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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 30th Jun 2018, 13:01
  #4501 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Thanks for telling me how to do my job Lima Juliet. Do you really think that when you submit an FOI request that you automatically get the truth? Really? Yes they are some ranters on PPRuNe, but there are also some people who are very much 'in the know'. They often are well-placed, and can 'leak' info. I then filter all the information I've gathered, and draw my own conclusions.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 13:21
  #4502 (permalink)  
 
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Do you really think that when you submit an FOI request that you automatically get the truth?
You are wise to be cautious. The Information Commissioner has ruled that information provided need not be accurate, and the provider is under no obligation to correct it when presented with the truth, and may repeat it.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 13:28
  #4503 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Dave, having been on the other ends of FOI requests, I can assure you that significant effort does into answering them correctly. In fact, they can be a right royal pain in the @rse!

However, there is a lot of tripe often spouted on PPRuNe and so it is far worse than quoting Wikipedia

As it is your job then I am surprised that you admit to getting leaked info that you will report on. You may now find that it goes somewhat quiet!
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 15:06
  #4504 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
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.
Had the gliders been given to a civilian club with the paperwork as delivered to SS they would have been grounded - without correct up-to-date paperwork they would not have been deemed airworthy.

Clearly the military has a few (many?) extra layers of paperwork.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 15:45
  #4505 (permalink)  
 
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HI LJ, I think that if it suits the Govt then yes why not tell the truth - but if it doesn't then see Tuc's post. Re leaks and tips - if, for example one person tells me that XX???? was heavy landed on the ?/?20?? and it was brushed under the carpet and returned to service I'd treat the report with suspicion. If 4-5 people tell me the same thing and the dates etc tally maybe I'll dig a bit deeper. And contrary to your prediction, several people have already fed me info, which I will now filter. They know I never reveal my sources.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 18:49
  #4506 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
The report comes from QinetiQ, do you know who they are and if they have any relationship, apart from a contractual one, with 2FTS? Or is that unimportant?
Qinetiq is the company based at Farnborough which began as RAE, became DRA then DERA and was then privatised.
I know from experience at Farnborough it is full of 'boffins' and technical experts who have absolutely no experience in the things they comment on.
The RAE boffins for instance, used to try to tell us (Farnborough Air Traffic Control) we weren't doing our job properly because the way we did it didn't conform to the way they assumed it should be done.
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Old 30th Jun 2018, 18:56
  #4507 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
HI LJ, I think that if it suits the Govt then yes why not tell the truth - but if it doesn't then see Tuc's post. Re leaks and tips - if, for example one person tells me that XX???? was heavy landed on the ?/?20?? and it was brushed under the carpet and returned to service I'd treat the report with suspicion. If 4-5 people tell me the same thing and the dates etc tally maybe I'll dig a bit deeper. And contrary to your prediction, several people have already fed me info, which I will now filter. They know I never reveal my sources.
I did admin officer on a course at a VGS in 1991, the first course that VGS had run using Vigilants.
Late on the friday evening, a cadet was sent off for his solo flight. While he was airborne, the wind changed through 180 deg and on landing, a swing developed with much screeching of tyres into a ground loop.
Now after that, I would have expected that aircraft to be put u/s pending inspection of the undercarriage, but no, it was flown next day by the weekend staff (not the same staff who had been running the course) after just a normal DI. Whether there was anything recorded in the Tech Log I don't know; I was only supposed to be looking after the cadets not the aircraft and had no right or mandate to look into the unit paperwork.

Last edited by chevvron; 1st Jul 2018 at 10:31.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 07:56
  #4508 (permalink)  
 
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If there was a heavy landing and it was reported then there would be Flight Safety report of some kind. However, due to the isolation of VGS at weekends away from the supervision of the full-time staff then it would appear that all sorts of shenanigans may have gone on at times that went un-noticed. It’s very hard to report that in a FOI request if it hasn’t been reported!

But Cadet solos are recorded and would be a simple FOI request. Then you have official records to report on. Also, the number of staff employed again is a simple request. The capitation cost of staff is relatively simple as the wages are available online as well - add 52% for the SCAPE rate for their pensions and the employer’s NIC. The total budget will likely be commercial in confidence because of the contracted companies doing the maintenance. However, you may find a figure in the archives for the contract when it went for tender.

That, I would suggest, would be far more accurate than scuttlebutt on PPRuNe? There is far too much emotion to get an objective figure and hard facts are needed on this one I would suggest? I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but trying to point you in the right direction. I enjoy your articles in Pilot magazine, so you have my full respect.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 09:52
  #4509 (permalink)  
 
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As nothing more than an interested bystander (although I suppose I might encourage my grandson to join in about 15 years time ) with 27 years RAF and 2 years deeply involved with Air Cadet Flying post RAF career, may I politely ask, what is the current state of Air Cadet flying in total (Gliding, AEF, ACPS, or whatever)?
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 10:16
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Thanks LJ - and apologies for my rather churlish initial reply. It was unnecessary. And you are quite right, it is an emotive subject, and I do need facts, not feelings! I must admit, I'm increasingly drawn to the conclusion that it'd better all around if the ATC admitted that its lost its way and just gave all their kit to the BGA and RAFGSA. In return the BGA and RAFGSA could agree to fly X amount of cadets each year. I've heard the "in the ATC we fly like the RAF, which is good for the cadets" argument but I believe it to be specious. It doesn't matter if your instructor is wearing the same boots and badge-bedecked flying suit as a frontline fighter pilot, with the best will in the world, they're flying gliders.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 10:57
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When I did my Flying Scholarship many moons ago, the aircraft were civilian-owned, registered and operated. There was not an RAF uniform in sight. It didn't stop me subsequently serving as a pilot in the RAF for 18 years.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 11:27
  #4512 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly JW411. I believe that most if not all of the Flying Scholarships were contracted out to civilian flying clubs as they were much more cost-effective. And as you point out, you still signed up and served in the RAF as a pilot for 18 years. It wasn't necessary to have all the (expensive) military bulldust at the basic flying training stage.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 12:39
  #4513 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Dave

No offence taken - very thick skinned

You are right that using all of the Service Flying and Gliding Clubs could really help. Recently, whilst not an Air Cadet event, some 122 school kids were flown by Halton Aero Club and the Chilterns Glding Centre the following week held a ‘longest day’ event with 134 launches over the day for any Service personnel or their families to try conventional gliding. So in 2 days that is 256 movements that could have had Air Cadets in them.

Here is the article and video for the Halton Aero Club event: https://www.forces.net/news/young-fl...air-raf-halton

So you are right, there are possibilities there, but we need to remember that Service Flying and Gliding Club members don’t normally mind doing such an event 2-3 times a year whereas the VGS did the same, for a 12-24 kids, every weekend.

As for the state of Air Cadet flying? There are I believe 12x AEFs with a further planned soon for Northern Ireland, there are 3x Viking VGS now running at Kirknewton, Syerston, Little Rissington with a further 5 planned (I stand to be corrected on that?). Then there is the Air Cadet Flying Scholarship with Tayside Aviation.

LJ
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 12:51
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5 Viking VGS running:
Syerston, Upavon, Little Rissington independently

Ternhill & kirknewton under CGS supervision.

Topcliffe converting

Kenley, Swanton Morley, Predannack waiting for aircraft.

Woodvale converting to an AGS

Last edited by Tingger; 1st Jul 2018 at 13:58.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 14:17
  #4515 (permalink)  
 
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Unless things have changed a lot since my day (T21/Mk3) I would have thought that it was difficult to integrate civillian and ATC gliding training, although perhaps not impossible. My civil training was designed to bring me to a level where I could self authorise to fly solo albeit under limited conditions. This was one's status after a successful first solo flight(x3) At least at London Gliding Club, it typically took more than twice the number of launches allowed the average ATC cadet to go solo. The only instructional flights were then required when conditions changed or to carry out regular checks to make sure I wasn't developing bad habits. As an ATC instructor, the sole aim was to get the cadet competent to fly solo in the conditions at that time., and to do it in the minimum number of launches. Integration would surely require one operation to make significant changes to the way they operate.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 16:21
  #4516 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
5 Viking VGS running:
Syerston, Upavon, Little Rissington independently

Ternhill & kirknewton under CGS supervision.

Topcliffe converting

Kenley, Swanton Morley, Predannack waiting for aircraft.

Woodvale converting to an AGS
Thanks Tingger - what is an AGS?
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 16:38
  #4517 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post


Thanks Tingger - what is an AGS?
aerospace ground squadron many of the VGS converted over kinloss, newtownards, st athan, cosford and a new one at northolt.


contains the Part Task Trainer element
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 18:18
  #4518 (permalink)  
 
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Link Trainers resurrected for Cadet ‘flying’?
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 18:26
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Originally Posted by A and C View Post
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.
Interesting hypothesis, invalidated by the recent news that the projected number of recoverable Vikings is now down in the forties.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 18:31
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
aerospace ground squadron many of the VGS converted over kinloss, newtownards, st athan, cosford and a new one at northolt.


contains the Part Task Trainer element
Aerospace Ground School/ Aerospace Ground Squadron/Aviation Ground School/Aviation Ground Squadron. What AGS stands for differs from document to document.

I’m not kidding. Two years down the line and the people on the units cannot get confirmation of what they’re actually called: a simple decision that could be made in half a second if SOMEONE had their sh1t in one sock.
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