Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Air Cadets grounded?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Air Cadets grounded?

Old 8th Dec 2017, 19:45
  #3741 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Posts: n/a
The character building aspect of the ATC is similar to that of the Boys Brigade (I was a member) and the Scouts with one IMPORTANT difference:

I have observed in my fellow men a distinction between those of us who have indulged in some sport or activity the performance of which could result in death. I'm sure that I became a different sort of person after going solo in a glider. This is an important point of difference between most sports and flying, be it in powered aircraft, hang gliders, or balloons, but especially in gliders. Concentrates the mind wonderfully, flying solo in a glider. For that reason, and perhaps no other, the ATC should continue to fly gliders.

Maybe this has been overlooked as a reason for supporting the ATC.
Old 8th Dec 2017, 23:32
  #3742 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: north of barlu
Posts: 6,214

You are quite right about the fact that the funding should not come out of the defence budget, I seem to remember Mrs Thatcher giving the MoD money for the cadet forces from central funds.

May be the present Govenment is now counting this money as defence spending to camouflage the fact that we are very hard pressed to make the 2%of GDP spending NATO require.
A and C is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2017, 23:32
  #3743 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,193
But I think it would be hard to find any youngster who has not been up in some kind of aeroplane these days. If it is the experience of taking to the air on your own (which can be life changing in many ways) then the ATC will indeed need a lot of gliders - which is where I came in.
Not hard to find at all. There are plenty of parents struggling to make ends meet, for whom an overseas holiday or a joyride in this country are way beyond the family budget. We had two female Air Cadets visit our RAFGSA club last month who had never been in any sort of aircraft. The weather was rubbish, but a brief clear patch got them an aerotow each, which they loved.
Mechta is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2017, 23:42
  #3744 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: York
Posts: 473
Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
To suggest that both the Cadets and the staff that operated such a world class system have not been let down shows little regard to the memory of how the full time cretons who 'SHOULD' have been backing up the volunteer system totally 'FAILED' in their duties
I'm not saying they haven't been let down - rather that they have been let down for so long now that there's no further left to fall, and that they've gotten on with it nonetheless.

There's no denying that it should be offered; flying is enjoyed by a lot.

But the question isn't should it be offered, the question is can it?
muppetofthenorth is online now  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 01:29
  #3745 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Grid ref confused
Age: 60
Posts: 210
The comment by Olympia 463 that participation in an activity that may cause death, I find strange. When I did my glider course, I felt fully confident in the maintenance of the airframes and the quality of instruction, that death was an exceptionally remote possibility. Indeed, I felt more threatened by hill walking and rugby playing, which presented a more probable source of injury than gliding. PS. No degree is needed for commissioned service, just 2 good A levels and the right potential and attitude. (Though a degree in any subject will not do your chances any harm, but personal qualities are more important)
cynicalint is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 13:49
  #3746 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,193
The comment by Olympia 463 that participation in an activity that may cause death, I find strange. When I did my glider course, I felt fully confident in the maintenance of the airframes and the quality of instruction, that death was an exceptionally remote possibility. Indeed, I felt more threatened by hill walking and rugby playing, which presented a more probable source of injury than gliding.
What Olympia 463 means is that when flying you have to do a series of actions correctly to ensure you get back to earth alive. In a car, pulling over to the side of the road is sufficient, whereas in the air, there are far more opportunities for getting it wrong before you are safe. That is why training and discipline is so important, and that is why it is such good character building for Air Cadets (as are many of the other activities they do).

As for rugby, well that is something else. Willingly getting yourself in a position where a bunch of psychopathic thugs can maim you, makes no sense at all to me.
Mechta is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 15:58
  #3747 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Posts: n/a

I'm glad somebody understood what I was saying.

When you have read about the accidents we can have in gliders you become more aware of the potential outcome of leaving the ground in a flying machine. There are old pilots, and bold pilots (cynicalint might be one), but no old bold pilots.
Old 9th Dec 2017, 21:57
  #3748 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 0
If you canít go flying in the air cadets you may as well go join the scouts.

My trips in a chipmunk from abingdon, and a venture solo from rissington crystallised my thoughts of a flying career and Iím forever grateful for the opportunity .

Unfortunately OASC said no aircrew medical for me, so I went civvy, but Iím sure the cadets are a great recruiting tool still as long as they get some Air
Meester proach is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 13:48
  #3749 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,782
Mechta wrote:
As for rugby, well that is something else. Willingly getting yourself in a position where a bunch of psychopathic thugs can maim you, makes no sense at all to me.
Nonsense! All part of traditional English prep school life in the early 1960s! Along with cold showers, cross-country runs, lusting after matron, double Latin on Tuesdays and avoiding the wandering hands of the geography master....

On the subject of the T49 Capstan, I had a few dual trips in one back then. The straight flight attitude was unique, so wouldn't have been a good lead-in to the Swallow. But the main concern was that the canopy would probably never have stood up to everyday use in an intensive training environment. But heavy? A lightweight compared to the T42 Eagle mahogany bomber!

As for the Slingsby Tutor, it was the first single seat aircraft I ever flew - 3 min from cable release at 800 ft to landing! The next single seater I flew was the Hunter 'GT6' some 10 years later - a truly wonderful aircraft!
BEagle is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 16:54
  #3750 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,097
I flew a T42 Eagle in the 1960s
wub is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 17:34
  #3751 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 74
Posts: 1,101
Eagle Lancaster simulator

One of our members at Redhill also flew out of lasham and was in an Eagle group there.
He made no bones about it saying the rigging operation alone was akin to joining a gym and building up muscle.
POBJOY is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 17:51
  #3752 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 56
Posts: 7,436
I helped rig an Eagle at Southdown GC thirty years ago and can confirm how heavy it was!
treadigraph is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 17:56
  #3753 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 51.50N 1W (ish)
Posts: 1,034
The Eagle was a lightweight to rig compared to Sigma; Nick Goodhart designed a naval sheerleg hoist arrangement which fitted onto the trailer, I think they would have needed 2 retrieve vehicles for the crew.

Dr Wortmann, who supplied the wing section, visited UK to look at it. Invited for an opinion, he replied "If I wanted a Swiss watch, I would not employ a blacksmith to make it".

It was constructed by Slingsby's, who were also building the T53 at Kirbymoorside.
Fitter2 is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 18:50
  #3754 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Posts: n/a
Ah yes, the Sigma - whatever happened to that? The BRM of gliding I think. I spent my whole career in engineering design, and gadgets designed by a committee never ended well.
Old 10th Dec 2017, 19:29
  #3755 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nottingham
Age: 73
Posts: 231
Death on my shoulder?

Third solo Mk111 that well known brick. It had been a les than brilliant February day with broken snow on the ground and wintery sleet flurries passing through. The school was eager to see the back of our course as they were well behind the 'solos expected' curve on the graph in some bods office. The CO kept me in the cockpit freezing my gonads off whilst yet another snowshower whipped through. True the sky looked a little lighter, true the wind dropped, and the bellow of wings level cable on left me in no doubt I was about to aviate. Fg Off Dean tapped my shoulder. 'Whatever you do son stay out of cloud'If it looks likely dump the cable and s turn as taught ok' Quick nod in reply.

Take off was fine. 800'was fine. The turn downwind was fine. Until I ran into cloud.

Character building. Certainly. Dangerous yes. No fancy intruments to rely on just 'common sence airmanship as taught. Don't move the stick, just pop the spoilers and see what happens. Dropping out of the cloudbase I'd still got 500' but my troubles were far from over for snow was now falling and broken snow camouflages an airfield like nothing else. The runway caravan all red and white squares had vanished. (I'd actually driffted more than 90 downwind and was expecting to see it on my port side- but coming out of cloud I'd put in on my starboard side was was unaware of the fact) At this point it's fair to say worried nearly became frightened and frightened wasn't far away from panic. Scan, lad scan and as if by magic I caught a glipse of hangers ahead of me and instantly regained positional awareness. A right hand circuit followed with a landing close to the caravan

The following conversation then ensued. C.O. 'Just for a minute there laddie I thought you vanished into cloud' Fg Off Dean standing behind him is vigourously shaking his head and mouthing NO.
'I may have just scaped the base sir. C.O. beams, that's the spirit'. Fg Off Dean claps me on the shoulder. 'Christ you don't know what paperwork you've just saved us'

So to all of you who doubt the value of Air Cadet Gliding, read and digest. Not exactly turning boys into men but teaching boys how to handle sticky situations if not with aplomb but with a degree of competence they never thought they'd gained. All down to superb staff, a brilliant flying syllabus and aircraft that though basic were up to the job And all this after just 25 launches. Sad to see it all fizzle away.
Prangster is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2017, 20:56
  #3756 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Posts: n/a
I can top that one. It was a miserable misty November morning at our gliding club. I was on my second or third turn as duty assistant instructor. There was a batch of ab-initios hanging about hoping to fly.

Word came that the duty instructor was ill and could I take command till someone else could take over. I looked the sky and decided that flying might be possible but being a cautious type I felt that a weather check might be a good idea, so we got the winch positioned, a two seater D.I.'d, and cable laid. I called for a volunteer and a pupil joined me in the cockpit of our Capstan. At the time I thought what we had was just some mist, and that the cloud was higher. At 800ft (just like you) we shot into the cloud. By the time I realised that this wasn't mist, we were passing 1000ft. Too high to land ahead and maybe even S-turn, as ours was a very small field surrounded by suburbia on three sides. I decided to go to the top of the launch to give me more time to sort out this mess. At 1200ft we dropped the wire, right in the mirk by now. The only thing I could think of was to try to fly racetracks till we broke clear. The pupil had a good watch, so I briefed him to call out at every minute as the second hand passed zero and we flew S/L for one minute, Rate 1 turn on the T/S one minute, S/L again, turn, and so on till we completed two rounds of this, me battling to keep the speed as accurately as I could. We popped out at 700ft, and my guardian angel was with me, as we were just downwind of the field facing into wind. Full brake and a bit of sideslip, and we were back on the ground. I let the pupil do the landing as he needed the practice. We put the kit away and adjourned to our local as there was no further flying that day. No one ever mentioned this affair afterwards either. I learned about flying from that.

I ought to mention that I had done quite a bit of cloud flying in my Olympia which had an artificial horizon installed , so it was by no means a new experience, but I was lucky and I knew it. Very character building.
Old 11th Dec 2017, 14:48
  #3757 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 76
Posts: 6,365
Prangster - and that, IMHO, is what has very sadly been lost
Wander00 is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2017, 19:57
  #3758 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 60
Posts: 262
Seconded Wander. And its also about fostering 'air mindedness'. Forget all the careers (including mine) - we'll never know how many people might have complained about a low-flying RAF aircraft, but didn't, because they empathised. Because, in their minds eye, they still remembered climbing out of a T-21 or T-31 many years ago, when they too, flew an aircraft with RAF markings. Finally, when I wrote about the advantages of taking kids gliding for Pilot magazine I pointed out that "Every week we hear about problems with disaffected teenagers, with some social observers pointing out that a great deal of their disaffection simply stems from the fact that they have nothing to do. Far too many greedy councils sold off playing fields to be turned into supermarkets, while swimming pools, sports centres and youth clubs are shut to save money. It’s no wonder the kids are bored! If I was rich, I’d certainly set up some sort of charitable Foundation to help disadvantaged teenagers enjoy a day out at a gliding club, as I’ve always felt that air sports can be very valuable in promoting the social, intellectual and physical development of teenagers. With gliding we have an activity which offers both physical and mental exercise, instils pride in solo achievement, and yet is only made possible with teamwork. Soaring flight requires the practical application of lessons learned in maths, physics and geography, while even relatively mundane airfield tasks such as keeping the log can teach young people another very important lesson- learning to take responsibility.
To become a good pilot requires discipline and self-discipline, while a good day’s gliding combines all the elements of a great day out - fun, excitement, exercise and adventure in the fresh air. Just what you want when you’re a teenager. I read recently that a new medical problem (currently more prevalent in the US than here – but it’s only a matter of time) is the increasing number of children being treated with the drug methylphenidate. It is used for conditions such as attention deficit disorder, but unfortunately (although perhaps unsurprisingly) some eventually become dependent on the drug. Of course, you may well feel that encouraging children to ingest powerful psychostimulants isn’t a great idea in the first place, particularly when a 2010 study on methylphenidate indicated that the drug doesn't promote a good academic outcome. Interestingly, there is evidence that participation in air sports can actually be therapeutic for some of these individuals, resulting in an improvement in their attitude to life – and I can well believe it."

As the Prangster recalls, he got a rush that day he still remembers - and the adrenaline it released was a lot better for him than any amount of methylphenidate.

Last edited by DaveUnwin; 11th Dec 2017 at 20:23. Reason: Added a bit.
DaveUnwin is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2017, 21:04
  #3759 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: LONDON
Posts: 107
The Air Cadet Aerospace Offer

The Air Cadet Aerospace Offer:Written statement - HLWS344 - UK Parliament
ATFQ is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2017, 22:45
  #3760 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYWH (Victoria)
Posts: 5,520
Ah yes, the Sigma - whatever happened to that? The BRM of gliding I think.

It came to Alberta and was rebuilt with slotted flaps by Dave Marsden. I don't know where it is now. I'll make some enquiries.

The hydraulically actuated flaps increased the wing area to 177 square feet (an increase of 35%), lowering the wing loading and stalling speed (37 knots), allowing the desired tight circling when thermalling.[3] The hydraulic pressure needed to move the flaps was provided by the pilot pumping on the rudder pedals, this proving to be tiring, not to mention that moving the flaps in flight was found to be almost impossible due to bending in the wings. Performance testing revealed a disappointing[4] best L/D of 41:1 and the project was wound up in 1977.[1]

The group offered the Sigma up to further development by other parties, selecting a proposal by David Marsden a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta (on sabbatical at Cranfield Institute of Technology and a glider pilot holding records with his own glider designs such as the Marsden Gemini).[5]

The aircraft was moved to Canada in 1979 by Marsden, modified with a new flap system, conventional ailerons in lieu of outboard flap sections and the tail parachute was removed from the rudder. Despite the glide ratio only increasing to 47:1, its good climb rate made it competitive with contemporary Open Class gliders of the time, breaking the US 300 km triangle record in 1997 at 151 km/h (82 kn).[1]
India Four Two is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.