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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 31st Aug 2017, 17:45
  #3661 (permalink)  
 
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as we all know, there must be standards set, monitoring, and above all adequate insurance cover in place. It only requires one incident or fatality to take down such schemes
BGA clubs have standards, monitoring and insurance cover. Why ATC cadets cannot fly with them unless as members of the club is beyond me.

I also note the ATC is still flying (when the aircraft are airworthy) despite 2009.
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Old 31st Aug 2017, 17:57
  #3662 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EnigmAviation View Post
......as we all know, there must be standards set, monitoring, ..... It only requires one incident or fatality to take down such schemes and that's probably where a risk averse HQAC brought matters to a close.
I'll contribute here, but I guess I'm saying what many reading this thread are thinking. If HQAC were so risk averse, what were they doing with their own fleet of aircraft as they deteriorated into a non-airworthy condition? If they were so risk averse, why were they flying civilian schoolchildren in non-airworthy aircraft?

And if the answer to those two questions is 'they didn't know that their aircraft were non-airworthy', that just makes matters worse. Where were HQAC's 'standards'? Who was setting them? Who was doing the monitoring? To repeat - this is another major airworthiness scandal for the RAF, and it's high time it was properly (and publicly) investigated. All that's happened so far is a nice cosy internal admin process to jump over a few MAA hoops and a long drawn out (and no doubt costly) rectification programme.

Best Regards as ever to all those now having to fix the issues

Engines
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Old 31st Aug 2017, 18:58
  #3663 (permalink)  
 
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Our squadron all flew in weight shift microlights back in the late 90s as the parents of one of the cadets was a member in the local club. Shame it only happened once. Quite a different experience to Vigilants and Bulldogs.
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 02:45
  #3664 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EnigmAviation View Post
A noble effort Chevvron, and initiative etc overflowing, and no doubt some young Cadets did benefit, BUT...............as we all know, there must be standards set, monitoring, and above all adequate insurance cover in place. It only requires one incident or fatality to take down such schemes and that's probably where a risk averse HQAC brought matters to a close. Superficially, it appears killjoy, but in overall terms, and whilst it had no fatals, it was probably a good call for overall flight safety reasons. I'd much prefer to see the return of full scale RAF operated VGS operations with the range of full and adequate training in terms of both numbers and quality and extent of training, rather than the extremely limited "dishing out of a coloured badge for one launch" - a bit like stickers handed out in A & E to kids having a stitch put in or an injection.
Forgot to add that the instructors for the Flying Scholarships, which all resulted in a 'Restricted' PPL(M) (25 hours) and a presentation of a specially produced 'Wings' badge by the AOC were both 'assessed' by CFS and one of the assessors actually flew in in his own Shadow microlight!
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 07:29
  #3665 (permalink)  
 
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Yes this has been a diabolical affair.
Yes we do need to investigate how this "pause" occurred and possibly who's to blame.
Yes we need to plan for what happens after Vigilant/Viking.

But for the moment lets just enjoy the fact cadets are once again enjoying flying on a summer course at 645 VGS, well done to all involved.

http://www.facebook.com/645Volunteer...98218123614997
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 15:22
  #3666 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
I'll contribute here, but I guess I'm saying what many reading this thread are thinking. If HQAC were so risk averse, what were they doing with their own fleet of aircraft as they deteriorated into a non-airworthy condition? If they were so risk averse, why were they flying civilian schoolchildren in non-airworthy aircraft?

And if the answer to those two questions is 'they didn't know that their aircraft were non-airworthy', that just makes matters worse. Where were HQAC's 'standards'? Who was setting them? Who was doing the monitoring? To repeat - this is another major airworthiness scandal for the RAF, and it's high time it was properly (and publicly) investigated. All that's happened so far is a nice cosy internal admin process to jump over a few MAA hoops and a long drawn out (and no doubt costly) rectification programme.

Best Regards as ever to all those now having to fix the issues

Engines

Engines, I totally agree with every bit of what you have said.


The GRP Grob fleet was purchased in the days of HQAC having full control over the fleet and essentially the post holder of Wg Cdr Logs appeared to be responsible for the Eng side of the fleet as far as I recall. Any Eng Audit visits to VGS units was undertaken by an NCO under his command. From my recollections, if the paper audit on F 700's and any other Eng problems wasn't completed by lunchtime latest, then it would have been unusual ! Cursory would have been a good description.


It was only in much later and more recent times that the Fleet and all VGS units came under the command of what is now 2 FTS as a part of 22 Group, and the appointment of a Full time J Reserve post Group Captain. Whilst they didn't turn the ship round, with any "superior" knowledge ( because they didn't have any !) they just happened to be the hapless crew holding the already screwed up Duty Holder ticket at the material time when MAA found them in the toilet with their trousers down.


Therefore, from a simplistic viewpoint, as the deplorable state of affairs started in the days of HQAC having command and control of VGS Units including the Aircraft assets, then simply the people who should be in the dock are the various Wg Cdrs and Commandants HQAC covering all periods from the inception of the Grob Fleet.


In fairness to them, the procurement brought into the RAF a type of aircraft hitherto unknown, i.e., GRP, and there were NO technician trades and/or people with ANY knowledge of structural repair and routine maintenance. Add to that, the paucity of Engines trade personnel experienced in light piston engine maintenance, plus low level supervision of the central maintenance workshops at RAF ACCGS Syerston by a JENGO of limited background, and you start to see how they got into the complete utter mess that they did.


I suppose one could argue that when introducing a "new" type of aircraft - i.e., a new GRP fleet, the more senior ranks should have reasonably foreseen that the expertise was simply just not there within the HQAC structure, nor anywhere else for that matter.


Where does that leave us ? No Inquiry into the negligence whatsoever. all cracks papered over, lots of taxpayer money spent, and the result will be a fraction of what was in existence before. Additionally of course, on paper, myself and many others like me, have probably been risking our own lives and those of our young innocent civilian children simply because the parent service failed miserably in their duty of care in every possible sense of the word.
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 16:14
  #3667 (permalink)  
 
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Can I agree with Enigma regarding the HQAC audits. As the OC of a Viking VGS with considerable Quality Management experience after leaving the RAF I complained about the lack of rigour of the audits and the issuing of non-compliances that were completely not acceptable. The response was to send three HQAC Wing Commanders down to the VGS to shut me up. WgCdr Logs who had no experience of Quality Management had absolutely no idea about what I was on about. It was on his watch it went wrong!

ACW
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 16:57
  #3668 (permalink)  
 
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And so it goes on.........

To potentially rub further salt in the wound wrt getting cadets where they should be, airborne it is rumoured that the use of ACTO35 (the paperwork by which cadets can get permission to be flown in civilian a/c) has been "paused" (where has that been heard before I wonder). No reason given unfortunately, anyone any notion of why?
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 21:57
  #3669 (permalink)  
 
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It is a complete scandal why and how the current situation came to pass - but all the good words here will not make things any better.

What is required is commenting on the recent MAA revision to their 4800 series Regulatory Articles - NPA 17/20. These revisions have inserted 'Air System' in place of 'aircraft' or similar words. That may be entirely appropriate for F-35, Typhoon, Atlas and Voyager, but it is totally inappropriate for Viking, Vigilant, Prefects and possibly Tutors (if transferred to mil reg). One size does not fit all for any airworthiness regulation set. With EASA about to release Part M Light the MAA should follow suit to allow those charged with managing the above fleets to take advantage of much more appropriate maintenance regulations.

This is a 138 page Notice of Proposed Amendment which will take some wading through - but if Air Cadet gliding is not to be priced out out existence by increasingly inappropriate maintenance regulations all who are interested should be encouraged to comment. I suspect those who drafted these changes are entirely well meaning, but they just do not realise the impact of their proposals to the lighter end of military aviation.

Phil
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 10:38
  #3670 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EnigmAviation View Post
A noble effort Chevvron, and initiative etc overflowing, and no doubt some young Cadets did benefit, BUT...............as we all know, there must be standards set, monitoring, and above all adequate insurance cover in place. It only requires one incident or fatality to take down such schemes and that's probably where a risk averse HQAC brought matters to a close. Superficially, it appears killjoy, but in overall terms, and whilst it had no fatals, it was probably a good call for overall flight safety reasons. I'd much prefer to see the return of full scale RAF operated VGS operations with the range of full and adequate training in terms of both numbers and quality and extent of training, rather than the extremely limited "dishing out of a coloured badge for one launch" - a bit like stickers handed out in A & E to kids having a stitch put in or an injection.
Rob arranged full insurance cover for all Air Cadet personnel.
For AEF we followed the 'official' Chipmunk syllabus but minus the aerobatics of course!
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 11:13
  #3671 (permalink)  
 
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Enigma and ACW,

Many thanks for the information. They shed further light on Ministerial statements that there were shortcomings of quality management. Sending an NCO to carry out a quality audit is, in my view, a total abdication of responsibility by the engineer officers concerned. Don't get me wrong - any QA effort I ran included plenty of NCOs to ensure that we covered all the detail, using their skill and experience. But finishing an audit by lunchtime smacks of a casual and wholly unacceptable attitude. Sadly, this is not the first time I've heard of it happening in RAF managed units. 'Low level of supervision by an inexperienced Jengo' - so where was the OC Eng? Who cleared the Jengo to do the job? Was he properly trained?

Th idea that when these fleets were procured (in the 80s and 90s) the RAF didn't know how to handle GRP repairs is, I'm afraid, incorrect. I did courses at Swanton Morley in the early 80s where we covered inspection and repair of composite structures in great detail. The RAF had lavishly equipped and manned specialist teams to develop repair schemes for composite aircraft, and the training courses for these repairs were certainly in place by then. I can see where there might have been a lack of in-service experience in maintaining light aircraft piston engines, but who approved the (mandatory at that time) support plan as part of the aircraft procurement? Where were the training courses? Why no support from the contractor? Why try to do it in-house when the basic training wasn't there? Seriously, this is not rocket science, and it never was. You don't need one year long Training Needs Analysis efforts (a favourite activity of RAF engineering organisations I worked with) to construct a safe and effective support system for simple aircraft and engines like these. For heaven's sake, this is the RAF we're talking about here. Are we seriously saying that looking after a fleet of gliders was too difficult for them?

"One could argue that....the more senior ranks should have reasonably foreseen that the expertise was simply just not there'. No, you should have damn well demanded that your highly paid (and extremely numerous) aircraft engineers (especially SO2 and upwards) did their job properly. What on earth were they thinking when they bought these aircraft and started flying kids in them?

And here's the nitty gritty. Something seriously bad was happening in the RAF's procurement and engineering organisations at this time. It was a 'systemic' failure. It continued happening throughout the 90s and the 'noughties'. This has been well documented. It didn't stop then, either. I personally saw undocumented repairs flying around on front line RAF aircraft after 2010.

So, what level of assurance does anyone have that the same systemic problems aren't happening now? And by the way, don't think that a new set of regs have done the trick.

Best Regards as ever to all those working at the coal face to get the job done,

Engines
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 18:34
  #3672 (permalink)  
 
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It was a 'systemic' failure. It continued happening throughout the 90s and the 'noughties'. This has been well documented.
Here........ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Their-Great...atest+disgrace

IIRC a certain Mr Hadden-Cave said something like 'the 1990s were the golden period of airworthiness'.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 08:47
  #3673 (permalink)  
 
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The ultimate air cadet experience - first solo

From Beds & Cambs Wing this morning

https://twitter.com/BedsCambsWing?lang=en

Last edited by ATFQ; 2nd Dec 2017 at 09:25.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 09:14
  #3674 (permalink)  
 
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Well good for student, instructor and Beds & Cambs Wing, in which many years ago I was a VR(T) officer
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 12:37
  #3675 (permalink)  
 
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I heard the other day that they were now up to 16 gliders and 5 motorgliders
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 12:40
  #3676 (permalink)  
 
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Engines

Back in the 80’s & 90’s I did some composite repair courses, these courses had been based on data from heavy aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and are totaly unsuitable for primary structure repair in gliders. I have to ask if these composite repair courses you talk of were gilder specific or generic ?
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 14:46
  #3677 (permalink)  
 
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A and C,

Should we now not be focusing on returning cadets to flying in the completely refurbished aircraft that we are now operating, albeit in relatively small but growing numbers. That first solos are again becoming the norm should at least be welcomed.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 18:04
  #3678 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ACW418 View Post
Can I agree with Enigma regarding the HQAC audits. As the OC of a Viking VGS with considerable Quality Management experience after leaving the RAF I complained about the lack of rigour of the audits and the issuing of non-compliances that were completely not acceptable. The response was to send three HQAC Wing Commanders down to the VGS to shut me up. WgCdr Logs who had no experience of Quality Management had absolutely no idea about what I was on about. It was on his watch it went wrong!

ACW
I remember the first MAA audit I witnessed. A full few days at a Eastern Fighter/Bomber base with a team of a dozen or so "SME's" who produced two findings:
1. The colour of flying suits used by civilian pilots was 'untested' by MOD (Civilian suits).
2. The Flame resistance of one Fire-door in the corner of a hangar was 'assumed' to be less than 45 minutes.

This report was a waste of the whole stations efforts and well beyond the remit of an 'airworthiness' authority...in my humble opinion. The MAA, then, were better suited to commenting on building regulations rather than anything to do with aeroplanes.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 18:41
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Rigga:-
The MAA, then, were better suited to commenting on building regulations rather than anything to do with aeroplanes.
No change there then. The MAA quotes Haddon-Cave as being its foundation. Haddon-Cave characterised the early 90s as "a Golden Period of Airworthiness", as Dervish reminds us above. The MAA is thus founded on a lie and cannot countenance a reform of UK Military Airworthiness, as that would reveal the lie and the complicity of RAF VSOs in the attack on airworthiness during the "Golden Period". That inevitably led to pre-lunch audits and the tragic airworthiness related fatal air accidents involving 74 deaths in threads on this forum alone. In consequence grounding the ATC Glider fleet was a necessary act.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 19:11
  #3680 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The B Word View Post
I heard the other day that they were now up to 16 gliders and 5 motorgliders
But they are not all servicable
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