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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 2nd Jul 2018, 10:45
  #4521 (permalink)  
 
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AGS

What about all those Vigilant PTTs now languishing in various rooms cross the country?
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 17:14
  #4522 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shaft109 View Post
What about all those Vigilant PTTs now languishing in various rooms cross the country?
They are the AGSs
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 19:11
  #4523 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps I could offer a couple of thoughts as this sorry saga nears its end. It's just over two years ago that the hapless Minister was made to stand up in Parliament and announce that:

Substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of aerospace leaders in this field have failed to find a value for money approach to successfully repair and recover all 146 gliders. Consequently a comprehensive Air Cadet Organisation review has proposed restructuring this activity. It has been decided that the best value for money solution is to recover at least 73 Vikings, a reduced Vigilant fleet of up to 15 aircraft, combined with an uplift to Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs).

Don't forget that this particular bundle of nonsense was the result of two and a half years of effort by the RAF and the MoD to work out what to do with a broken fleet. Now, they find out that the Vigilants have had to be grounded, and scrapped. I, for one, do not believe for one second that a sudden instruction (at less than 48 hours notice) to stop flying the Vigilants had anything to do with funding. This was almost certainly another airworthiness issue. Another undetected, unknown, airworthiness issue. Anyone care to share with us what it is?

Also, would anyone care to let this forum know how the RAF and the MoD are doing with getting 'at least' 73 Vikings airworthy? (By the way, I use the term 'RAF and MoD' because this has been an epic failure in both the procurement and support area (the MoD) and in the 'continuing airworthiness' area (the RAF)). It would be interesting to know. What was the Viking recovery plan? You know, that piece of paper with months along the bottom and numbers of recovered aircraft up the side? Or a table? It HAS to exist. And it can't be classified - can it?

As an ex Air Cadet it pains me to say it, but the state of the UK defence budget means that the very rationale for the Air Cadet Gliding organisation needs to be examined. Don't forget that this is the world's largest military funded, owned and operated fleet of gliders, justified as a recruiting tool. Sorry, I just don't buy it. None of this is to disparage or criticise the magnificent efforts of the many volunteers who through the years willingly gave their time and sweat to get young people into the air. But honestly, I tend to think that there are better places to spend the money., within or outwith the RAF. Moreover, the RAF and the MoD have, once more, proved that they simply don't have the skill set or organisational 'nous' to safely put schoolchildren into the air. The idea of buying a replacement fleet surely can't survive any serious scrutiny.

Best Regards as ever to those having to pick up the pieces every time they're dropped

Engines
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 20:49
  #4524 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
The idea of buying a replacement fleet surely can't survive any serious scrutiny.
As somebody who was in the RAF, and is now a volunteer with the ATC, I can't ever see a replacement fleet being nightb. Nothing but wishful thinking, that.

When these are gone, they're gone, and there'll be a begrudging connection with local gliding schools - no doubt using some of the aircraft we let go.
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 21:44
  #4525 (permalink)  
 
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They are advertising for a new OC 2FTS at Syerston - Gp Capt or Wg Cdr pilots may apply https://www.raf.mod.uk/ftrs-ptvr-adc...-raf-syerston/
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 22:50
  #4526 (permalink)  
 
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I'll bet people will be falling over themselves to apply for the post.....

NOT.
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 11:48
  #4527 (permalink)  
 
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Vacancy OC 2 FTS

Job description says it all.
580 staff, 4 Airfields; but fails to mention lack of Cadet flying or aircraft and virtually no current instructor force.
At least two of the airfields are non operational from several aspects and lack aircraft and current staff.
Lord knows how much all this is costing, but not many Cadets are getting much flying out of it and the toy box just gets bigger and more expensive.
Vikings getting through the 'recovery' at SS but not making much progress after that.
The true ongoing cost of all this must be staggering, but the actual Cadet training flying (as was) minimal.
They will be giving 'badges' out soon for just seeing a picture of a glider !!!
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 13:07
  #4528 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Job description says it all.
580 staff, 4 Airfields; but fails to mention lack of Cadet flying or aircraft and virtually no current instructor force.
At least two of the airfields are non operational from several aspects and lack aircraft and current staff.
Lord knows how much all this is costing, but not many Cadets are getting much flying out of it and the toy box just gets bigger and more expensive.
Vikings getting through the 'recovery' at SS but not making much progress after that.
The true ongoing cost of all this must be staggering, but the actual Cadet training flying (as was) minimal.
They will be giving 'badges' out soon for just seeing a picture of a glider !!!
Pretty sure it's only one of the airfields that he's HoE for that's non operational. Got it's planning permission in for its mighty safety fence though.
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 18:57
  #4529 (permalink)  
 
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Non Operational Airfields

There does not appear to be any activity at Kenley or Predannack and although Kenley has an excellent catchment area no evidence of any haste to 'start again'. In fact if they get their way with a peri-track fence a small airfield will be even smaller. Predannack is a huge airfield and ideal for ops; however it is at the 'end of the line' so to speak and is Cadet catchment poor, plus little public transport. At Kenley the complete lack of recent ops has led to the local walkers and ramblers pressing for more airfield access which will prove to be an ongoing limitation, with calls for the peri-trac to virtually become a cycle way.
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 19:10
  #4530 (permalink)  
 
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That job advertisment mentions 10 VGS, wasn't there 11? Has Jack Middleton disbanded yet another squadron?
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 20:00
  #4531 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
There does not appear to be any activity at Kenley or Predannack and although Kenley has an excellent catchment area no evidence of any haste to 'start again'. In fact if they get their way with a peri-track fence a small airfield will be even smaller. Predannack is a huge airfield and ideal for ops; however it is at the 'end of the line' so to speak and is Cadet catchment poor, plus little public transport. At Kenley the complete lack of recent ops has led to the local walkers and ramblers pressing for more airfield access which will prove to be an ongoing limitation, with calls for the peri-trac to virtually become a cycle way.
2FTS aren't HoE for Predannack that's under culdrose, there is also no flying yet at Swanton he's not HoE for there either though.

down to 10 since the withdrawal of the vigilant 631 converted to an AGS still at Woodvale.
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Old 4th Jul 2018, 18:05
  #4532 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DDH Gliding - Headquarters 2 Flying Training School - RAF Syerston Vacancy
The position is a non-flying role.
It is certainly that
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Old 4th Jul 2018, 21:47
  #4533 (permalink)  
 
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TINg The point is with 580 staff and 4 of their own airfields what is going on !!!!; as plainly the actual flying activity is not really a demonstrable feature anymore.
There are Vikings available in the system now, but they do not seem to be getting back to the 'coal face', or are there 'staffing' issues.
With (as they say) 580 staff what are they doing or is this just another jam tomorrow 'cascade' from fantasy island.
It is one thing to destroy an organisation, but that they should still be around to pretend at having a plan is beyond comprehension.
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Old 5th Jul 2018, 00:39
  #4534 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
TINg The point is with 580 staff and 4 of their own airfields what is going on !!!!; as plainly the actual flying activity is not really a demonstrable feature anymore.
There are Vikings available in the system now, but they do not seem to be getting back to the 'coal face', or are there 'staffing' issues.
With (as they say) 580 staff what are they doing or is this just another jam tomorrow 'cascade' from fantasy island.
It is one thing to destroy an organisation, but that they should still be around to pretend at having a plan is beyond comprehension.
included in that 580 is all the VGS and AGS volunteers, and all of SERCOs staff, take out CGS as well leaving just the HQ and CAMO it's down to around 30 (including all the way down the grades to the admin E bands)
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Old 27th Jul 2018, 14:11
  #4535 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone know if they will sell or 'part out' all those 109s? A buddy of mine in Nevada would be very interested if the price was right.
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Old 28th Jul 2018, 20:35
  #4536 (permalink)  
 
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109

Unfortunately Thud those Vigilants will be reduced to dust in short order to prevent anything of them turning up elsewhere.
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 09:21
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Wow. Are they really that bad? Is it the issue of vicarious liability? Or is it just that they couldn't handle the embarrassment of machines that the RAF couldn't fix in four years suddenly being made serviceable by civilians in a matter of weeks?
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 10:08
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T105:-
is it just that they couldn't handle the embarrassment of machines that the RAF couldn't fix in four years suddenly being made serviceable by civilians in a matter of weeks?
Can we finally get this right? The issue isn't serviceability, it is airworthiness, or rather the gross lack of it. The situation passed beyond embarrassment decades ago. It certainly extends way beyond ATC gliding. It is so widespread, so challenging, and so beyond the ken of the MAA, the MOD, and the RAF that frankly they don't have a clue as to where to go next or what to do to begin solving it. Airworthiness, or rather the gross lack of it, is now the number one issue concerning UK Military Aviation. There is no quick fix, indeed solving it will take many more decades. How we get there is very debateable, but where we start shouldn't be. The MAA, the MOD, and the RAF have to bite the bullet and admit the truth. UK Military Airworthiness was deliberately subverted by RAF VSOs from the late 80s onwards, and the cover up has to stop now. Unless and until that happens this scandal will simply go on gnawing away at the very vitals of UK Air Power.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 29th Jul 2018 at 10:20.
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 10:54
  #4539 (permalink)  
 
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Thud

Without wanting to go down a huge rabbit hole...

Wow. Are they really that bad?
Yes, they probably are. A well respected glider maintenance comoany has had real issues trying to unravel this mess to generate the aircraft that have been recovered. It all stems from the Air Cadet gliding organisation being allowed to go a bit ‘feral’ over a number of years which resulted in poor maintenance practices and incident reporting - documentation, repair processes and general husbandry. During the recovery of some of these aircraft the company found repaired damage to aircraft that had no record of the incident that caused it or the repair scheme that had been undertaken to fix it - repairs like this had to be cut right out and started again, with extra non-destructive testing or replacement of components to ensure that the full extent of any damage was contained in the repair. This means that to try and patch together the provenance of the aircraft’s airworthiness has been very tricky and costly. It should never had happened and luckily no one got hurt because of it. I believe that the decision to ‘pause’ gliding was ABSOLUTELY the right decsion, but the return to flight programme was not so well handled in my humble opinion.

Would I buy one of the G109 Vigilants as a government surplus aircraft for civvy flying? Not a chance. It would be far better to buy a G109 and then paint it to look like a Vigilant!
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 18:06
  #4540 (permalink)  
 
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Double Wow Lima Juliet! I honestly had no idea the RAF/ACO/VGS etc was so incompetent. And every single one of the 109s (70-ish?) is suspect? Triple Wow. My buddy has zero interest in keeping one in ATC markings, think he was just hoping to hoover up some cheap 109 spares if they are parted out.
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