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 3rd Jan 2018, 14:52
  #3921 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by sedburgh View Post
The basis of the grounding (described at the time as a 'pause' ) is documented in Duty Holder Advice Notice (DHAN) 20140417 - DHA/86, this has previously been made available under FOI and can be found here.
Unfortunately the details are wrapped up in phrases similar to 'other serious issues'
cats_five is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2018, 20:04
  #3922 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,186
Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Not much to 'age' on a Viking, and especially if proper pre flights are carried out to include heavy landing checks. The machines have proved fine for the job intended and quite suitable for Ist solo excursions. In VGS use they have quite a cosseted existence as most of the time they are in a proper hangar and in the main flown by a limited no of people. I do hope the units that are to be 'spared' get back online with suitable staff ASAP, and that the crass 'anti civ volunteer' direction from 2FTS gets dispelled, and the H&S brigade do not throw the baby out with the bathwater with regard to operating the ground equipment.
In fact a change at the top at Syerston would be a welcome improvement for morale and leadership capability.
Accident or hangar damage aside, gelcoat cracks are one of the main issues to be addressed on gliders of this age. Gelcoat was designed for furniture, not aircraft, and, being more brittle than the epoxy/glass, it will eventually crack. After 18000 or so winch launches that the Vikings are likely to have done, landings on bumpy grass airfields and the subsequent flexing on bumpy retrieve to the launch point, cracks do appear. Most are only in the gelcoat, but once they get significant, they need to be investigated just in case they extend into the epoxy resin and glass.
At present, the only way to check this is to remove the gelcoat and look. This removal and refinishing is very time consuming.

Pages 64 to 67 of the attached document give Alexander Schleicher's description of crack inspection.
http://www.aeroclubrieti.it/w/wp-con...006-I-IVWO.pdf

Some more good info here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ng/_aMFi3fva9o
Mechta is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2018, 22:04
  #3923 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Some k21s are reaching 12,000 hours and reflifing, neither of the two I know have needed cracks checking as per the above. The two common locations for wear & tear are at the tail end of the tailboom and the corners of the airbrake boxes.
cats_five is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2018, 10:22
  #3924 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://members.gliding.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/04/1430312110_4-3.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiyqLvtl77YAhWFbFAKHWhJCGIQFgg9MAQ&usg=AOvVa w0-EJXF__ICHZpsxW4VX5Y9

Heavy landing checks, clearly not part of a normal daily inspection
cats_five is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2018, 10:49
  #3925 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In all the clubs I have been in (5) a heavy landing inspection took place immediately after the event, and NOT at the next DI. If you chose to check for a heavy landing at DI it might take all day! Your's must be a funny club.
 
Old 4th Jan 2018, 10:58
  #3926 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by Olympia 463 View Post
In all the clubs I have been in (5) a heavy landing inspection took place immediately after the event, and NOT at the next DI. If you chose to check for a heavy landing at DI it might take all day! Your's must be a funny club.
Which is exactly as it should be. Another poster suggested that "if proper pre flights are carried out to include heavy landing checks".
cats_five is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2018, 11:35
  #3927 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 73
Posts: 977
Heavy Landing Check

The whole point of a DI is to ascertain the 'airworthiness' of a machine at that time.
The ATC Gliding School operations were in the main a w-end activity and staff not always present every w-end, therefore there could be a certain lack of continuity in knowledge of events.
When I attended a Glider Inspection course at Swanton Morley it was always made clear to me that 'damage' was frequently difficult to spot unless close attention was given to the areas prone to landing issues, and it should be remembered that this could also include running over airfield ruts left by wheel tracks in the winter. In the main the suspect items were skids and the wheel box, and we usually DI'd in the hangar as it was easier to inspect that area on a flat clear surface (with lead light or torch if required).
Not ALL incidents get reported and there are no instrument recordings to refer to on most gliders therefore a proper DI should include the assumption that the machine MAY have been 'stressed' over the norm.
POBJOY is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2018, 12:10
  #3928 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Yes a DI needs to be through, but it's nothing like a genuine heavy landing inspection. For one thing you didn't routinely derig... I also wonder if 'modern' glass gliders are more robust. What causes the damage to ours is not running over frozen rutted fields - if they are that bad we don't fly - but in the case of single seaters poorly handled arrivals. Despite some excellent hangers we have also had hanger rash mostly where some pilots are far too eager to push a glider in and push too fast. We have also had ground handling accidents that have damage gliders. So yes, we are taught where to look for a DI but it falls well short of a real heavy landing inspection.
cats_five is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2018, 17:02
  #3929 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 13
Is it just me or has this thread long since drifted away from its title? Interesting stuff but not much to do with Air Cadets being grounded.

Shall we move on?
onlyme is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2018, 18:41
  #3930 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by onlyme View Post
Is it just me or has this thread long since drifted away from its title? Interesting stuff but not much to do with Air Cadets being grounded.

Shall we move on?

There is very little to be said about the grounding. For a fleet of in the region of 100 gliders spread around the country to all be grounded must have taken a systemic failure from the top to the bottom of the organisation - only the Cadets are blameless.

It would have happened whatever the gliders were. Some of them are being 'recovered' e.g. minutely inspected and work done as required, paperwork correct and up-today and are starting to emerge and fly again.

The big question I don't think I've seen addressed is what has been done to ensure yet another systemic top to bottom failure doesn't happen now the gliders are fit to fly again.

If it hasn't been addressed the tax payer will simply end up paying again.

Additionally the ATC seem to have made it as hard as possible for cadets to get an air experience at a BGA club - my club has no problems with an air experience day or evening for a local school but the ATC gold-plated their requirements, plus seemed incapable of doing the arranging doing the winter so we could fit it in with our other summer flying.

As far as I know none of the individual units had more gliders than the largest clubs so keeping on top of maintenance & paperwork should not have been beyond them.
cats_five is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2018, 19:06
  #3931 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
There is very little to be said about the grounding. For a fleet of in the region of 100 gliders spread around the country to all be grounded must have taken a systemic failure from the top to the bottom of the organisation - only the Cadets are blameless.
.
I wonder if the organization has passed the point of no return with respect to having a flying program for air cadets. As a outsider looking in there does not appear to be any interest in the senior leadership promoting anything beyond the scenario where all existing and future air cadets are going to get is a few air experience flights.

Sadly it seems that the incompetence that created the original requirement to ground all air cadet aircraft has now combined with an extremely risk averse leadership cadre that have leveraged "Health and Safety" concerns into a defacto ban on air cadet flying training.

I contrast what is happening in the UK with the situation in Canada where a vibrant Air Cadet gliding program produces over 300 new Air Cadet fully licensed glider pilots ever year.

The one thing I have noticed is that in Canada the Air Cadet program enjoys very high support from many influential serving and retired General Officers, all of whom got there first flying lessons in an Air Cadet glider. In fact about 5 years there was a move to reduce the Air Force support to the Air Cadets which would have greatly reduced Air Cadet gliding.

The overwhelming instant opposition to this move by many important figures caused an immediate about face by the Department of National Defence.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 02:12
  #3932 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Got the impression the ATC gliding here has never aimed to get most cadets to fully licensed glider pilots.

Any chance the newly airworthy gliders will stay in that state?
cats_five is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 05:42
  #3933 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: W. Scotland
Posts: 516
There is very little to be said about the grounding. For a fleet of in the region of 100 gliders spread around the country to all be grounded must have taken a systemic failure from the top to the bottom of the organisation - only the Cadets are blameless.
Reasons set out earlier in this and other threads. They've even been published in a book.

The big question I don't think I've seen addressed is what has been done to ensure yet another systemic top to bottom failure doesn't happen now the gliders are fit to fly again.
The failings resulted in the Hadden-Cave review and MoD set up the MAA. So you need to ask why the gliders were grounded four years after it was formed.
dervish is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 11:57
  #3934 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,274
Good Post, dervish. Thank you! I take it that the book you refer to is Their Greatest Disgrace by David Hill. It describes the systemic failures that were deliberately created by RAF VSOs in the 80s/90s and that infect the UK Military Airfleet to this day (including ACO gliders!).

Amazon Amazon


It also describes the systemic cover up of those VSO actions which prevents proper reform of UK Military Air Accident Investigation and Regulation to this day. This accident was the most costly airworthiness related UK Military Air Accident but by no means the only one. 74 deaths have featured in military airworthiness related air accidents in this forum alone.

Self Regulation Doesn't Work and in Aviation It Kills!
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 12:07
  #3935 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: Canada
Posts: 341
If there was a "Like" button, it would be pressed for Chug & Dervish's post.
Avtur is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 13:17
  #3936 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 71
Posts: 8,579
Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
Got the impression the ATC gliding here has never aimed to get most cadets to fully licensed glider pilots.
Most cadets were taught to a level sufficient to be awarded the BGA A & B certificate and that was it. Very few failed to reach this stage as the instructors would persevere until they did.
Chosen ones like Pobjoy, Jem 60 and myself were deemed worthy of further training and became Staff Cadets on our gliding schools and given further training enabling us to take passengers on AEG and maybe become instructors ourselves.
Sorry if that sounds a bit pompous but that's the way it was.
chevvron is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:16
  #3937 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Most cadets were taught to a level sufficient to be awarded the BGA A & B certificate and that was it. Very few failed to reach this stage as the instructors would persevere until they did.
Chosen ones like Pobjoy, Jem 60 and myself were deemed worthy of further training and became Staff Cadets on our gliding schools and given further training enabling us to take passengers on AEG and maybe become instructors ourselves.
Sorry if that sounds a bit pompous but that's the way it was.
Whereas just about all the cadets where I fly reach GPL standard, which I believe is approximately Bronze (BGA qualification) plus XC endorsement. That clearly is a lot more than flying a solo circuit, and probably more than the Staff Cadets did.

What however is truly bizarre is allowing staff cadets to take passengers, but BGA BIs who have achieved a somewhat higher level of qualification!
cats_five is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 14:24
  #3938 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Good Post, dervish. Thank you! I take it that the book you refer to is Their Greatest Disgrace by David Hill. It describes the systemic failures that were deliberately created by RAF VSOs in the 80s/90s and that infect the UK Military Airfleet to this day (including ACO gliders!).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Their-Great...atest+disgrace


It also describes the systemic cover up of those VSO actions which prevents proper reform of UK Military Air Accident Investigation and Regulation to this day. This accident was the most costly airworthiness related UK Military Air Accident but by no means the only one. 74 deaths have featured in military airworthiness related air accidents in this forum alone.

Self Regulation Doesn't Work and in Aviation It Kills!
So the irony seems to be that had the Vikings been on the G Register under oversight of the BGA, they might never have been grounded.
cats_five is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2018, 18:57
  #3939 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Considering the vast improvement in performance of modern gliders, plus things like GPS I would not regard the GPL as proving very much. Even in my time many moons ago, we always said the the only worthwhile qualification for a glider pilot was Silver C. I ran out the statistics at three clubs I was in, and only one in ten of the people who joined the club as ab-initios made it to Bronze, never mind Silver. I doubt more than 5% made it to Silver in those days.

I think that the Silver C tasks need revising in any case. I would drop the five hours altogether which proved nothing except the strength of your bladder. I did it in thermals, because I thought that was the spirit of the task, but most folk snuck off to a ridge site. The distance ought to be at least !00km maybe even 150km, and the height gain at least 2000m. Achieving that standard ought to be possible these days. I'm thinking of having a wooden surround made for my Silver Badge to make the point.
 
Old 8th Jan 2018, 05:52
  #3940 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,418
Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
The whole point of a DI is to ascertain the 'airworthiness' of a machine at that time.
The ATC Gliding School operations were in the main a w-end activity and staff not always present every w-end, therefore there could be a certain lack of continuity in knowledge of events.
<snip>
Hence the importance of the DI book, of reading it and of filling it in correctly.

Originally Posted by Olympia 463
Considering the vast improvement in performance of modern gliders, plus things like GPS I would not regard the GPL as proving very much.
No? Pilots with a GPL will have some 50 launches & landings under their belt, in a variety of conditions. They are ready to do their silver badge - indeed them might have done the first two legs.

If you are going to insist on 2,000m for a Silver height gain that is almost impossible in thermal conditions in the UK given that cloud flying is a no-no these days.

If you increase the silver distance you are not actually making it harder, except for any retrieve crew. The pilot is still out of glide range for the first time, having to find lift in an area they are not familiar with (and land features can influence thermals to quite a degree), and often faced with a first landing somewhere they have never seen before which can be challenging even if it's another airfield.

GPS can help, and given the complexity of airspace today compared to 20 years ago that's a very good thing.

However this is all irrelevant when it comes to ATC gliding.
cats_five 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.