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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 22nd Mar 2017, 09:18
  #3341 (permalink)  
 
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Random,

Many thanks for coming back - that's extremely useful.

So 'engineering and logistics' aspects were run from HQ Air Cadets, which I assume was part of Training Command? Very unusual for a civil servant to be referred to as a Wg Cdr, though.

Follow up questions (sorry) - so did HQATC run the competitions for the eng and log contracts? And does anyone know when (or if) responsibility for these passed to someone else?

Extremely interesting to hear that the Vikings were initially registered with the BGA - I wonder when the aircraft were taken on to the military register, and when they got a CA release and RTS?

Once again, many thanks for the info.

Best Regards as ever to all those sorting through the bits,

Engines
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 10:15
  #3342 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Engines

They were dual hatted airframes. They were always on the military register but had 'shadow' BGA Identities (never used).

There is a typo in the earlier post by Random Bloke who I think put T21 but actually meant K21.

Arc

**Ref your Tech Officer role question in your earlier post, in Mk3 and Sedbergh days the Tech Officer would do minor repairs (trained and authorized so to do) but in Glass Fibre days the Tech Officer role was largely limited to paperwork and Tech Liaison with CGMF at Syerston although I did see one change (swap U/S for S) a nosewheel tyre/wheel assembly once !
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 10:19
  #3343 (permalink)  
 
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Engines, sorry but I've no idea who ran the competition for the glider engineering contract that Serco eventually won. The timing though is important because that will determine which command, or group, had responsibility. HQ 22 Gp is only a recent organisation (of which the Air Cadets are part). Its predecessor was Personnel and Training Command, and before that, Supoort Command. However, at one time, the Air Cadets was a separate entity and the Commandant was actually an Air Officer Commanding in his own right. Similarly, Project Teams are a fairly recent (in the grand scheme of things) invention. What came before PTs?
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 10:22
  #3344 (permalink)  
 
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Arc, no mate. I meant T21 - ie the Sedberg, the Kirby Cadet MkIII was a T31. Then there was the ill-fated T53 that was supposed to replace the T21s and T31s...
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 10:31
  #3345 (permalink)  
 
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showing your age Random !!! (same as me)

Arc
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 10:31
  #3346 (permalink)  
 
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Engines, from my vague recollection, the ASK21s (Vanguard?) were on the military register from the outset. Certainly they arrived at RAF Syerston/Catterick with ZD64* stuck on the tail. That would have been in 1983.

Filling-in bits of your other questions:

Q4 - Training Command disappeared in the mid 70s so for the introduction of the 'glass fleet' in the 80s the initial responsibility would have sat with Support Command. There were no defined Group formations within this command. Support Command was then split in the mid 90s (1994?) with elements being split between Personnel & Training Command and Logistics Command.

Q5. Again, a vague recollection, but the RAF would send maintenance teams (Cpl-Chief Tech) routinely about once a year to do annuals etc. If we bent something, we would park it in the back of the hangar and await the RAF chaps. For example, we had the authority to do things like tyre pressures but not tyre/wheel changes.

Sorry it's only a snippet.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 11:23
  #3347 (permalink)  
 
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VGS instructors carried out the following on Viking/Vigilant

AF, BF and OoPS

Replacing tail wheels, Landing light bulb, fitting/removal of oil cooler blanking plate, topping up oil, refuelling, tyre pressures
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 11:33
  #3348 (permalink)  
 
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Another one from the album

Well I've been digging through the photo album again and found this one. (Not working in any chronological order).

From my logbook it was taken at Catterick on a wave camp, sometime around 09/12/1985. ACCGS got hold of a G109b G-BLMY from the RAFGSA? or Oxford Soaring? or some ware. They wanted to test it out with cadets. I did three flights in it that week with WG CDR Jack Allcock including a PAR approach into Leeming. I remember one the Janus having a little prang, resulting in the tail not being attached to the rest of the fuselage! may have been repaired by southern sailplanes but not 100% sure. Flying up to 10000 feet in wave was what I really remember best of all.

TTFN
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 12:12
  #3349 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by boswell bear View Post
VGS instructors carried out the following on Viking/Vigilant

AF, BF and OoPS

Replacing tail wheels, Landing light bulb, fitting/removal of oil cooler blanking plate, topping up oil, refuelling, tyre pressures
De-rig
Rig
Independent check
Canopy lanyard replacement
Seat remove/refit
Loose article check
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 12:43
  #3350 (permalink)  
 
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I remember sitting in the classroom at Syerston being taught how to fill in the various sheets of the F700 by an RAF Techie who used this phrase "In the RAF we have a week to go through this, you will have an afternoon."


One of the jobs of a VGS Engineering Officer would be to train and authorise VGS staff to carry out those servicing actions permitted by their grade. Of course the Eng officer needed to be trained to do this themselves and tended to happen at Syerston on the 'VGS Conference weekend' ie Saturday afternoon or Sunday Morning.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 12:58
  #3351 (permalink)  

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Engines
Very unusual for a civil servant to be referred to as a Wg Cdr, though.
These "civil servants" were in what used to be called RO (Retired Officer) posts, which subsequently became MSF (Military Support Function).

They often - although not always - were retired officers, although not necessarily in the rank they now "wore". They would have been granted a Reserve Commission of some sort, but were paid as Civil Servants. Complicated, no?
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 14:18
  #3352 (permalink)  
 
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XN187

I did my first Venture trip in XZ555 at Syerston. My 3822 tells me it was with Sqn Ldr Foster on 24/10/81 followed by another trip with Sqn Ldr Atkinson on 25/10/81 before 7 other trips in ZA666 with Flt Lt Tapson the following 3 days and then first solo.

Nice to have a picture

Arc
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 15:29
  #3353 (permalink)  
 
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inspections/minor repairs

As a Staff Cadet I attended SM and completed a weeks course on basic glider inspection/minor repairs.
This included derig/rig, changing components (skids wheels struts and airframe parts) plus basic gluing and fabric repair.AS there were no Gliders to repair we practiced on wooden furniture for the repairs and the chisels were 'very sharp' to ensure tight fitting joints (no gaps allowed).
Wed afternoon (sports day) was a break from this when Camp staff came around for some flying which meant loads of launches for a suitably rated SC as opposed to the 'hand outs' back at base.
At the end of the week there was a basic test ( oral/and rig test) then you were awarded a certificate stating your ability to undertake duties as written down.
In practice this allowed you to DI the school fleet in the mornings before the main body of staff arrived, the main feature being to check for unreported heavy landings or fabric damage. I still have the spanner left behind by a MGSP midweek visit !!! All this was overseen by the |Chief Tec who gave the final test. This was all actual hands on practical work with no 'form filling' or classroom time. Of course the system was fine as back at the school we had no approved workshops or facilities so had to work with what we made of things. It was interesting that after say a skid change the later visit by the MGSP would usually mean a fuselage would be 'inverted' for a 'close inspection' and attention in the wheel box area if required.

Last edited by POBJOY; 22nd Mar 2017 at 20:32.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 18:19
  #3354 (permalink)  
 
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My sincere thanks to all those PPruners who have taken the time and trouble to reply to my request for information. It's really very much appreciated.

Best Regards to you all

Engines
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 09:47
  #3355 (permalink)  
 
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Keep searching.....................

Originally Posted by Engines View Post
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

Keep searching "Engines" - good forensic investigation should uncover who the people responsible were. You obviously know the system, - I just hope that people give you the required information. It's just been an absolute disgrace and to some extent it's still not finished yet.
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Old 23rd Mar 2017, 14:12
  #3356 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
De-rig
Rig
Independent check
Canopy lanyard replacement
Seat remove/refit
Loose article check


...And of course Air tests.
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 19:19
  #3357 (permalink)  
 
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More propellor problems for the Tutor Fleet. Apparently a delamination of the leading edge strip in past day or so has resulted in some aircraft being grounded for inspection.

This whole debacle of Air Cadet Flying needs to be drawn to a close and something better put in its place. What? Well I am tempted to say a budget and permission for the ACO to use civil powered and gliding clubs.
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 20:47
  #3358 (permalink)  
 
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Phoenix

Maybe it's time for a coup de grace- just have a CGS operation and rebuild the rest using a civilian reg / BGA style thing.

This has gone from a problem to an absolute quagmire- as someone who owes lots to the VGS it's time to put it out of the misery.
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 23:37
  #3359 (permalink)  
 
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Shaft 109:-
Phoenix

Maybe it's time for a coup de grace- just have a CGS operation and rebuild the rest using a civilian reg / BGA style thing.

This has gone from a problem to an absolute quagmire- as someone who owes lots to the VGS it's time to put it out of the misery.
It's not only Air Cadet Aviation that needs to rise from the ashes but the whole of UK Military Aviation in general. The canker that infected the ACO fleets has infected all the UK military airfleets, and simply contemplating a work around using the civvie register for the former does not begin to address the urgent need for the reform of UK Military Air Safety in general.

Let's suppose for one minute that your solution is accepted and made to work, where is the morality in making Air Cadets air minded enough to become military aviators under the auspices of a controlled and dysfunctional regulator and a partial accident investigator that cannot truthfully declare any military fleet airworthy, let alone ensure that they become so?

The MOD's default policy is to go on stovepiping airworthiness related accidents and groundings, whereas they are all associated and connected by the same systemic failings. Too many lives have been lost to them, too much money wasted, and too much damaged done to the UK's security. It has to end, and can only be made to do so by owning up to the past, disowning Haddon-Cave's "Golden Period", and making the MAA and the MilAAIB independent of the MOD and of each other.

This is a professional aviators forum. Aviation punishes those who are not, in the only way that it knows how.

Self Regulation Does Not Work, and in Aviation it Kills!
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 08:54
  #3360 (permalink)  
 
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Tutors

The Grobs are quite a sound machine,but many of the problems have been caused by 'over enthusiastic' aero's which certainly led to the tail cracks and early propeller incidents.
Grob state quite clearly what the aircraft is cleared for but it appears that 'flick' manoeuvres have added to the airframe/prop issues which are not the fault of the basic machine. Tail strikes of the ventral fin have also caused an added issue.
Compared with the cost of ATC Gliding I always thought the AEF scheme was expensive for what it produced, and by using two seat aircraft never really gave much air time for the squadrons. The aerobatic 'thing' was always over sold, when in fact what was needed was 'air time' for Cadets to experience both handling plus using charts that a four seater would give for the same engine power. An 'Aerobatic' badge could be included for older Cadets as an 'add on' to the basic operation.
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