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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 14th Mar 2017, 08:16
  #3321 (permalink)  
 
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Taking responsibility

ENGINES What qualifications did/should the new 2FTS have had to even be given the responsibility for the entire ATC training fleet.
Apart from anything else the O/C 2 FTS was not even qualified 'on types' nor had an engineering background to cover even the basic running of the operation.
How did the RAF/MOD allow this sort of nonsense to occur other than its haste to distance itself from a known situation that 'someone' had responsibility for.
He also has responsibility for two ATC airfields with no obvious experience in that field either.
The more I look at the situation the more serious it becomes as it seems all normal 'safe practice' and reasonable precautions were totally ignored in the desperate bid to devolve the known problem to 'someone else'; the someone else being the Cadet Movement itself who had no structure, staff, or tech expertise to handle it. The volunteer element of the Cadet organisation that actually operated the aircraft and gave flight training have not been found wanting in any of this, thereby only compounding the appalling way OC 2 FTS dealt with them, and failed completely in his leadership role.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 08:39
  #3322 (permalink)  
 
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Engines - Excellent, as ever.

Pobjoy - I hope someone can answer your questions, but in general terms it is now over two decades since MoD started permitting non-technical staff to self-delegate airworthiness authority. This has directly led to a number of deaths, mainly through them cancelling safety related work to satisfy the "savings at the expense of safety" policy of the Chief of Defence Procurement. Haddon-Cave reiterated this and also made a cutting comment about submariners managing aircraft - clearly a swipe at CDP. As Engines says, this is nothing new. The MAA has merely perpetuated these policies through its refusal or inability to do anything. I suspect refusal, given its denigration at every turn of those who have reported the failings, but acknowledge that position may just be that of a few at the top. For all I know, there's 250 totally hacked off MAA officers complaining every day about being hamstrung. Best of luck.
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 11:53
  #3323 (permalink)  
 
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Frying pan and fires...........

As Victor Meldrew said.............." I do not believe it "


I hear on my jungle drums that the TOTAL number of VGS aircraft ( Vigilant and Viking) that will be recovered for VGS use will only be somewhere between 31 and 41 !!!!


Remember chaps, we had in 1989 53 brand new Vigilants alone, then of course the Viking fleet on top. We have had all units grounded for just short of 3 years, got rid of huge numbers of very well qualified and experienced staff, and have dismantled about 14 Air Cadet VGS units.


Currently we have 1 Vigilant serviceable and flying at RAF Topcliffe, and one unserviceable in the hangar. Elsewhere, we have some emerging Viking operations in two or three places, but in ALL cases activity levels and achievements are but a fraction of what was achieved by ONE of the better performing units. Even at best, with aircraft availability and Winch capacity at 2/3rds of what we used to have on one VGS ( i.e., 6 drum winches as opposed to 2 x 2 drum winches) it is severely limited. We are also told that due to aircraft shortages, staff have now to be numbers limited - another kick in the teeth for the hard working long suffering loyal staff.


Cadet VGS training is back in business the spin doctors tell us, but look a bit closer and you find that is badges for bums off the ground, rather than what was previously delivered - i.e., structured training , and large numbers of GS Solo wings. As long as Cadets have some sort of badge with wings, that appears to be success, almost akin to Cubs, Scouts and Girl Guides, rather overlooking the quality of training behind the badge.


Now throw in the apparently hugely embarrassing story that the Navy are to acquire some of the "un-airworthy" Vigilants, as , the Navy may need some pilots themselves when they have some carriers in service. They are apparently to "repair them" (don't look too closely) and put them on the civilian register. Some of the others are going back to Grob as a free issue for them to convert to Mk II standard and then be SOLD by Grob to the Swedish Air Force !!!! Mr Grob must think Father Christmas has arrived early, thanks to our rotten fleet management and total lack of vision.


OMG what have we done ?
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 20:34
  #3324 (permalink)  
 
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Meanwhile, I see that the 'big cheese' for Air Cadet flying is having fun in Tutors on an AEF (photo taken last week).

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Old 19th Mar 2017, 20:59
  #3325 (permalink)  
 
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Enigma,

I think things may be even worse than you thought - from the sources available to me, I think the MoD bought 100 Vikings for the RAF. From memory, I think about 50 odd Vigilants were procured.

That's around 150 aircraft in all.

Can anyone out there in PPRuNe land supply some definitive numbers please?

Engines
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 22:38
  #3326 (permalink)  
 
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In "Horizons - The History Of The Air Cadets" it says that 10x ASK21s (known as Vanguards), 5x ASW-19s (known as Valiants) and 2x Schemp-Hirth Janus C (known as Kestrels) were ordered initially as the first 'glass' gliders for delivery in 1983. Then an order for 100x Grob G103 Twin Acro was placed. It also states thathe order for Grob 109b (Vigilant) was placed. 53x Vigilants were initially ordered and were 'topped up' through the purchase of some extra civilian Grob 109b that were converted to Vigilant standard (it doesn't say how many).

The K-21s were foolishly sold and still fly today. Some with the RAFGSA. The ASW-19s were also sold - as they were single seaters they offered Cadets the chance to fly at the next level. All are flying except one that came a cropper at Bicester. All of the Janus C are believed to be flying.

Of course, the loss of all 53+ Vigiliants and over 50% of the Vikings is a scandal, but as ever no one or organisation will be held accountable. If they are selling them off and they end up on the civil register then someone should be held accountable; or the senior leadership should confess that they no longer have the appetite for the risk of flying tens of thousands of Cadets every year. Whichever it is, the truth has to be pressed.

LJ
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 08:36
  #3327 (permalink)  
 
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At Least 73 Vikings

Originally Posted by EnigmAviation View Post
I hear on my jungle drums that the TOTAL number of VGS aircraft ( Vigilant and Viking) that will be recovered for VGS use will only be somewhere between 31 and 41 !!!!?
EnigmAviation

The Written Ministerial Statement of last year (10 March 2016) states "It has been decided ... to recover at least 73 Vikings".

From the Westminster Hall debate on 13 April 2016, the Minister is also quoted in Hansard as stating "It has been decided that at least 73 Viking gliders will be recovered".

So, there is no need to scare the horses.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 08:52
  #3328 (permalink)  
 
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The K-21s were foolishly sold and still fly today
But not because they are K-21s, because they were sold to organisations better able to keep them airworthy. If the ATC still owned them I am absolutely sure they also would be grounded.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 08:57
  #3329 (permalink)  
 
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IIRC, at the start of the 'great pause' there were 65 Vigilants and 81 Vikings on the register.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 09:22
  #3330 (permalink)  
 
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Killed of by the full time 'professionals'

Whatever way you look at this the simple truth is that the world class Volunteer 'training' (as opposed to 'rides') organisation that WAS ATC Gliding has been killed off by the very people paid to look after it.
IN truth this goes back to 3FTS days (possibly before) but either way the Volunteer element are the only ones that actually managed to do their job properly, and the 75th Anniversary year was the crowning disgrace of how not to motivate and recognise the thousands of capable Volunteer staff that gave the ATC the well deserved position it used to have, plus the loss of an unique motivating element that thousands of Cadets have missed forever.
UTTER UTTER UTTER Disgrace and all they can do is play around with websites and facebook to try to hide the TRUTH. The leaders of this organisation should leave and be replaced with some of the capable VGS staff that have been chucked away.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 09:55
  #3331 (permalink)  
 
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The leaders of this organisation should leave and be replaced with some of the capable VGS staff that have been chucked away.

You seem to forget that the VGS staff already have 'day jobs' and the VGS was a spare time occupation. This fact alone make the RAF's part in this fiasco look even more incompetent.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 12:34
  #3332 (permalink)  
 
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my ten pence worth!

This photo was taken around 23/5/1983 at Syerston according to my logbook. It shows the publicity photos being taken for the new aircraft. I flew in it with Flt Lt. Lloyd Poulton, I think its Jack Ward plus random cadet in the photo. They used the photo for a poster to promote Air Cadet's and Gliding.
I remember them as the start of some golden days of gliding for a lucky staff cadet.

Anyway 14000 hours later and I owe it all to the Air Cadet gliding movement.

What a world of difference from the hope we had for the future of Air Cadet gliding on that spring day. What a sad state of affairs we find today, all those people who dedicated time and energy over the decades to inspire cadets like me must feel so let down. It's about time those in positions of responsibility and power over the organisation today stop kidding themselves. If the MOD/RAF can't keep a fleet of simple aircraft safe and serviceable what hope have we for defense of the nation!
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 18:43
  #3333 (permalink)  
 
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POBJOY, I don't want to get in to a urinary Olympic competition but as an ex VGS instructor, both as a volunteer and while a regular, I know about some of the issues and 'goings on' at VGS. Before you focus your vitriol solely at the "regular professionals" you might read "The Gospel According to John, chapter 8, verse 7". That by the way, is not meant to detract from the vast majority of VGS folk who did an outstanding job.

The rot set in well before 1 EFTS: that organisation was given one of the biggest hospital passes in history, by HQ Air Cadets. The purchase of the Vikings and, more so, the Vigilants looks a good candidate for the tipping point.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 09:14
  #3334 (permalink)  
 
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Numbers............

Originally Posted by Engines View Post
Enigma,

I think things may be even worse than you thought - from the sources available to me, I think the MoD bought 100 Vikings for the RAF. From memory, I think about 50 odd Vigilants were procured.

That's around 150 aircraft in all.

Can anyone out there in PPRuNe land supply some definitive numbers please?

Engines
The Vigilant order was 53 I think, and we also purchased some second hand later on.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 09:25
  #3335 (permalink)  
 
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And not much Tutor flying either !

Originally Posted by The B Word View Post


Meanwhile, I see that the 'big cheese' for Air Cadet flying is having fun in Tutors on an AEF (photo taken last week).

Given that Tutor flying is but a massive RAF sponsored flying club for RO's and others, and that any Cadet flying in them is only Air Experience, there's not much going on in that area. ( And of course UAS members don't now get what they used to get years ago either - by a good long way in terms of hours ) RAF Woodvale ( 5 Tutors) not flying Cadets due to runway issues, and ex VGS staff Converting to Tutor not able to complete convex as aircraft are not currently cleared for spinning thus pilots cannot complete Final Handling test ( and all they do is solo SCT flight). So if they are lucky they may get a 25 minute sortie somewhere, and if exceptionally lucky, they may get another within a year !! That's a REAL incentive to stay as an Air Cadet and is not training !
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:15
  #3336 (permalink)  
 
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Pop, Random and others,

Perhaps the combined knowledge out there among the PPruners can shed some light on this issue, and hopefully avoid generating heat.

My take (and I'm happy that others might not agree) is that the Air Cadets 'pause' scandal is, at its source, a failure to properly manage and execute the technical and engineering activities required to maintain airworthiness. Those activities span a wide range, and it's almost certain that a number of agencies will have been involved.

1. The MoD procurement agencies (would have been the PE 'back in the day') should have ensured that the aircraft they bought had an airworthy and controlled configuration, and also that when the aircraft were 'taken on charge' (now THAT'S a useful phrase seldom held these days) they were properly supported by the appropriate arrangements with 3rd and 4th line (service depots and the manufacturers) plus the manuals and any special equipment required at 1st and 2nd line.

2. So, first questions -

a. who were the MoD departments acting as the 'Type Authority' for the ATC gliders? Anyone got that information for Mod(PE), then DLO, Then DE&S?
b. Who was supervising the repair work at the depots?
c. Did they have appropriate PDS contracts with a properly authorised Design Authority?
d. The big one - did they have a current Safety Case? On what did they base the CA release?

3. Following on, we get to the RTSA, in this case I'd guess ACAS.

a. What steps did his staff take to ensure that the RTS was supported by all the evidence required, and how often did they review it to ensure that it was still safe?

4. In service, the 1st and 2nd line maintenance of aircraft is controlled and supervised by the engineering staff at the appropriate HQ department. As I posted before, there were any number of changes, but as far as I can determine, this was at various times RAF Training Command, then 22 Group. Lower down were HQATC, 1FTS, 3FTS, then 2FTS. So, next questions -

a. which RAF (or ATC) HQ engineering staffs were responsible for the maintenance of the ATC gliders?
b. How did they meet those responsibilities?
c. What checks did they carry out?
d. What reports did they prepare?

5. The final link is the actual maintenance at 1st and 2nd line. I'm assuming (possibly incorrect try - please correct me) that volunteer staff involvement would have been limited to no more than 'daily checks' (AFs and BFs in modern parlance) with any actual fault rectification and inspection being undertaken by technically authorised personnel. I understand (from Wiki) that VGS units had a VRT Flt Lt as a 'Technical Officer'. So, next (easy) questions -

a. who did what?
b. Did volunteers make MF700 entries?
c. Were they allowed to clear MF700 entries?
d. What did the VGS 'Technical Officers' do?
e. What did regular RAF technicians do?
f. When did the aircraft go back to 2nd line?
g. Who supervised the (contractorised) 2nd line work? HQ? MoD?

Can anyone provide some answers to these questions? Information is power, people. The better the RAF understands what has happened, the faster it can make sure that its not happening somewhere else.

Best regard as ever to all those making ATC flying safe,

Engines

Last edited by Engines; 21st Mar 2017 at 11:57. Reason: Number Paragraphs and points
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:03
  #3337 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Engines

Can you number your points in your posts - it'll make them easier to answer !!. I'll get onto the ones I know now..............

Ta

Arc
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 16:46
  #3338 (permalink)  
 
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ex VGS staff Converting to Tutor not able to complete convex as aircraft are not currently cleared for spinning thus pilots cannot complete Final Handling test
Odd that. I went spinning in one yesterday.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 18:33
  #3339 (permalink)  
 
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Tutor Spinning

I believe that there are restrictions in place on certain Tutors depending on the finding of cracks in the rear fuselage. There are a number of airframes on repair due this situation. Apparently this is quite normal to allow non aerobatic or non spin flights rather than a general grounding.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 18:51
  #3340 (permalink)  
 
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Engines, you said:


"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"

That however was for the operations aspects: flying, instructing, airfield operations etc. Control of the engineering and logistics remained firmly with HQ Air Cadets under the control of SO1 Eng & Logs who is a civil servant (although he was always referred to as a Wg Cdr). HQ Air Cadets continued to own the engineering and logistics contracts; SO1 Eng & Logs was the Designated Officer for the contracts and it was he who owned the Quality Assurance and contract monitoring roles. He was therefore responsible for all engineering standards. The Project Team (Viking, Vigilant & Tucano) were responsible for airworthiness.

In the beginning though, the T21s etc and then, initially the Vikings were registered with the BGA and maintained to BGA (and CAA) standards. This changed sometime in the 90s to the present system.
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