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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 14th Jan 2019, 12:47
  #4721 (permalink)  
 
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Weathersfield closed and moved to Swaton Morley last year.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 15:44
  #4722 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
Weathersfield closed and moved to Swaton Morley last year.
Gawd knows where my old wing goes for AEG now then 'cos Halton, Henlow and Abingdon are presently NEP.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 09:19
  #4723 (permalink)  
 
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Wethersfield Airfield (former home of 614 VGS) Now Remaining Open Until At Least 2025

Announced that Wethersfield Airfield (former home of 614 VGS) now remaining open - until at least 2025.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...for_gov.uk.pdf

And it still has a hangar and usable runways. Great news for ATC units in Essex, North London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire etc.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 19:31
  #4724 (permalink)  
 
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Wethersfield Airfield - Recent Photos (Late 2018)


Runway 28 (Main Runway)

Runway 10 (Main Runway)

Runway 22 Left

Runway 04 Right

Runway 14 Right

Runway 32 Left

Aircraft Hangar

Aircraft Hangar
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 15:14
  #4725 (permalink)  
 
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That's does assume that there is any appetite to move 614 back down the road or that any of the experienced staff would return after being deemed SNLR
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 18:17
  #4726 (permalink)  
 
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On the Slingsby Venture front XZ557 (of which I have a share in) is still going strong in sunny Wiltshire & should do so well past my lifetime spares permitting.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 08:49
  #4727 (permalink)  
 
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ATFQ,

The closure delay announced refers to the MOD Police HQ.

No reason why they can't start building on the airfield right away.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 18:00
  #4728 (permalink)  
 
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Opportunity for the Taking

Pr00ne,

The lack of (i.e. zero) building activity on the airfield to date perhaps shows best the negative appetite to build anything there, probably because of the poor service infrastructure and road links, and probably because Braintree District Council has other plans for new housing (for example).

It will be for someone to decide whether this unexpected new opportunity (a 'ready made' and previously proven VGS site) should be put back to its former and recent use (since the 1980s). I accept that it will take a small amount of enthusiasm, but not that much effort.

The reality is that 614 VGS would never have been moved out of Wethersfield in the first place (given its proximity to large numbers of ATC squadrons) had the extension to 2025 been known about upfront, and gliding would have already recommenced there by now.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 11:51
  #4729 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post
Announced that Wethersfield Airfield (former home of 614 VGS) now remaining open - until at least 2025.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...for_gov.uk.pdf

And it still has a hangar and usable runways. Great news for ATC units in Essex, North London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire etc.
Thanks for the pics. Really does show how unsuitable and dilapidated the infra has become there. That Hangar does not seem to be anywhere near Part 145 compliant for the Maintenance Organisation to use under their MAOS MAA approval. The runway is also severely degraded and will not pass a Aerodrome Operator hazard to operation Bow-Tie Risk Assessment anymore. You can really see how many £Millions it will take to get that back to the MAA Glider Aerodrome regulatory and Duty Holder Total Safety standards. Those Regs only benefit the safety of cadets. No more hitting a series of landrover tyre ruts on landing and hoping for the best (without getting whiplash), or kicking up debris from a severely degraded runway and skidding on the gravel as used to happen when I was flying them in the 80s.

Also I have heard that Wethersfield also only used to have portacabins for accommodation with no way to effectively separate male/female cadets and staff from Cadets. A very big no-no in the current safeguarding regime. Do we have pictures of Swanton. Hopefully it is far better provisioned.

Last edited by ACW367; 11th Mar 2019 at 13:08.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 20:50
  #4730 (permalink)  
 
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Corrections to ACW367 Post

ACW367,

Iíll take the liberty of correcting your inaccuracies/assumptions if I may, so that other readers are not misinformed.


1. Unlike you suggest, the landing areas shown at Wethersfield in the photos above are in pretty good condition. And no gravel. Other surfaces (not really needed) could be made available at a cost of £10ks to £100ks. Only repairs to pavement standard required for gliders, so relatively cheap (and sensible in comparison with the cost of the ongoing glider recovery programme).

2. All take offs and landings at Wethersfield with Viking were from paved or tarmac surfaces. So no issue with ruts on grass. I guess you are thinking back to the early 80s - when vintage gliders were flown from grass at Wethersfield.

3. Elements of the Wethersfield Hangar Annexes were recently refurbished, as you can see from one of the photos. The Hangar is not brand new, but then again neither are most regular RAF hangars are they? And a Rubb Hangar could easily be erected either inside it or alongside it instead (a Rubb Hangar is also being installed at Swanton Morley for example, which does not have a Hangar as yet. Therefore no gliders there until next year?)

4. Permanent, good quality (multiple) block accommodation is available on site, and was used previously on a regular basis. So safeguarding is not a factor.

And finally. It is not really a choice of Wethersfield OR Swanton Morley. You could have both. The benefit of having a site close to north London and Essex ATC units would be high.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 23:23
  #4731 (permalink)  
 
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Are there and 614 "South" instructors left to come back and run this arrangement after being dumped last year?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:02
  #4732 (permalink)  
 
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People

Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
Are there and 614 "South" instructors left to come back and run this arrangement after being dumped last year?
It would be fairly straightforward, with the right leadership, to attract around thirty (out of the original 45) back, with a number more possible ex Henlow and Halton VGSs for convex to Viking. Enough former staff miss it enough to want to come back.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 17:58
  #4733 (permalink)  
 
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And would they share Swantons allocation and have 2 aircraft each?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 18:24
  #4734 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post
ACW367,

Iíll take the liberty of correcting your inaccuracies/assumptions if I may, so that other readers are not misinformed.


1. Unlike you suggest, the landing areas shown at Wethersfield in the photos above are in pretty good condition. And no gravel. Other surfaces (not really needed) could be made available at a cost of £10ks to £100ks. Only repairs to pavement standard required for gliders, so relatively cheap (and sensible in comparison with the cost of the ongoing glider recovery programme).

2. All take offs and landings at Wethersfield with Viking were from paved or tarmac surfaces. So no issue with ruts on grass. I guess you are thinking back to the early 80s - when vintage gliders were flown from grass at Wethersfield.

3. Elements of the Wethersfield Hangar Annexes were recently refurbished, as you can see from one of the photos. The Hangar is not brand new, but then again neither are most regular RAF hangars are they? And a Rubb Hangar could easily be erected either inside it or alongside it instead (a Rubb Hangar is also being installed at Swanton Morley for example, which does not have a Hangar as yet. Therefore no gliders there until next year?)

4. Permanent, good quality (multiple) block accommodation is available on site, and was used previously on a regular basis. So safeguarding is not a factor.

And finally. It is not really a choice of Wethersfield OR Swanton Morley. You could have both. The benefit of having a site close to north London and Essex ATC units would be high.
Did I not detect an element of sarcasm (or maybe irony) in ACW367's post? Maybe things are so far gone now he DID need a reply?
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 18:35
  #4735 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post


It would be fairly straightforward, with the right leadership, to attract around thirty (out of the original 45) back, with a number more possible ex Henlow and Halton VGSs for convex to Viking. Enough former staff miss it enough to want to come back.
Bit of a long haul for ex 613 staff, but then a lot of people commuted from Middlesex/Hertfordshire to Manston when 617 was transferred there.
Pity one or both airfields couldn't be retained though., especially Halton as Aylesbury Vale District Council don't seem to be interested in the site, so I expect in accordance with the original covenant, it will revert to farmland.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 19:07
  #4736 (permalink)  
 
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Halton has had a reprieve until circa 2025 (?)
But I do not know if that includes the airfield.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 20:25
  #4737 (permalink)  
 
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Is there any update on what is planned for the redundant Vigilant and Viking fleets? Sale or scrap or other?
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 00:24
  #4738 (permalink)  
 
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Reported in another place the new OC 2FTS.

" It’s all change at 2 Flying Training School as Group Captain Baz Dale takes over as the new Commandant.Baz, a former RAF Tornado pilot with extensive experience overseas will now head up the RAF Air Cadets’ gliding fleet and 10 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons across the UK."
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 06:01
  #4739 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hoodie View Post
Is there any update on what is planned for the redundant Vigilant and Viking fleets? Sale or scrap or other?
Last I heard the Vigilants were to be literally scrapped, presumably because if they were sold off to the public and an accident occured which could be attributed to a unrecorded repair, MOD might face a law suit of some sort.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 18:29
  #4740 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by air pig View Post
Reported in another place the new OC 2FTS.

" Itís all change at 2 Flying Training School as Group Captain Baz Dale takes over as the new Commandant. Baz, a former RAF Tornado pilot with extensive experience overseas will now head up the RAF Air Cadetsí gliding fleet and 10 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons across the UK."
Good luck to him - he could start by not treating the Volunteers like mushrooms.

If the leadership is seen (and indeed felt to be) putting the effort in everyone else will respond in kind and be willing to put that bit extra in that made the previous system such a success.

Would I return after everything that's happened? not really sure but if he can re energise the system it lays the foundations for the next generation
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