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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 16th May 2018, 17:16
  #4421 (permalink)  
 
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Vigilant -

I'd like to ask - Have the Vigilants (and Vikings) ever been considered airworthy in the technical and legal sense.

How would you find out?

I imagine right now a disposal firm experienced in destroying GRP and Carbon frames are setting up near Little Rissington to simply reduce them to dust - once most have forgotten and the news is chip paper.
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Old 16th May 2018, 18:11
  #4422 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shaft109 View Post
Vigilant -

I'd like to ask - Have the Vigilants (and Vikings) ever been considered airworthy in the technical and legal sense.

How would you find out?

I imagine right now a disposal firm experienced in destroying GRP and Carbon frames are setting up near Little Rissington to simply reduce them to dust - once most have forgotten and the news is chip paper.
The Vikings probably were when they were brand new, and I sincerely hope the ones emerging from Southern Sailplanes are, though I have concerns they will back-slide again.
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Old 16th May 2018, 18:49
  #4423 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
Update, AEF restriction 65yrs. Restrictions on civilian command past 60 are many including other pilot must be under 60.
Used to be 'as old as you like provided you pass the medical and standards checks'.
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:48
  #4424 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lordflasheart View Post
Question please ?

Is it generally agreed that those six Vigilants were still perfectly airworthy at 4pm on Sunday 6th May ?

Or had some further safety problem arisen (that has yet to be revealed) that required an urgent cessation of Vigilant operations ?

Was the termination in the middle of a busy bank holiday flypro yet another carefully polished policy decision ?

Or was it another demonstration of crass mismanagement and a stupid time to bury bad news ?

LFH

..............
The only serviceable aircraft at Topcliffe on the 6th May was indeed serviceable at 16:00 as it was fueled in readiness for flying to Syerston.

No one has come forward with any suggestion of a further safety problem arising.

The termination looks desperate rather than polished with staff being informed at 10:00 Saturday of Sundays 16:00 termination.

The news hasn't been buried more left out in the open for the few Buzzards interested to pick over the Gizzards of a once great and inspirational organisation.
By leaving the affair out in the open with very little official recognition the "news" will become dust to be scattered by a brisk crosswind that only those involved or who have been involved will care or know about.

Joe public will be blissfully unaware of how an organisation like the mighty RAF can allow a simple aircraft like Vigilant or even simpler Viking to become unairworthy and then spend a small fortune recovering those aircraft only to shortly scrap them.
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:04
  #4425 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone have a link to the spending figures on Air Cadet Gliding since the pause?
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:57
  #4426 (permalink)  
 
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Where has the 'experience' gone !!!!!

Happened to meet a (holding on) VGS member recently and asked how many 'staff' were waiting in the wings ready to scramble when the Gliders came back.
Answer (1)
The 'idea' is that the closed units will provide staff to operate the remaining winch units but missing the point that many of the Vig guys have never done the winch thing.
As the organisation used to pride itself on having 'experienced' instructors training Cadets how is this situation supposed to work.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:08
  #4427 (permalink)  
 
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The Viking to Vigilant and Vigilant to Viking conversion has been done before and there is a fairly well practised route for doing this, and involves support from ACCGS staff. The real issue is the headcount required to operate a Viking VGS compared to a Vigilant VGS. On paper the Vigi can operate with only 3 people whereas the Viking needs 5 or 6 and preferably 7 as a minimum. And the more Vikings that you have on the field the more people you need and more vehicles for retrieve etc. I'd almost say the curve is super-exponential. The Vigilant can continue to operate with the same number of support staff with only additional headcount going up by 1 per additional Vigilant.

The real issue is not just that of manpower and skillset, but the suitability of the site itself. Vigilants can operate from a conventional airfield setup (long and thin as many of our airfields are nowadays) and slot in with the traffic on the ground and in the air. The Viking can't. In the past many RAF sites have refused the presence of a Viking VGS because the are can't fit with the traffic of the station, or because the station doesn't want multiple runs of 2000' of cable laid out across the flying field, or is not willing to accept the risk of cables falling across parked aircraft or ground installations, or the fact that winch cable creates a FOD hazard for jet engines and rotors, and in addition they don't want the risk of relatively young and relatively self-supervised cadets out on the field.

Add to that the inconvenience of a largely weekend/silent hours operation and you struggle with sites that want to take the pain of a Viking VGS on. In the past stations have seen VGS as a bit of a pain and adding limited benefit to the life of a busy operational base, Since now the VGS is effectively a detachment of 2FTS that attitude may change but we will have to wait and see. Looking at the sites that are currently either a VGS or supposedly slotted to be one it looks like this IMHO;

Kenley - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Upavon - OK (Long and thin and shared)
Wethersfield - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Merrifield - Unknown quantity
Syerston - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Little Rissington - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Topcliffe - Potentially OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Predannack - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Ternhill - OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)
Kirknewton OK (not long and thin so offers options to adjust the circuit direction and launch run in crosswind conditions)

Closed sites

RAF Manston - was ideal (now sold)
Hullavington - was ideal (now sold)
RM Condor - was ideal (now being sold)
RAF Honington - could provide suitable site but has busy airspace with USAF nearby
Abingdon Dalton Barracks - was ideal (now being sold)
RAF Halton - was ideal (now being sold)
RAF Henlow - some conflict with other users but being sold anyway
RAF Odiham - possible with some modifications
RMB Chivenor - possible with some modifications
RAF Cosford - possible with some modifications
MOD St. Athan - not really suitable due to developments on the airfield
Swansea Airport - not ideal due to other users
RAF Linton-on-Ouse - possible with some modifications, may get quieter in the future or be sold anyway
Watton Airifield - was ideal (now sold)
RAF Kinloss - possible with some modifications but future uncertain due to P8
Newtownards - not ideal due to size, shape and other users

Other MoD controlled available sites maybe

RAF Marham - busy with JSF
RAF Lossiemouth - busy with P8
Boscombe Down - Why not ?
RAF Brize Norton - Busy
RNAS Yeovilton - Could be a possible but some conflicting traffic
RNAS Culdrose - Could be a possible but some conflicting traffic
RNAS Wittering - Could be a possible but some conflicting traffic (Tutors)
RAF Mildenhall - Busy USAF
RAF Lakenheath - Busy USAF but not weekends
RAF Fairford - USAF but Why Not ?
RAF Shawbury - Close to Ternhill
AAC Middle Wallop - Why Not ?
AAC Wattisham - Already an RAFGSA site but Why not ?
AAC Dishforth - Closing
RAF Leeming - May become site for additional Typhoon Sqn
West Freugh - middle of nowhere......
RAF Cranwell - Why not ?
RAF Barkston Heath - Why not ?

All these assume funds (unlikely) and also ground equipment, aircraft and staff available)

So there you have it.....................................

Arclite
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:19
  #4428 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Looking at the sites that are currently either a VGS or supposedly slotted to be one it looks like this IMHO;
Woodvale? Previously a VGS site with Vigilants
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:43
  #4429 (permalink)  
 
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Kirton in Lindsey - previously site of No 2 Gliding Centre.
Halton - not too late to save it.
Llanbedr
Mildenhall - closing
Woodbridge
Sculthorpe
Cottesmore
Manston was never really suitable as gliding ops were confined to the 'Northern Grass' north of the public road
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:28
  #4430 (permalink)  
 
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Chetwynd, Shropshire
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:32
  #4431 (permalink)  
 
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All valid points

Woodvale not suited to Winch Launch VGS as I believe there would be a conflict with Tutor Ops. I believe that was why 631 VGS was re-equipped with Vigilant as it has previously been a Winch launch VGS at Sealand.................
Kirton being sold
Llanbedr not MoD owned any more as far as I know.....
Mildenhall now has stay of execution to 'at least 2024....'
Woodbridge - Airfield not now owned by MoD as far as I know.........
Sculthorpe has often been mooted but has a contamination issue so has never been approved
Cottesmore - good point but I think is long and thin
Chetwynd not really suited I think - probably a bit on the small side. Is it still in use as an RLG ??

Manston was OK for Ops although later on traffic became an issue. Northern grass was only small but suited basic ops (like Cranwell North). Now there is nothing there.....................
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:31
  #4432 (permalink)  
 
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Cranwell has a Gliding Club - co-locate with them?
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:44
  #4433 (permalink)  
 
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RNAS Wittering
...Did I miss something??
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Old 21st May 2018, 14:35
  #4434 (permalink)  
 
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Typo

Definitely RAF Wittering.........................

FFS.................... (Fat Finger Syndrome)

Arc
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Old 21st May 2018, 15:59
  #4435 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
Cranwell has a Gliding Club - co-locate with them?
When Halton shuts and they move Phase 1 Airman trg to Cranditz, the N Airfield will cease to exist.
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Old 21st May 2018, 16:44
  #4436 (permalink)  
 
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I disagree that each Viking operating off an airfield needs an extra however many people. Where I fly there is only one person driving the winch, there's a limit to how many retrieve vehicles you want driving around, only one person signalling to the winch, only one person keeping the log and the signaller is usually keeping the log. And the people waiting to fly drive retrieve vehicles etc. Our duty teams are 2-3 instructors and 4 other people, no matter how many or few gliders will be flying that day.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 09:11
  #4437 (permalink)  
 
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ExAscoteer - that will be a historic bit of real estate disappear
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Old 22nd May 2018, 09:20
  #4438 (permalink)  
 
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Cats

You've already admitted previously on this thread that you don't have any experience of ACO Gliding Operations.

I'd just leave it there.

Arc
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Old 22nd May 2018, 10:32
  #4439 (permalink)  
 
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He may well not, but once you go past 9 personnel to operate 3 Vikings Vs 5 to operate 3 vigilant you're only adding an extra aircraft captain for each additional aircraft in both cases. There are only so many rangers to drive and while more people make life easier it's not a requirement to get things done.

having the right number of people qualified in the correct competencies at the right place at the right time in the current situation is a completely different ball game though.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 11:12
  #4440 (permalink)  
 
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No CI's or Staff Cadets

Is there anyone out there that believes 'anything' coming from 2FTS.
Is there any confidence that the Vikings will actually come back in sufficient numbers to provide cover at the proposed 'schools'.
Who is actually going to provide the expertise to staff the said 'centres'.
I for one do not believe one word that comes out from Syerston. They have not shown any degree of competence for anything other than BUILDING UP THIER OWN EMPIRE.
Unfortunately they do not seem to understand that there is NO EMPIRE LEFT or troops to direct.
A huge amount of money has been wasted providing nothing, and the Cadet experience reduced to badge collecting so someone at HQ AC can say look at all these 'wings'.
Shopping bag filling PTT next on list !!!!!
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