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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 27th Jun 2018, 17:33
  #4481 (permalink)  
 
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>I sit back and await the backlash and cries of that never happened on my squadron.<

It most certainly did not happen in my 23 years on 632 and 633 VGS.
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 18:13
  #4482 (permalink)  
 
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I'm waiting to see how long it takes for the Viking to become un-airworthy again
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 19:11
  #4483 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
Or are we to be grateful that there's actually an SOIU, albeit one that is ignored. Please also remember, that all aircrew are required to be familiar with the SOIU, so that they may report violations.
Tuc,
In my fastjet and bigjet RAF flying experience, there were a fair number of aircrew with little knowledge of the statement of operating intent. However, the knowledge was held by some of us and, the document was formally reviewed on a regular basis to keep abreast of changes in useage. The more pertinent documents for operational aircrew would be the aircraft flying manual, limitations, orders and SOP's, these later documents being more widely referenced by (most) aircrew. Those of us in the know would keep a careful eye on changes in usage.

OAP
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 21:25
  #4484 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh [img]images/buttons/viewpost.gif[/img]
Please also remember, that all aircrew are required to be familiar with the SOIU, so that they may report violations.
Never heard of it, but then I have only been flying Her Majesty’s finest for over a quarter of a century! As OAP says, Aircrew Manual, FRCs, etc... yes
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 05:09
  #4485 (permalink)  
 
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OAP & LJ

However, the knowledge was held by some of us and, the document was formally reviewed on a regular basis to keep abreast of changes in useage.
Correct. And changes in use (and intent) had to be fed into the safety case, build standard (if necessary) and RTS (the Master Airworthiness Reference). Which would result in amendments to the other parts of the Aircraft Document Set you mention.
Always assuming you had the necessary contracts in place, the funding and the properly trained staff to do all this. And you need someone with oversight to ensure this airworthiness chain remains unbroken (especially after the entire process was fragmented instead of being a core, centralised function). None of this has been MoD policy for many years. So much so, the new MAA regulatory set gets the definition of the underpinning process wrong, and wanders off at a tangent never to return.

And to be fair to the much-maligned Commandant 2FTS, he has very little to do with this, except to notify violations and take action if his superiors do nothing. Which is what he did (but for not entirely the correct reasons). I can think of many deaths arising from people in his position not taking action. This is exactly the same as Nimrod. The IPTL, Gp Capt Baber, was criticised by Haddon-Cave for having a poor safety case. But there was no mention of the fact Baber had the gumption to let a task to resurrect the safety case, when he should have inherited a continuous task/contract and valid safety case. In both cases, (relatively) junior officers have taken the hit for failings at a more senior level. (On Nimrod, there was no mention of the various Stars who signed to say there was a valid safety case - and it's the same for gliders). We saw the same on C-130 XV179. Sea Kings ASaC. Chinook ZD576. Once you appreciate the linkages, you can focus on the solution.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 06:21
  #4486 (permalink)  
 
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If I may, I'd like to offer this Fire Brigade Union press statement from yesterday which sets out the issues eloquently. It applies to any accident, and especially to subsequent inquiries.



Commenting on the testimony given to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry by Watch Manager Mike Dowden, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said:
“Watch Manager Mike Dowden has shown himself to be a very honest man. He has answered all questions to the best of his ability. He is a professional, brave and honourable person. We are proud to have him as a member of the Fire Brigades Union. There clearly are important and difficult questions to ask but they should not be directed at those who do not have the power or authority to have altered policies, operational procedures or training. The line of questioning toward Mike Dowden has been, at times, absurd.

Mike Dowden is not in any way a ‘Fire Chief’ as has been reported in the media in recent days. In fire service structures, he is a junior officer. He is not a middle manager and he is not a strategic or principal manager. On the night of the fire he was originally in charge of two fire engines at one fire station.“Let’s remember that Mike Dowden did not apply flammable cladding to Grenfell Tower. Nor did he make the other alterations which destroyed the fire safety within the building. Nor did he start the fire. He was simply on duty when the worst fire since World War Two broke out. Like all firefighters that night, he was placed in an impossible situation. He did what they all did; he tried his utmost to save lives.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is approaching issues back to front. It is self-evident that the disaster at Grenfell Tower was a result of the building having been altered. While there have been expert reports provided on these issues, the inquiry is looking at the events of the night rather than the decisions which led to it. Those who made the decisions have yet to been called to give evidence. If the ‘Stay put’ approach failed, it failed as soon as flammable cladding was installed on the building. The alterations to Grenfell Tower happened before the fire and before any firefighting took place. The order of the inquiry is chronologically and causally wrong.”




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Old 28th Jun 2018, 07:10
  #4487 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
OAP & LJ

Correct. And changes in use (and intent) had to be fed into the safety case, build standard (if necessary) and RTS (the Master Airworthiness Reference). Which would result in amendments to the other parts of the Aircraft Document Set you mention.
Always assuming you had the necessary contracts in place, the funding and the properly trained staff to do all this. And you need someone with oversight to ensure this airworthiness chain remains unbroken (especially after the entire process was fragmented instead of being a core, centralised function). None of this has been MoD policy for many years. So much so, the new MAA regulatory set gets the definition of the underpinning process wrong, and wanders off at a tangent never to return.
Yes, I do agree with the sentiment. Very strange how even TV licensing seems to have greater legal enforcement!?

OAP
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 07:48
  #4488 (permalink)  
 
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Lima Juliet:-
Never heard of it, but then I have only been flying Her Majesty’s finest for over a quarter of a century! As OAP says, Aircrew Manual, FRCs, etc... yes
Ditto (albeit many many years ago). I think we are getting to the nub here. The system worked in my day because everybody did their job properly. I drove the airworthy aircraft provided iaw FRCs Flying Orders Manuals etc, others like tuc ensured that the aircraft were airworthy iaw the Regulations. Then some RAF VSOs in the late 80s/early 90s decided to subvert all that by ordering those like tuc to suborn the regs for short term financial savings, thus instantly ensuring unairworthiness. When those like tuc defied the illegal orders they were disciplined, hounded, and got rid of, thus instantly ensuring that any wish to regain lost airworthiness became impossible due to the lack of knowledge and skills. The great unwashed (like LJ and me) didn't miss what they never knew, that is until the internet and this very forum connected all the resulting tragedies that inevitably followed. Anyone who followed those various airworthiness related fatal accident threads now has a good grasp of the importance of airworthiness and the cost in blood and treasure of its lack.

As tuc says, the villains in this scandal have far more rings on their sleeves than Commandant 2FTS. He may have spoiled your fun, but he probably saved your life or someone else's at least! It is the various RAF VSOs that plunged UK Military Aviation into this morass, and even more so those who protected them by maintaining a cover up ever since, who should be castigated and brought to book rather than the various JOs and SOs offered up by the Star Chamber as scapegoats.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 13:19
  #4489 (permalink)  
 
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Another good reason to give all Air Cadet flying to civil flying and gliding schools and save the taxpayer money.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 15:35
  #4490 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
OAP & LJ

And to be fair to the much-maligned Commandant 2FTS, he has very little to do with this, except to notify violations and take action if his superiors do nothing. Which is what he did (but for not entirely the correct reasons). I can think of many deaths arising from people in his position not taking action..
I totally agree with tucumseh in terms of the original decision to ground both fleets; if the safety audit trail is suspect then there is no option but to act. However, without knowing the contractual background, the decision to spend a considerable amount of money in an attempt to refurbish aircraft rather than dispose of both fleets and go for new airframes seems at first glance to be the wrong one. It will be interesting to see if the full facts of this saga ever see the light of day.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 18:16
  #4491 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by multum in parvo View Post
I totally agree with tucumseh in terms of the original decision to ground both fleets; if the safety audit trail is suspect then there is no option but to act. However, without knowing the contractual background, the decision to spend a considerable amount of money in an attempt to refurbish aircraft rather than dispose of both fleets and go for new airframes seems at first glance to be the wrong one. It will be interesting to see if the full facts of this saga ever see the light of day.
I can only speak about the Viking gliders. Grob no longer make gliders and there are very few 2-seat training gliders available. The favourite is probably the AS K21, who build only a few every year. It would take 20 years or so to replaces all the Vikings with K21s, or whatever the RAF decided to call them. Lead time for an order is 9 months or more and they only build 20 or so per year. *if* the aircadets managed to buy 3 per year then in 20 years they would have a fleet of 60, less of course any they have terminally bent in the interim.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 04:56
  #4492 (permalink)  
 
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The serviceability or model of the existing gliders is not the issue here. It's MoD's inability to manage the airworthiness of any of its aircraft. If that isn't fixed, it doesn't matter what glider it used.
The root causes are well known, as are those responsible. It's nothing to do with Grob or Serco or any other part of industry. It's to do with MoD flatly refusing to implement its own mandated regulations and, latterly, the MAA continuing to permit that fraud. Please understand that the MoD/MAA constantly briefs against those who want to see this put right. It does not want the truth to be explored further. It positively purrs over comments on PPRuNe that compartmentalise this to gliders.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 06:28
  #4493 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
The serviceability or model of the existing gliders is not the issue here. It's MoD's inability to manage the airworthiness of any of its aircraft. If that isn't fixed, it doesn't matter what glider it used.
The root causes are well known, as are those responsible. It's nothing to do with Grob or Serco or any other part of industry. It's to do with MoD flatly refusing to implement its own mandated regulations and, latterly, the MAA continuing to permit that fraud. Please understand that the MoD/MAA constantly briefs against those who want to see this put right. It does not want the truth to be explored further. It positively purrs over comments on PPRuNe that compartmentalise this to gliders.
Do you have any confidence the gliders being returned to service will stay airworthy? I don't.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 09:50
  #4494 (permalink)  
 
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C5

stay airworthy
First of all, I'd like to know if they are airworthy in the first place. That's what facilitates serviceability. Some company may have done some work on them and think they may be serviceable. But we all know, from the Red Arrows XX177 case, that the same part of MoD remains content that the Services continue to use rogue servicing instructions and make false declarations in aircraft documentation.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 11:15
  #4495 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
C5
First of all, I'd like to know if they are airworthy in the first place. That's what facilitates serviceability. Some company may have done some work on them and think they may be serviceable. But we all know, from the Red Arrows XX177 case, that the same part of MoD remains content that the Services continue to use rogue servicing instructions and make false declarations in aircraft documentation.
The Vikings have been / are being inspected etc. by Southern Sailplanes who I personally believe will have done their job properly. They are well-known & respected in the gliding world, and have a great deal to lose (everything) if either they botched the job, or they allowed themselves to be interfered with.

Found this, I await the answer with interest:
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 11:17
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Originally Posted by cats_five View Post
I can only speak about the Viking gliders. Grob no longer make gliders and there are very few 2-seat training gliders available. The favourite is probably the AS K21, who build only a few every year. It would take 20 years or so to replaces all the Vikings with K21s, or whatever the RAF decided to call them. Lead time for an order is 9 months or more and they only build 20 or so per year. *if* the aircadets managed to buy 3 per year then in 20 years they would have a fleet of 60, less of course any they have terminally bent in the interim.
cats_ five. We could debate production rates of ASK21s but without company comment we would all be speculating. Your point however is well made , there are very few 2 seat training gliders available. I would suggest that:
(1) The current Viking fleet is trickling back into service but will probably not last more than a max of another 20 years (my speculation).
(2) Unless there is a long term replacement strategy (delivery commencing early 2020's at 3 per year complete 2040 for a 60 aircraft fleet,minus terminally bent) then air cadet gliding will inevitably cease.
What the RAFAC need is confirmation from its parent service that funding for replacements will be available. Without that confirmation, the business case for the development of properly equipped residential regional gliding centres must, in my view, be fatality flawed.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 14:10
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What is needed is a training glider of similar or slightly better performance than T21b/T31 types which can be produced quickly and at reasonable cost using todays materials and technology.
The microlight manufacturers produce lightweight airframes (metal framework with a fabric, Dacron, ultralam or plastic type covering) which are robust enough to be used for training so why not see if they would be willing to produce a non-powered aircraft?
Problem is knowing how long the MOD take in the bidding/procurement/contracts side of things it woudn't be in service before about 2030.

Last edited by chevvron; 1st Jul 2018 at 10:33.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 15:01
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I've no doubt Southern Sailplanes are excellent at what they do. But they do not sign off the Master Airworthiness Reference, thus making a legally binding declaration that there is a valid safety case and a maintained build standard. The aircraft were grounded because THAT declaration was confirmed as wrong, not because the aircraft were unserviceable. That many required remedial work was fall-out and a minor issue. As I said, no difference whatsoever from Nimrod.

It suits MoD/MAA for people to think it is a serviceability issue. In DE&S, such things are managed by the lowest technical grade it employs (and it would be even lower, but MoD doesn't recruit at those grades any more), who are easy targets when the real culprits are at 2 Star and above. There is someone in DE&S managing this 'get well' programme who is completely hacked off that he's being asked to do work well below his paygrade. He's wondering Why Me? It's holding him back, as his next annual report can at best say that he's proven himself capable of doing a job at least one grade lower. Big deal. Passed over.

I'd be much happier if I knew MoD/MAA had sacked the clown who briefed Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, that it remains an offence to refuse to obey an illegal order to make a false declaration in aircraft documentation (28 October 2014). While I appreciate Sir Jeremy is very ill at the moment, that should not detract from the fact both he and his predecessor (Lord Robert Kerslake) were content to make this ruling in writing, both to Ministers and members of the public.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 08:15
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Does anyone know how many Cadets went solo last year, and how much the VGS budget is?
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 08:57
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
Does anyone know how many Cadets went solo last year, and how much the VGS budget is?
Dave, to get the most up to date information go for a FOI request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/new/raf

As a journo you should probably go for accuracy rather than the rantings on PPRuNe!
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