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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 8th May 2018, 18:54
  #4361 (permalink)  
 
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Out of interest where are all the Vigilants currently located - bar the Topcliffe 3? They've vanished and are holed up somewhere - all 50 odd of them.

I wonder how long the Topcliffe guys will be grounded for again as they sort the conversion onto Viking, winches, retrieve vehicles.
Actually are they able to operate from the airfield with it's runway lighting and recent resurfacing?

Finding out at 10am on a busy bank holiday with a full program is such incompetence it's insulting.
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Old 8th May 2018, 19:17
  #4362 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shaft109 View Post

Finding out at 10am on a busy bank holiday with a full program is such incompetence it's insulting.
Like they wouldn't have known on Friday?
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Old 8th May 2018, 19:59
  #4363 (permalink)  
 
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CGB:_
perhaps the very fact that aircraft have been grounded/withdrawn/destroyed is indicative of senior officers actually waking-up to the issues and doing the 'right thing' (insofar as they recognise the problem and from a personal level are unwilling to continue the charade).
The only waking up is to the fact that they've been rumbled. Having cleared MOD's corridors of anyone who understood the system pre year zero, the subsequent cover up of VSO actions in wrecking UK Military Air Safety for short term financial savings in the late 80s/early 90s was supposedly secure. However, that didn't take into account FoI legislation and the tenacious determination of some of those expelled engineers (take a bow tuc!) to expose the scandal and start the long and painful task of restoring UK Military Airworthiness. You can't do that by grounding/withdrawing/destroying all the affected fleets, there would simply be no UK military aircraft left to fly!

The extent of the problem is summed up concisely by tuc (good post BTW) :-
tell me why today's PTs and the MAA can't do this. Starter for ten. None of them have ever experienced a word of what I've said.
That's no glib throw-away one liner, it's the awful extent of this self induced tragedy. The easy options have been tried and we now offer would be RAF entrants little or no chance of gliding, and we now offer the Royal Navy no RAF Maritime Support. What next? The RAF has no option but to keep the other operational fleets flying, despite a Regulatory System that has been rendered dysfunctional by...the RAF, and an Air Accident Investigator that has form in being compromised by...the RAF. If the Senior Officers that you speak of were to do the "right thing" it would be to demand that the UK Military Air Regulator and the Accident Investigator be made independent of the MOD and of each other. Their best bet would be to sister themselves alongside their civilian counterparts, the CAA and AAIB, though whether that would be welcomed by those organisations is another matter.

Every airworthiness related fatal accident thread on this forum has resulted from death. Give thanks that, no matter how galling it is to have had all the dedication and duty freely given come to this, this thread is an exception to that grisly rule. Time is of the essence now and time wasted is time (and potentially lives) lost. Never mind the past, fear for the future!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 8th May 2018 at 20:17.
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Old 10th May 2018, 19:24
  #4364 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by David Thompson View Post
I see that The Boss has a new aeroplane , a recently registered Sting S4 G-NIAC and gives his company address at Syerston and interestingly the ownership status is given as 'chartered' .
Built by cadets of the NI Wing at the Long Kesh hangars. Project funded in part by Bombardier and Boeing UK.

https://www.facebook.com/UlsterAviat...-ZteT8&fref=nf

Whether or not it is to be used for cadet AEF I don't know.
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Old 10th May 2018, 21:17
  #4365 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shaft109 View Post
Out of interest where are all the Vigilants currently located - bar the Topcliffe 3? They've vanished and are holed up somewhere - all 50 odd of them.

I wonder how long the Topcliffe guys will be grounded for again as they sort the conversion onto Viking, winches, retrieve vehicles.
Actually are they able to operate from the airfield with it's runway lighting and recent resurfacing?

Finding out at 10am on a busy bank holiday with a full program is such incompetence it's insulting.
If they're not at Syerston my money would be on one of the other sites under direct 2FTS control.
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Old 11th May 2018, 08:04
  #4366 (permalink)  
 
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Syerston STING

Am I reading this correctly that a 'funded' Cadet project from NI is now at 2FTS (well know centre of non aviation) for what purpose!!
As an LAA project it is extremely unlikely that Cadets would be allowed to fly in it (as Cadets) due to its 'certification'. So what is going on.
Syerston is building itself up as a SUPER CENTRE of non flying whilst all around the system collapse's.
How long can this whole sorry mess be allowed to continue with spokeless hubs, no qualified staff, and a 'plan' that seems to rely on both potential staff, and Cadets having to be transported hundreds of miles to remote outlets for a complete w-end at a time, and that's before another system is arranged to provide qualified cover for the transport, accommodation, meals, from an organisation that is so under numbers on uniformed staff everywhere it beggars belief.
The game plan seems to be a recruiting drive for CI's (who we all know have been treated so well by the system) and no thought to the time it takes to get them 'authorised'. Well you may be able fool the 'Brass at the top' but if reading Air Cadet Central is anything to go by no one is fooling the troops on the ground who are well past the 'restless' stage. Does ANYONE in the Cadet organisation have any ideas about what is going (or not going on) and how to get it CHANGED.
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Old 11th May 2018, 08:29
  #4367 (permalink)  
 
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It's all in the Times today

It's all in the Times today, May 11th., so plenty of opportunity to shed a little light and add learned comment

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...ears-pc607tbdl
By David Brown, Chief News Correspondent May 11 2018, 12:00am, The Times - Full article below except for incorrectly captioned photo of ZH268 - Stock photo, so probably stock caption too ? - Quote "The Vigilants, which are used to train future military and civilian pilots, will remain in service until October next year"

The RAF has ordered the immediate grounding of a fleet of gliders that has been used to train thousands of pilots.Training units were given a day’s notice that all flights in Vigilant T1 motor gliders must halt at 4pm on Sunday. The aircraft are expected to be scrapped amid reports of safety concerns.The Vigilants have been flown by the air force for almost 30 years and have been used to train future military and civilian pilots. The Duchess of Cambridge piloted a Vigilant training simulator during a visit to an RAF airfield in February last year.The ageing Vigilant, manufactured by the German company Grob Aircraft, was being gradually replaced but had been due to remain in service until October next year.All air cadet gliders had been grounded in April 2014 following concerns about the airworthiness of the fleet.Flights resumed in 2016 but 14 of 26 volunteer glider squadrons were disbanded, with surviving units expanded. The Vigilant was still being used by cadets at RAF Woodvale in Merseyside and RAF Topcliffe in North Yorkshire with instructors trained at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire.Flight Lieutenant Aaron O’Roarty, of the 645 Volunteer Gliding Service based at RAF Topcliffe, announced the sudden decision to ground the fleet.He wrote on Facebook: “We always knew the Vigilant was nearing the end of her service but we expected this would not be as soon as it has been. There will be many a tear shed following her retirement and it’s an aircraft you had a passion and love for.”The final flight took to the air at 3.37pm with Squadron Leader Stephen Hughes accompanying Cadet Edward Goulding from 610 (City of Chester) unit. Squadron Leader Hughes said: “We all understand the reasons, but can’t help but feel it’s a shame it is being removed from service early.”RAF Topcliffe will return to flying Viking T1 gliders currently used by nine other training squadrons.
LFH

......................
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Old 11th May 2018, 09:31
  #4368 (permalink)  
 
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It is envisaged RAF Air Cadets will use the completed Sting S4 for flying training, once it has been certified to fly by the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) and No. 2 Flying Training School (FTS).
aircadetsni.org.uk :: Royal Air Force Cadets, Northern Ireland » RAF Air Cadets build a Sting S4

'Envisaged' seems rather non-commital but we'll see what happens. The S4 is quite a performant little machine, slippier and faster than a Bulldog but with a much lower stalling speed ( 34 kts says the Interweb ).
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Old 11th May 2018, 09:44
  #4369 (permalink)  
 
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The last post from LFH appears (note - appears) to confirm a suspicion that I've had for some days since the announcement of the Vigilant withdrawal from service. Why the immediate cessation of flying?

If the decision was driven by the inability to recover the originally planned 15 aircraft, and the costs of keeping a smaller Vigilant fleet going, than the withdrawal could have happened in an orderly manner as contracts wound down and budgets were cancelled. But this wasn't the case - this looks like a straight 'grounding' - camouflaged as an 'immediate withdrawal from service'.

Given the way this whole saga has run to date, I'd suspect that the Times is right, and there was a safety issue. Perhaps an MAA instruction to stop flying? Perhaps another audit went wrong? In any case, another example of 22Gp and 2FTS' inability to run a whelk stall. It's just over two years since the MoD and the RAF got a politician to stand up and announce that the plan was to recover up to 15 Vigilant and run them on until 2019. Now this, which has to put a bomb under their carefully laid plans for ATC flying over the next 12 months.

I sincerely hope that the Times does some digging on this one.

Best regards as ever to all those struggling to get cadets in the air,

Engines
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Old 11th May 2018, 11:09
  #4370 (permalink)  
 
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Does the acquisition of the Sting S4 mean the Air Cadets are finally getting an aircraft with an airframe parachute?
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Old 11th May 2018, 13:22
  #4371 (permalink)  
 
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El Bunt The Sting is a very nice 'kit plane' but is not able to be certified as suitable for 'public transport'. It is extremely unlikely that in the current situation of the lack of a quality RAF tech system to even inspect this aircraft that anyone would be seen to officially even fly 'Air Cadets' in the machine let alone train.
The excellent LAA (formerly PFA) system is superb, and well endowed with competence, however it is very much based on the premise that the homebuilt aircraft in use are not burdened with the cost of certification to a level not required for 'private use'.
The Air Cadet Organisation have made it abundantly clear that Cadets are only flown in fully certified aircraft by qualified pilots, and there is no way that the LAA can change their operation of inspection and control to upgrade to the likes of British Aerospace or Grob.
The RAF itself are hardly the experts in all this type of 'self build' so are in no position to certify a machine even if it suited them.
Judging by the most recent Vigilant ops being stopped it hardly bodes well for the 'capability' or competence of those in charge of ATC flying who are quite unable to organise anything remotely sensible or actually indicating they had a clue about anything. Huge amounts of public money are still being spent NOT PROVIDING A FLYING SERVICE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO, and jobs/ranks continue to expand at 2FTS just soaking up the budget. This is what happens when there is a total lack of ability in the system, NO LEADERSHIP, and the system becomes a home for pension top ups and non producers.
I do not know why 'THE TIMES' thought we still had 9 Squadrons flying the Vikings !!! someone should inform them what is really going (not going) on.

Last edited by POBJOY; 11th May 2018 at 13:28. Reason: add content
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Old 11th May 2018, 13:32
  #4372 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
El Bunt The Sting is a very nice 'kit plane' but is not able to be certified as suitable for 'public transport'. It is extremely unlikely that in the current situation of the lack of a quality RAF tech system to even inspect this aircraft that anyone would be seen to officially even fly 'Air Cadets' in the machine let alone train.
The excellent LAA (formerly PFA) system is superb, and well endowed with competence, however it is very much based on the premise that the homebuilt aircraft in use are not burdened with the cost of certification to a level not required for 'private use'.
The Air Cadet Organisation have made it abundantly clear that Cadets are only flown in fully certified aircraft by qualified pilots, and there is no way that the LAA can change their operation of inspection and control to upgrade to the likes of British Aerospace or Grob.
The RAF itself are hardly the experts in all this type of 'self build' so are in no position to certify a machine even if it suited them.
Judging by the most recent Vigilant ops being stopped it hardly bodes well for the 'capability' or competence of those in charge of ATC flying who are quite unable to organise anything remotely sensible or actually indicating they had a clue about anything. Huge amounts of public money are still being spent NOT PROVIDING A FLYING SERVICE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO, and jobs/ranks continue to expand at 2FTS just soaking up the budget. This is what happens when there is a total lack of ability in the system, NO LEADERSHIP, and the system becomes a home for pension top ups and non producers.
HQ Air Cadets sponsored 'Microlight Flying Scholarships' at Halton in 1996/97 using Chevvron 2-32c aircraft. These were operated by the Ridge Runners Flying Centre but HQAC 'pulled' the funding after 19 cadets had got their wings presented by the AOC and gained either a PPL(M) or Restricted PPL(M).
Later in about 1998 or '99, further courses were run at Halton using a Cyclone AX2000, but I had been 'sacked' by my Wg Cdr by then and had no further association with Halton so I don't know any details of these.
In both cases the aircraft were civil registered using instructors with a 'full' rating, one of whom had definitely been 'assessed' by CFS.

Last edited by chevvron; 11th May 2018 at 16:18.
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Old 11th May 2018, 14:40
  #4373 (permalink)  
 
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M-Light training

Chev I remember that scheme which was far to much common sense for it to continue, and there were still 'trades' in the service then that could get involved.
Since then we have had so much caution entering the ACO that it is easier to do nothing than provide a service that actually allows Cadets to train to a solo standard. The fact that the RAF started off with a BRAND NEW fleet of machines (SLMG & Gliders) and were unable to keep them serviceable says it all.
The LAA are a great (and competent) organisation and like the ATC (gliding as was) is a product of volunteer input but with a capable management system keeping overall control. The fact that they now oversee quite complex home builts many of which have an aerobatic capability and high capacity engines only confirms their ability to run an organisation. The Air Cadets should look towards an association of this kind to provide a flying input as the current situation is neither fit for purpose or staffed by anyone who knows how to do anything. Huge sums of public money is just being wasted providing nothing and it is time that this was stopped and a new organisation started up to get back on track, even if it meant amalgamating with the Scouts who do have leadership and track record in delivery. 2FTS and Syerston is just a money eating machine that does not provide anything, but destroyed a perfectly satisfactory training organisation with a track record second to none. Time to bin all this nonsense and get some sense going. Nothing to loose as its just turned into a cosy job for the few and lack of provision to the many. The latest Vig debacle only confirms the total lack of credibility in the current system under the present management.
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Old 11th May 2018, 15:22
  #4374 (permalink)  
 
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Ex-RAF officers looking after their superannuated brother officers to the detriment of the taxpayer?
Austerity for the many, not for the few friends of 2 FTS.

Last edited by DC10RealMan; 11th May 2018 at 15:37.
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Old 11th May 2018, 16:33
  #4375 (permalink)  
 
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Prior to the Chevvron courses, we ran AEF for cadets using Cyclone AX3s. HQAC were fully aware what we were doing and we got a 'parents consent' form using a template from AP1919.
Monthly returns were submitted to HQAC giving the number of RAFVR(T) pilots (who had to hold a PPL[A] minimum and have 10 hours pilot i/c before taking cadets ie the same as for Vigilant G1) and total cadet flying.
HQAC indicated they wouldn't approve the Rotax 503 engine being used for cadet training however, hence the switch to the Chevvron 2-32 with its Konig engine for the actual courses.
Of course all this happened long before 'control' of cadet flying was passed to 2FTS.
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Old 11th May 2018, 16:35
  #4376 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Caconym View Post
If they're not at Syerston my money would be on one of the other sites under direct 2FTS control.
A riddle:

What sits unloved in a hangar, awaiting the final nail (or saw) to arrive from a man whose incompetence is only surpassed by his own arrogance, at the highest airfield in his fiefdom...?
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Old 11th May 2018, 16:40
  #4377 (permalink)  
 
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In August 1991 during the first Vigilant course run by 637 at Little Rissington, (then the highest airfield in the RAF) there were 3 Ventures pushed over to the side of the hangar forgotten, unloved and gathering dust.

Last edited by chevvron; 11th May 2018 at 18:15.
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Old 11th May 2018, 19:50
  #4378 (permalink)  
 
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Unloved Ventures

The Venture played its part in proving that the ACO could operate a SLMG with the same competence displayed with conventional winch launched operations.
Its performance was such that some airfields were limiting, but the 'training' it gave did show the way ahead as an alternative to the winch. They may have been unloved at the end but it did not stop them finding new homes.
The worst aspect of the LATEST SUPER PERMANENT PAUSE is that no lessons seem to have been learnt re the decision making at COCK UP TOWERS or any sign that the management at Syerston will improve. JM gets a 'Sting' an appropriate name for the organisation he runs. Never mind no doubt someone will suggest they 'procure' another batch of PTT to practice shopping bag filling .Is there no end to this madness.
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Old 11th May 2018, 20:02
  #4379 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=chevvron;10144227 Little Rissington, (then the highest airfield in the RAF)[/QUOTE]

Didn’t know that - but I’m from the RAF Eastleigh etc days.
What’s the highest now ?
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Old 11th May 2018, 21:01
  #4380 (permalink)  
 
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In this sorry situation I can’t see what else the RAF could do, faced with a fleet of motor gliders, most unserviceable fitted with an engine that has no manufacture support and a dwindling stock of parts.

Whatever went on in the past right at this moment what else could they do when the aircraft manufacturer and type certificate holder pulled out of the re-engining deal ?

( before someone tells me the G109 already has Rotax engine approval I should point out that the approval it does not cover this variant).

The money saved by withdrawal of the G109’s from service will allow more Viking’s to return to service, in my opinion this is the mediocre best of a very bad job.
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