and put schoolchildren at risk. It should not have happened. It could be happening to an aircraft near you right now. Get upset, and start asking some hard questions.

Best Regards as ever to all those putting the pieces back together,

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