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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 27th Oct 2018, 12:25
  #4601 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
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The last para of the 'citation' covered it quite well (but not the way they meant it)
JM 'inherited' a large fantastic volunteer based FLYING TRAINING UNIT.
It was quite obvious that he never really 'bonded' with this idea that volunteers could be doing all this so well with very little back up from its parent, and really never understood where the CAPABILITY lay.
It is unfair to lay blame on him for the previous regime that allowed the airworthiness issues to escalate as it did, but I do consider his handling of the situation with the staff, and the complete lack of leadership dealing with the 'recovery process' made the situation far worse than it needed to be.
The right person in post at that time could have led a recovery situation with far better management skills, and also kept the organisation together at a time when it needed it. He obviously had another agenda re the staff (volunteers) and failed to see the big picture of what they were losing as an organisation. This thread title is his legacy. AIR CADETS GROUNDED It could have been handled in a much more practical way with the leadership it deserved, especially as it was a well paid resourced post that headed a fine operation that had decades of 'handed down' capability.
They had the expertise within the GSA to assist and advise (if asked) but were too busy facebooking, twattering and a... covering to deal with the real job.
of keeping a limited no of machines going whilst dealing with the situation.

Last edited by POBJOY; 27th Oct 2018 at 22:25.
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 16:36
  #4602 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2014
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OC 2FTS has left the building, all roles handed over to 3FTS until a new OC is appointed.
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 19:29
  #4603 (permalink)  
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So, will anyone who knows please say if the ACO has improved in respect of flying training/experience achievement since the start of the "Pause" in 2014?
I initially wrote in 2014 that a "pause" seemed a sensible and safe response to the situation. I now, through reading other information, am of the opinion that a terrible destruction has occurred and, it seems that the ex-OC 2FTS must have been involved.
Is anyone willing to support the changes to the ACO and the debacle reported on these pages since 2014? Cheers

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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 21:19
  #4604 (permalink)  
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Just in case any of you missed the whole Tracey Curtis-Taylor saga, here is a brief synopsis:

Man eating old trout with high profile connections, manages to get sponsorship to pretend to fly solo from Capetwown to Goodwood in a Stearman bi-plane. then as the trip enters the actual doing it phase, everyone and their dog in the project can understand that she's useless, and can't be allowed up in the air on her own. She even managed to taxy into a helicopter and destroy it. OK, it was a just a Robinson, but even so...

Anyway, to Africa, where she has a QFI hiding in the front seat for something like 40 of 44 legs of the trip, and she tells people she was solo. Then the awards start coming her way and then the shit starts to fly and then she has to change her story and say she was the sole pilot, not solo pilot.

Anyway, drifting back to the thread, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots gave her an award for a feat of navigation, and stuck to their guns when she had to admit there was a GPS in both cockpits, and a proper pilot in the one that she was using, as well as a Cessna alongside to keep her on track.

Since then she's upset loads of people with her lies and refusal to answer her critics.

The HCAP still have not followed the example of the LAA who rescinded the award she got, once the lies were uncovered. A great example of this is the "Herne Bay Video" where she talks about her solo trip from Africa, but when tackled, she claims that she never claimed it was a solo trip.

Anyway, the point is, an award by the HCAP is much devalued by looking at (some) past recipients, which is a tragedy.

No matter what awards might be bestowed up people for doing their job, however they do it, the truth is out there, and Integrity, not gongs, is what matters.
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 22:04
  #4605 (permalink)  
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OAP Its all been said (many times) and yes the real hands on flying for Cadets has been destroyed, and the fine organisation (and staff) cast to the wind.
With the current capability of the leadership there will be no improvement, and the poison chalice that is 2FTS has rebadged itself as some sort of educational experience that bears no resemblance to its original requirement.
Apart from the amazing experience in actually being part of a flying training system run by Cadets and ex Cadets there was the USP of GOING SOLO in machine within the same serial block of a V Bomber or Fighter. (we were of course the fretwork fighters).
Once the ATC got into the hands of non flyers it was doomed to become just another youth organisation that followed DOE,and Marches but with the added burden of a complicated service type set up that had become 'Non aviation Led'.
Look at the leadership and it tells you all you need to know; look at the Scouts and learn.
I have always said it was a privilege to be part of the organisation, and no where else could someone from an ordinary background get the chance to be so hands on with machinery and real aircraft. The complete joke that is the PTT says it all; youth needs to be 'out there' in the real world doing it, to show them that the 'hands on' experience is so much better (and team building) than sitting indoors in a plastic bath tub in a flying suit; going nowhere. Build some new Mk3's and get them popping off on their own after an hours flying (that's the standard to beat).UNBEATABLE.

Last edited by POBJOY; 3rd Nov 2018 at 07:31.
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 22:47
  #4606 (permalink)  
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Those with access to ASIMS will be able to see his “not a parting shot” at the Air Cadet hierarchy. To be fair, it comes as close as he ever has in the last five years to uttering something resembling common sense, but probably not for the reasons he thinks.
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 00:20
  #4607 (permalink)  
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_Dear All _

_This is the last e mail I will send in my capacity as Commandant 2 FTS. In my 52nd year of RAF service I have now crossed the finish line on a fantastic RAF career. You may wish to note transitional arrangements are well in hand for my DDH duties to be handled by Commandant 3FTS Gp Capt Moriarty and the day to day running of 2 FTS by Wg Cdr Tim Wilson. On all matters please contact Wg Cdr Willson in the first instance. _

_To reflect for a few moments on my time in Command I have experienced every possible emotion- the good, bad and ugly. I have had exciting times balanced with frustrating and disappointing times. On balance when I look at the score card, I leave with good memories and many instances of fun and meeting dedicated volunteers and impressive cadets. Those who know me well, are aware I wear my heart on my sleeve and it would be wrong not to say I also leave with a hint of disappointment. _

_My personal view I leave 2 FTS in a good position to move the wider cadet aviation experience forward. We have a robust glider recovery plan costed and with budgetary commitment. A fully integrated fleet management and op delivery plan. This is equally supported by a costed and endorsed infra plan. The future is exciting with a wider cadet aviation offer, the potential for a new platform to deliver cadet aviation and additional activity to streamline contracts particularly in the support arena. To close I would like to thank you all, permenant staff, CFAVS and cadets for whatever contribution you have made to make my life in post as easy as possible. _

_I wish you all well in your future endeavours and leave you with one parting comment. It will only be the delivery of the wider cadet aviation offer, in all its disciplines eg space, cyber, AR, Synthetics (Air and Ground), Drones etc, that will perpetuate the light blue of the air cadets and it full association with its sister Service the Royal Air Force - without aerospace we are merely a cadet force and will lose our air identity. _

_As to my future watch this space!!! _

_Regards to all _
John Middleton
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 08:21
  #4608 (permalink)  
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JM really does not get it does he. The Air Cadets is/was about 'hands on' flying and the ability to enthuse youth about being part of an organisation that gave you an entry into a world not available to others.
He glibly talks about 'Aerospace' as if it was some new feature of aviation (not just a part of it).Drones and so called 'synthetics' are available in the local supermarket for pocket money, and you do not have to be in a uniformed organisation to own and use one. As for spaceflight; well that does not replace the basic facet of Piloting, and surprise surprise even with automatics a knowledge of basic flying skills is still relevant unless you are a passenger.
I will not have history being rewritten that fails to acknowledge the amazing experience of youth being able to pilot a machine solo with all the added long term benefits of decision making,and team work that are needed even more in todays world of indecision and box ticking. I am all for looking ahead and accepting there will always be change, but you do not ignore the facts of history and discard something that is proven to provide an amazing experience that will stay with you for ever and provided something that the todays youth needs more than ever.
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 12:25
  #4609 (permalink)  
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'Pippa' was originally a navigator, then after a crossover course, became a Vulcan co-pilot. When the Vulcan left service, he was unsuccessful at TWU and was offered a choice of another ME pilot slot, or a FJ navigator slot - he chose the latter.

Quite why he seems to be so reluctant to mention his Vulcan co-pilot time, I don't know. But with the general cut backs at the time, I wonder quite how much retraining he was given before TWU? In my case, I'd already had the benefit of FJ training before failing my Bucc OCU and going to Vulcans in 1977, after which I was given another FJ crossover opportunity in 1980 - this consisted of a 40 hr JP refresher at Leeming, then a 50 hr Hawk pre-TWU course at Valley before my pre-Phantom Chivenor TWU. Was the same generous amount of pre-TWU training available to ex-Vulcan co-pilots when the aircraft left service? If not, then anyone who hadn't had the benefit of the old Gnat/Hunter pre-TWU course before being restreamed would undoubtedly have found TWU hard work, particularly at around 35 years old.

Nevertheless, without proper gliding opportunities, the Air Cadet organisation won't be very attractive to youngsters of today. The rubbish about 'cyber', 'drones' and 'synthetics' is a distraction - the real reason is that it is cheaper than establishing gliding schools and sending youngsters solo in a glider.
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 15:25
  #4610 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
'Pippa' was originally a navigator, then after a crossover course, became a Vulcan co-pilot. When the Vulcan left service, he was unsuccessful at TWU and was offered a choice of another ME pilot slot, or a FJ navigator slot - he chose the latter.
Curious to know which brevet this gentleman would have worn? One wing or two?
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 15:28
  #4611 (permalink)  
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He is entitled to either as he was Combat Ready on the Vulcan as a co-pilot, having previously been a navigator.

I can only imagine that he considered the pilot's flying badge more appropriate for his Air Cadet activity?
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 17:03
  #4612 (permalink)  
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'Pippa' was originally a navigator, then after a crossover course, became a Vulcan co-pilot. When the Vulcan left service, he was unsuccessful at TWU and was offered a choice of another ME pilot slot, or a FJ navigator slot - he chose the latter.
Not quite accurate. He withdrew from pilot training before re-roling as a navigator. It is true that he was unsuccessful at TWU, but, I believe, indirectly related to his performance in the air. Being a QWI Air Defence and Ground attack on both F4 and Tornado is no mean feat.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 18:14
  #4613 (permalink)  
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I can’t think of anything that would negate you from no longer being a pilot but allowing you to be a FJ Nav? Apart from a crippling lack of ability poling the aircraft?
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Old 5th Nov 2018, 15:31
  #4614 (permalink)  
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Some of us can remember when they sent pilots (and navs) to be air traffickers and we're not talking that long ago.
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Old 5th Nov 2018, 16:55
  #4615 (permalink)  
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Actually I think he has made a HUGE contribution to th safety of Air Cadet Gliding. I mean if you don't actually DO any gliding you can't possibly have any accidents.

What could be safer?
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 08:37
  #4616 (permalink)  
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Now there has been a management change is it not time to learn the lessons of the past and draw a line under past events.

Its time to remember that the objective of this exercise is to get cadets flying and if posable give then that ability to fly solo. For this staff have to be put in place to do the training and contractors who can supply serviceable aircraft.

Perhaps the most important thing is to recruit both staff and contractors who have a proven track record if a speedy return to providing cadet flying is going to be accomplished.
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 09:01
  #4617 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Build some new Mk3's and get them popping off on their own after an hours flying (that's the standard to beat).UNBEATABLE.
What I've been saying for several years now.
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 18:53
  #4618 (permalink)  
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draw a line under past events
I'm afraid that's how it was allowed to happen in the first place. Today, the MAA is in a state of complete denial about what caused all this in the first place, even going on record claiming it identified the failings which Haddon-Cave had reiterated.

recruit both staff and contractors who have a proven track record
Indeed, and a laudable aim. Again, we must hope the likes of the MAA changes its mind. But this time there is a significant political barrier.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 18:41
  #4619 (permalink)  
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Good to see the ATC get a plug on the One Show tonight.

Shame Carol Vorderman doesn’t know how to zip a jacket up.

Also, are there any white male cadets in the ACO? Because no examples were thrust forward into the spotlight...
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 19:58
  #4620 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Well as Tucumseh has pointed out any new aircraft will be on the road to UN airworthiness from day 1 unless registered on the CAA/ BAA register but you can read all about it on this very thread -it's all here.

But to point out the Volunteer staff have been badly burned from this saga and lots would be unwilling to invest so much time again after the near radio silence we received over a period of years then the disbandment announcement.

Personally being a CI worked but the idea of being fake NCO aircrew in uniform doesn't do much for me - and I personally heard JM say he could recruit new staff from adverts in national papers. Not necessarily the calibre of people we HAD in the organisation of a known quantity then.

Simple things like the odd AEF day at a UAS or flight from say Brize on a Tanker sortie would've gone down well as it meant we were actually being thought about and I can't see why something simple like that never happened - Known, vetted staff with RAF or Class One medicals and flying kit should've been within someone's grasp - but hey ho then.

Really all my best for the guys and girls remaining, and lamenting the passing of such a jewel of an organisation that gave lots of us a leg up and belief we could make it in aviation without a spare £100k lying about.
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