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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 8th Jan 2018, 06:52
  #3941 (permalink)  
 
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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.
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 09:44
  #3942 (permalink)  
 
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Cats

Staff Cadets could not 'automatically' take passengers.

They had to make it to a certain Grade to take passengers much like the BI Grade in the BGA world. A G1 (Passenger Carrying) in the ATC world would probably equate to the old 'Air Experience Instructor' Rating or 'Passenger Pilot' in the BGA of many years ago............

G1 used to have to have at least 50 solo flights before they could be considered for the test..... in practice this meant at least 75 solo flights ( so probably 500 launches) before they could be considered. Then they had to take a test with a 'Flying Supervisor' before the Grade was issued. The Grade was subject to Quarterly check and Annual renewal - so pretty rigorous actually (more than most BGA clubs that I've been a member of.......)

Arc
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 10:38
  #3943 (permalink)  
 
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-

It almost shames me to say it but apart from the great friends and acquaintances I made over 2 stints in VGS operations I've washed my hands of the whole show.

It's lost it's way is an understatement - I really admire those who have selflessly continued to give time and effort but I just can't see how it can continue until it drowns in red tape and the goodwill dries up.
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 11:12
  #3944 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Cats

Staff Cadets could not 'automatically' take passengers.
G1 used to have to have at least 50 solo flights before they could be considered for the test..... in practice this meant at least 75 solo flights ( so probably 500 launches) before they could be considered. Then they had to take a test with a 'Flying Supervisor' before the Grade was issued. The Grade was subject to Quarterly check and Annual renewal - so pretty rigorous actually (more than most BGA clubs that I've been a member of.......)

Arc
Although I was never a GS staff cadet,I joined the staff of 613 whilst I was an apprentice at Halton - I have just looked in my old log book and I see that I got my P2 rating (P2 later became Grade1 so exact equiv) @ 267 launches.Unless a GS pilot was outstanding or perhaps if there was a shortage of P2/G1's there was never any hurry to get people qualified and we were allowed plenty of time to accrue experience.

Hope you had a great xmas Arc
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 13:00
  #3945 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Cats

Staff Cadets could not 'automatically' take passengers.

They had to make it to a certain Grade to take passengers much like the BI Grade in the BGA world. A G1 (Passenger Carrying) in the ATC world would probably equate to the old 'Air Experience Instructor' Rating or 'Passenger Pilot' in the BGA of many years ago............

G1 used to have to have at least 50 solo flights before they could be considered for the test..... in practice this meant at least 75 solo flights ( so probably 500 launches) before they could be considered. Then they had to take a test with a 'Flying Supervisor' before the Grade was issued. The Grade was subject to Quarterly check and Annual renewal - so pretty rigorous actually (more than most BGA clubs that I've been a member of.......)

Arc
I realise that, but equally are I'm sure they are nothing like the equivalent of a BGA Full Cat Instructor which is what the ATC were saying had to fly any Cadets that went to a BGA club as part of the ATC.

I'm also surprised at as many as 500 launches e.g. 500 flights. Cadets are teenagers, they learn very quickly.

People where I fly who want a Family & Friends rating (allows them to take family & friends, they are P1 and fly in the front) a Bronze is required, plus permission from the CFI, plus a flying test, plus must be current on glider type & launch method, plus each & every flight has to be authorised by the Duty Instructor.
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 16:28
  #3946 (permalink)  
 
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Cats

Sounds like both organisations have an adequate level of qualifications and oversight at a flying level for the required task.

It appears to be in other areas there are deficiencies :-)

Regards

Arc
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 18:16
  #3947 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Cats

Sounds like both organisations have an adequate level of qualifications and oversight at a flying level for the required task.

It appears to be in other areas there are deficiencies :-)

Regards

Arc
Indeed, but have the ATC sorted their airworthiness deficiencies or are the recovered gliders going to be grounded again in a few months or years?
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 12:11
  #3948 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
I realise that, but equally are I'm sure they are nothing like the equivalent of a BGA Full Cat Instructor which is what the ATC were saying had to fly any Cadets that went to a BGA club as part of the ATC.
Though the rules were relaxed slightly, it's still very strange that a lot of the time 2FTS insisted on Assistant/Full Category instructors to fly cadets at BGA sites when their own G1s are significantly less experienced than this (let-alone barely current after the pause).
Even as a experienced assistant category instructor I couldn't fly cadets as being 20, I did not meet the required "21-65" age bracket to fly cadets, a very strange rule seeing as the VGSs have triumphed with young instructors for decades .

It was no wonder that some clubs gave up trying to fly cadets and focused on developing their own fantastic junior flying schemes (that have caused a few defections!). Hopefully ACTO35 as it was then has been tamed down. It's only the cadets that lose out... not the BGA clubs or 2FTS.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 14:16
  #3949 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by planesandthings View Post
Though the rules were relaxed slightly, it's still very strange that a lot of the time 2FTS insisted on Assistant/Full Category instructors to fly cadets at BGA sites when their own G1s are significantly less experienced than this (let-alone barely current after the pause).
Even as a experienced assistant category instructor I couldn't fly cadets as being 20, I did not meet the required "21-65" age bracket to fly cadets, a very strange rule seeing as the VGSs have triumphed with young instructors for decades .

It was no wonder that some clubs gave up trying to fly cadets and focused on developing their own fantastic junior flying schemes (that have caused a few defections!). Hopefully ACTO35 as it was then has been tamed down. It's only the cadets that lose out... not the BGA clubs or 2FTS.
Indeed, we have had more than one BI who was under 21. But most BGA clubs were developing their own Junior flying schemes long before this debacle surfaced.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 15:21
  #3950 (permalink)  
 
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BGA vs Air Cadet Gliding!!!!

Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
Indeed, we have had more than one BI who was under 21. But most BGA clubs were developing their own Junior flying schemes long before this debacle surfaced.
This is not a p!ssing contest between the BGA clubs and Air Cadet Gliding, your postings are now getting boring!

Very early on you admitted that "I have no idea what the ATC do as I was never part of the organisation. I'm looking in from outside." and posted "So let's hear it - what is the real point of ATC gliding? Teaching cadets to fly a glider, or something else hung on a bit of gliding?"

Many forumites have tried to educate you about how Air Cadet gliding is/was not about making cross country soaring pilots! But you appear not able to read, or are ignoring the many postings with the answers!

Interestingly you posted "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. "

This is where you are wrong. Of course the cadets are blameless but so are the unpaid volunteer staff (instructors and staff cadets at the various VGS around the country). The problems lay with those highly paid VSOs who were responsible for allowing this debacle to get to the state that it was in over a number of years.

Engines pointed out, "The problem is not 'the paperwork'. The problems are the failures of organisation, culture and competence that led to the paperwork being in an unholy mess."

You rightly said, "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."

Believe you me Cat, those at the top will never allow this to happen again. There is going to be so much paperwork you will not believe it. Everybody involved will have to sign their lives away.

So Cat forget about how the BGA is better than Air Cadet flying. We have read your posts, some of which are constructive, but most are showing your complete lack of understanding of Air Cadet gliding.

I respect your civilian gliding experience, but there are some posters here who have instructed with the Air Cadets and are now instructing with the BGA (indeed some do both quite well).

The question we should all be asking is when are we going to see the end of this debacle and get the Air Cadets back where they belong, in the air, in gliders?

Good luck to those trying to make it happen.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 16:11
  #3951 (permalink)  
 
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Believe you me Cat, those at the top will never allow this to happen again. There is going to be so much paperwork you will not believe it. Everybody involved will have to sign their lives away.
What is needed is understanding at all levels including volunteers of what airworthiness involves and why it matters, not more paperwork - at least not more paperwork than if they were on the G register.

Anyone involved in anything to do with airworthiness (paid or not) including a DI, needs at least a basic understanding of what they should do and equally important, what they should NOT do.

As to the ATC - there are many commendable organisations for children and teenagers to belong to including not only the ATC, but the other cadet forces, Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies, orchestras, sports clubs, dance studios, and even BGA gliding clubs. Is the ATC seriously the very best of them? I do feel there is an awful lot of 'rosy glasses' going on about how the ATC used to be.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 16:34
  #3952 (permalink)  
Olympia 463
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I agree with Frelon. You seem to have no idea what the ATC is/was about. I was trained in a BGA club exclusively by ex-ATC instructors. The most patient and helpful men you could hope to come across. I eventually became an instructor, and flew with three BGA clubs. I wish I could say that all my fellow instructors were like the ATC chaps. In one club they were so macho that the CFI asked me to take over training all the lady ab-initios because several of them had been shouted at by their instructors. Apparently I had a gentler approach. Also the competitive element in the BGA flying was always causing friction in the instructing branch. I hated going to instructors meetings in one club because of the attitude of some of my fellow instructors. Most sports (and the BGA is a sporting organisation, make no mistake) tend to develop people with big heads. I'm quite sure the ATC would have dealt with that in very short order.

As Frelon says there is no way you can compare what the ATC was trying to do with what the BGA does.
 
Old 9th Jan 2018, 16:52
  #3953 (permalink)  
 
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OK, the BGA trains pilots to whatever standard (up to GPL) they desire, and most clubs also do a lot of air experience flying. What ATC does seems to have changed over time, but it seems most ATC cadets if they are lucky get as far as one solo flight, and a select few can continue.

Most pilots regard gliding as a relaxation and a hobby, not a sport. Sailing clubs are quite different - if you sail on a small inland puddle the only way to make it endlessly entertaining is to race. But the sailing clubs I belonged to didn't develop people with big heads, though it was very hard to shrink them on people who turned up like that. Ditto photography clubs.

You seem to have had some unfortunate experiences with the BGA clubs you belonged to, and any instructor who shouts (other than 'I have' or 'stop') needs retraining. No-one learns (or learns well) when shouted at and adult learners are more than capable of sticking up two fingers and walking. In my view the macho club needed the CFI in partnership with the Board to change the culture. However nearly everyone at most BGA clubs is unpaid, so it can be hard to make significant changes.

Not sure though how the competitive element caused friction amongst the instructors but there again I didn't belong to that club at that time.

But would the ATC have 'dealt with it in short time'? It might depend on which ATC unit you are talking about. Just as each BGA club has it's own subculture (some of them highly undesirable), and each sailing club & photography club does (ditto & ditto), I would be amazed if each ATC unit was an exact clone of all the others.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 17:24
  #3954 (permalink)  
 
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I was a P2 Grade pilot (G1 nowadays) at the age of 17 and able to fly cadets for AEG. A year later I was well on the way to being a 'C' Cat instructor (flying with the CO, then he would allocate me a proficiency cadet to whom I was to give instruction in primary and further effects while he - the CO - monitored me) but chickened out.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 17:31
  #3955 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by longer ron View Post
Although I was never a GS staff cadet,I joined the staff of 613 whilst I was an apprentice at Halton - I have just looked in my old log book and I see that I got my P2 rating (P2 later became Grade1 so exact equiv) @ 267 launches.Unless a GS pilot was outstanding or perhaps if there was a shortage of P2/G1's there was never any hurry to get people qualified and we were allowed plenty of time to accrue experience.

Hope you had a great xmas Arc
Ken Baylis checked me out for my P2 at 613 and my first AEG cadet was at 290 launches just a month before my 18th birthday.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 17:52
  #3956 (permalink)  
 
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I spent nearly every weekend for 10 years gliding, initially at BGA clubs, and then as an ATC instructor. I honestly cannot remember ever hearing any instructor shouting at any student. Taking as read the different aims of the two organisations, the outstanding difference I remember very clearly is in consistency of instruction.

When I initially learned at the London Gliding Club, we students were getting frustrated by being taught different circuit procedures by the various instructors. Although the Club recognised this problem they seemed incapable of sorting it out, at least while I was there. This problem was further demonstrated when I moved to Cranfield and we received a visit from the BGA National Coach in his Capstan. After he had flown several dangerous approaches the CFI was pleased to see the back of him.

With the oversight of the Central Gliding School this was never a problem for the ATC. Yes, the character of each school depended very much on the personalities of of the officers in charge, but in my experience, the quality of instruction is remarkably consistent.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 19:06
  #3957 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pulse1 View Post
I spent nearly every weekend for 10 years gliding, initially at BGA clubs, and then as an ATC instructor. I honestly cannot remember ever hearing any instructor shouting at any student. Taking as read the different aims of the two organisations, the outstanding difference I remember very clearly is in consistency of instruction.

<snip>.
Not sure when this was, I'm guessing some time ago since the National Coach flew a Capstan. However the BGA now puts a lot of effort into standardising instruction, though obviously circuits & circuit planning have to vary from club to club.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 20:29
  #3958 (permalink)  
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My first flight carrying a passenger was number 468 in my log book. By flight 480, after being checked out in three flights by the National Coach in his Capstan, I was an assistant instructor. Two weeks later I was deputising for the Duty Instructor who was ill.

I was in no hurry to passenger fly or instruct, but we had an unexpected shortage of instructors in our club in mid !967, and the CFI pressed me to go on the course with the National Coach, and I was lumbered. I really wanted to go on just flying by myself, but I felt I had to put something back to help out the ex-ATC guys who had trained me. I think I did about 1700 trips instructing. Instructing severely limited my opportunities for solo flying and it took me 11 years to complete my Silver! Five hours done in '66, height in '67, and C/C in '77.
 
Old 10th Jan 2018, 04:23
  #3959 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pulse1 View Post
I spent nearly every weekend for 10 years gliding, initially at BGA clubs, and then as an ATC instructor. I honestly cannot remember ever hearing any instructor shouting at any student. Taking as read the different aims of the two organisations, the outstanding difference I remember very clearly is in consistency of instruction.

When I initially learned at the London Gliding Club, we students were getting frustrated by being taught different circuit procedures by the various instructors. Although the Club recognised this problem they seemed incapable of sorting it out, at least while I was there. This problem was further demonstrated when I moved to Cranfield and we received a visit from the BGA National Coach in his Capstan. After he had flown several dangerous approaches the CFI was pleased to see the back of him.

With the oversight of the Central Gliding School this was never a problem for the ATC. Yes, the character of each school depended very much on the personalities of of the officers in charge, but in my experience, the quality of instruction is remarkably consistent.
We had a LGC instructor at Halton (initials BK) who used to shout at cadets, mind you this was usually when he was in the back seat of a Mk3 and the cadet in front was supposed to wear Gosports and maybe forgot to put them on.
Ray Stafford Allen was a BGA National Coach and had a Capstan (BGA 1133) which he brought to Halton in Sep '66 for a weekend. He didn't let us do the launch or landing, we just flew the circuits.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 10:20
  #3960 (permalink)  
 
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This is not a p!ssing contest between the BGA clubs and Air Cadet Gliding,

Sure thing there !. Forget about BGA, on this thread, a) it's never going to be changed to Air Cadet /BGA United for all manner of reasons b) the aims and objectives are completely different c) it's not bringing anything to the party in terms of the shocking mismanagement by VSO's and d) it's not adding anything about the still minute level of activity given that the entire VGS fleet was brand new in about 1990


And.....whilst on topic, yes the Air Cadets are something pretty great, it has nurtured many, many, outstanding pilots through the medium of the VGS training and the ability to spot young talent. Not only that, for those who didn't necessarily shine in the air, it has also formed the bedrock of future technicians and other ranks through the medium of the teaching and discipline at Squadron level.


Yes, I do thoroughly deprecate the way in which the recent changes have "trashed" the volunteer force, the latest slap down, being the cheap and cheerful "plastic" Queens Commission for Air Cadets as opposed to the RAF VR(T) commission. Even the Commandant herself - a former scribbly, has confessed that "if they'd known what they were embarking upon, they wouldn't have started from here" . What a state of affairs, the blind leading the blind.


On to the future, we have the Chief Spin Doctor, aka Commandant, spurting out Facebook "Good news" stories, but the reality on the ground is rather less good. For example , out of an original 53 Vigilant T Mk1 plus some few others purchased second hand, we now have a huge 6 recovered, with only ONE ( yes one !) flying in any way for Air Cadet training !!, and..........as if that were not enough........it can't be used for Cadet Solo training as it isn't allowed out of the circuit due to lack of FLARM. Then of course, it gets worse, FLARM overheats, can't fix it, and so guess where this is heading when the Duty holder can't sanction anything to get a result !!And they are due out of service in the not too distant !


On the Viking T Mk1, we hear that one or two locations are working up again, but with a much reduced fleet, and only just beginning to produce any Cadet output, which are almost all Blue badge Air Exp sorties.


The PR machine has now introduced different badges for almost anything now, perhaps even one for sitting in a glider, such as the much hyped "simulator" , and "Aerospace camps" where as many aircraft are flown in and Cadets get their backside off the ground.


Add to that, the news that Air Cadet numbers have declined ( yes, their official figures not mine !) by quite a few per cent ( hardly surprising since VGS activity has taken such a hit ), and we can perhaps see where things are going, given the shocking shortage of money in the Defence budget.


Sadly, and very regrettably, the people responsible for this appalling waste of money, ( and potentially exposing Cadets and Instructors to risk if the airworthiness case is correct !) are completely untouched by any disciplinary process, and potentially they may even receive an honour, something which has been short supply for the many totally dedicated and totally professional staff who have been treated so badly.


Time for an Aspirin now !
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