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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 18th Apr 2017, 19:17
  #3421 (permalink)  
 
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Numbers of Viking and Vigilant Air Cadet Gliders to be Recovered

For clarity, for anyone who does not have access to it, the Written Ministerial Statement of 10 March 2016 stated:

'It has been decided that the best value for money solution is to recover at least 73 Vikings, a reduced Vigilant fleet of up to 15 aircraft, combined with an uplift to Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs).'

'The reduced glider fleet will be operated by significantly fewer, but larger, VGS, which will have a regional focus'.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 06:46
  #3422 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post

'The reduced glider fleet will be operated by significantly fewer, but larger, VGS, which will have a regional focus'.


I still struggle to see how making a VGS larger will help!


You can park as many Vikings as you like at some airfields but at most times of the year you are limited to how many you can operate safely in the circuit.


...Still, I suppose it will give all the extra Staff something to clean while they await their turns to fly!
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 07:33
  #3423 (permalink)  
 
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Enigma you said:
"I see on the Facebook pages, post Bank Holiday, that Topcliffe VGS report sending ONE Cadet solo on the Vigilant , (WOW - a whole ONE !!!) and 644 VGS after THREE days of Bank Holiday have sent ONE staff member solo, and have completed 150 launches of Vikings over three days - wow, an average of 30 a day - that's world class ! ( one rained off) - WOW !!! We are going to make rapid inroads into getting Air Cadets backsides off the ground like this !!!! (NOT )"

Before slagging the VGS off, look at the weather in Yorkshire this weekend! With only 2 aircraft to go with and several course cadets to fly, to get one solo by Monday is good going! I have done Easter courses where no one has flown at all because of crap weather, so rather than decrying the hard work of those VGS staff that are left you should be congratulating them, on managing a solo under very difficult circumstances.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 07:54
  #3424 (permalink)  
 
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The statement and the actuality/reality........

Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post
For clarity, for anyone who does not have access to it, the Written Ministerial Statement of 10 March 2016 stated:

'It has been decided that the best value for money solution is to recover at least 73 Vikings, a reduced Vigilant fleet of up to 15 aircraft, combined with an uplift to Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs).'

'The reduced glider fleet will be operated by significantly fewer, but larger, VGS, which will have a regional focus'.


Yes, agreed, that was the written Ministerial statement, BUT perhaps we can have the updated figures from the same official source, as my information suggests a rather different outcome.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 08:04
  #3425 (permalink)  
 
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Before slagging the VGS off, look at the weather in Yorkshire this weekend! With only 2 aircraft to go with and several course cadets to fly, to get one solo by Monday is good going! I have done Easter courses where no one has flown at all because of crap weather, so rather than decrying the hard work of those VGS staff that are left you should be congratulating them, on managing a solo under very difficult circumstances
All due respects, and I apologise if people read this as "having a go" at VGS staff, but dedicated column readers and many ex VGS staff like myself surely realise that the target is those who have decimated the VGS fleet and staff alike, with some extremely negligent husbandry of the fleet, the direction and future direction and policy for VGS operations and the lack of acknowledgment of the massive contribution made by VGS staff over many decades. The only efficient thing at this time, seems to be ACO spin doctoring to try and convince everyone that in a short while it will be as before.


I salute those who have stayed on and who are travelling massive distances to try to implement a very poor policy overall, with very limited resource. I rather fear that their labours will not be very adequately rewarded.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 09:40
  #3426 (permalink)  
 
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Whats happening at Kenley?
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 09:50
  #3427 (permalink)  
 
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I believe 645 sent 2 cadets solo
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 09:52
  #3428 (permalink)  
 
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What is happening at Kenley?

The Officers' Mess burnt down!
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 10:50
  #3429 (permalink)  
 
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I am expecting 615 to operate as normal (whatever that is) once some aircraft are returned to service.

Kenley has to be the primary gliding location for London and Southeast cadets going forward I would have thought (just based on geography). Not sure that they could operate more than 6 airframes at a time though based on the size of the airfield (if the training profile remains the same) unless there was more focus on AEG rather than BGT type stuff.

Just my 2 pennyworth............... I am sure Keith C, POBJOY and FRELON will be along with a comment soon

Arc
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 20:37
  #3430 (permalink)  
 
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Kenley

Kenley is a real survivor and as mentioned before can not be sold off by the MOD.
Frelon mentions the 'listed' Officers Mess' burning down,but it was not part of the current facility and has been derelict for some years.
The only 'downside 'for Kenley is its actual size and more airframes would not really compensate for that.
However its location is the real plus point as it sits very close to a huge number of active Squadrons and also has rail and bus routes close by.
The answer would be some 'out of box thinking' that got some mid week flying going to make best use of the facility. I suspect that this could be staffed by those from a defunct school and would only add to the 'best use' scenario.
Also it would be possible to run extra summer continuous courses using the same 'staffing' option.
Either way my 'favourite airfield' will continue to provide the ATC with a SECURE BASE as long as required.
The Luftwaffe failed to destroy Kenley on 18th Aug 1940 so the cretons at HQ Air Cadets and the numpties at 2FTS have no chance.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 21:26
  #3431 (permalink)  
 
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Sad to hear about the old Mess, by the looks of the photos it is irrecoverable. So the "most complete BofB Station" is really just a couple of runways and some run down earthwork E-pens. I think Duxford, Northolt, Manston, Middle Wallop, Boscombe Down, Colerne, Biggin Hill, Debden (Carver Barracks), North Weald, Lee on Solent, Stapleford, Wittering, Church Fenton, Fowlmere, Tern Hill, etc...etc... would beg to differ!!!

With Biggin Hill getting more and more business traffic and GNSS approaches in the pipeline then I would suggest that Kenley's long term future is far from secure? As common land means it is almost worthless for the MoD to flog, but the local council may exert pressure to open up its use for more than a select few that it currently has. So whilst I admire your optimism, I am not so sure that Kenley will remain in years to come. I really hope my pessimism is wrong.

As for other stations when are the rumours on Swanton Morley and South Cerney going to be firmed up? What I find extraordinary is that we are supposed to be 'regionalising' our Air Cadet gliding when Little Rissington and South Cerney are a spitting distance apart - great if you live in Swindon, Oxford or Cheltenham but no good if you live in Wales, Northern Ireland or the Scottish Highlands. Seems that the mismanagement continues to grip this sad state of affairs...
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 23:48
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Kenly

C Clott The point about Kenley (11 Group) is the actual airfield is still in its original state from 1940 although the e-pens were 'landscaped' for some reason.
As to its 'secure future' (please try to keep up) Kenley is owned by the City of London as a Common and the actual airfield has to stay as it is (or revert to a common). Therefore you have an airfield as it was in 1940 with no modern development around it.The MOD and the local Council have no say in its future other than the MOD holding the lease. The City of London now consider the location to be worthy of 'protection' and it is only the camp area that has been disposed of for development. In fact only part of this has happened and even though the Mess was listed little was done to protect it. The local RAFA 'cling on' to an original airfield building (Portcullis Club) which you will be pleased to know was as I remember as Cadet the Corporals Club; so you would be most welcome there. Of course to those of us who remember the place as it was the actual camp is a sad relic of a historic place that was a major 11 group Sector station in the front line. However 615 is probably secure for as long as the ATC exist's. The joke is that 2FTS are now responsible for the place. Not wishing to negate your worthy list of other airfields Kenley has been internationally recognised as 'the most complete Battle of Britain Airfield' as was so to speak. Kenley is a very 'sensitive' subject to former Kenleyites, and detractors have been know to disappear in strange circumstances.

Last edited by POBJOY; 19th Apr 2017 at 23:54. Reason: content
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:43
  #3433 (permalink)  
 
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The answer would be some 'out of box thinking' that got some mid week flying going

This will only help fly cadets during school holidays, unless it's evening flying in the summer.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 08:20
  #3434 (permalink)  
 
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Cats

CCF Training is done during the week, during the day so would be an easy fit. We used to arrange specialist 'Field Days' for CCF units during the week.

ATC Training mainly at the weekends.

Regards

Arc

*POBJOY - your summary of Kenley ownership and operation (and status) is accurate
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 09:18
  #3435 (permalink)  
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Oh yes, the old 'Must remain an airfield or return to original use clause'


...I used to work at one of those...latest news, apparently they now have planning permission for X thousand houses!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 10:06
  #3436 (permalink)  
 
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The Pause!!

....and of course, Surrey Hills Gliding Club have been operating on Kenley airfield, albeit weekdays only (so as not to conflict with the weekend operations of the non operating Air Cadets), throughout The Pause.

Well done Surrey Hills in keeping the gliders flying over Kenley
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:30
  #3437 (permalink)  
 
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622

This is not the same as the 'Must remain an airfield' clause you are quoting. Kenley is a special case where the land is common land and owned by the City of London Corporation.

If MoD leaves, the site reverts to the City Corporation and also reverts to Common Land.

Not for development purposes.

Many years ago the Corporation actually proposed a museum on the site (including rebuild of the Hangars and it was stopped by the MoD. Possibly this could be resurrected if the site reverted back.

After all, the City Corporation has more money than you can shake a stick at............

Arc
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:46
  #3438 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
622

This is not the same as the 'Must remain an airfield' clause you are quoting. Kenley is a special case where the land is common land and owned by the City of London Corporation.

If MoD leaves, the site reverts to the City Corporation and also reverts to Common Land.

Not for development purposes.

Many years ago the Corporation actually proposed a museum on the site (including rebuild of the Hangars and it was stopped by the MoD. Possibly this could be resurrected if the site reverted back.

After all, the City Corporation has more money than you can shake a stick at............

Arc


You may well be right....but don't ever assume it's cast in stone when money is to be had / a local election needs to won and 'affordable housing' is required!!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 17:34
  #3439 (permalink)  
 
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Kenley

622 Sorry but you are not in the picture here.
Kenley airfield is a London Common that the MOD only hold a lease on (originally under the defence of the realm act).
The City of London can do nothing with the area once the MOD lease ceases to operate (other than revert it to common use)
In fact they already accept the historic importance of the location and have gone to great lengths to keep the location development free.
The location has no value to the MOD, and only amenity value to the City of London (who are not poor anyway).
The location would have made a superb 'working museum' on a famous BoB airfield that had not been significantly changed since1940.
I suspect the MOD's lack of interest was due to the Imperial War Museum taking on Duxford, and that they also had a museum at Hendon.
A very limited decision; but as seen with the other decisions made re ATC gliding 'what do you expect'.615 are as secure as the ATC organisation is.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 10:35
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Watched the smoke rise from Kenley as a small local boy post the attack on the 18th of August 1940, hence my interest, and have contributed what little I can via interview to the current City of London' project. So glad to hear that at least some gliding is returning'.
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