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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 13th Apr 2019, 15:29
  #4781 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by A and C View Post
While I completely agree with Pobjoy on technical issues and the direction that would be best for air cadet gliding we have to face the fact that the the world has moved on and the public perception of risk has changed from an acceptance that risk is part of life to an almost fanatical attitude that there should be no risk in life and this should be assured by someone in charge.


Like Pobjoy I can remember that days when people realized that life was risk filled and it was a personal responsibility to manage that risk, unfortunately we have moved on to a culture that thinks risk is someone else’s responsibility and there are the ambulance chasing lawyer to back up this perseption. This is the world that the RAF have to work with and the current policy towards air cadet gliding has to be seen in this light when managing air cadet flying safely.

I would suggest that Canadian and British parents have similar levels of risk tolerance for the safety of their children. So why can't the British Air Cadets basically give any of their cadets a meaningful "air" experience when the Canadian Air cadet organization manages to give around 300 cadets a full Transport Canada Glider Pilot License every year ? The Canadian Air Cadet program also has a robust program of air experience flights in gliders for the younger air cadets.

I personally think that playing the safety card is just an excuse for inaction. A robust gliding program where Air Cadets get to fly solo is totally doable If there is the organizational will to make it happen
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 17:48
  #4782 (permalink)  
 
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A few years back I offered a draft article to Air Power in which I suggested that the RAF should radically change its approach to cadet flying. I pointed out that a couple of self build programmes where sponsors (Boeing UK, ReAS etc) had purchased kit aircraft for a school or ATC Wing in order that they build there own LAA approved aircraft. This had worked rather well and I thought it should be extended to all cadet wings in the hope that cadets might discover STEM can be fun, interesting and the completed aircraft used for air experience flights..

I also pointed out that the hero of the Hudson River Captain Sullenberger had been a keen member of the gliding programme at the USAAF Academy 40 years ago and that continues to run today I believe. So why did the Americans set up a gliding programme at their Air Force Academy? Perhaps because the best Luftwaffe pilots had started as glider pilots, examples include Eric Hartmann the top scoring ace of WW2 who was taught to glide in the 1930s aged 14 by his Mother thanks to (NAZI) government funding. Hanna Reich another example.

Then there are the STEM aspects of Germany's glider programme examples include the Horten Brothers whose work on a flying wing glider morphed into first a jet fighter bomber and plans for a large flying wing bomber capable of reaching the USA. The B2 stealth bomber owes some of its design features to work carried out by the Horten Brothers in 1944 including radar adsorbent paint.

Needless to say while the examples were perfectly valid the idea of the UK copying 1930s Germany was so alarming to the editor that the draft was rejected.

Today many of us are concerned about the quantity and quality of air cadet flying, the poor STEM skills in our teenagers and the lack of women pilots......

https://www.aerosociety.com/careers-...build-a-plane/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesley_Sullenberger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Hartmann

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horten_Ho_229
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 18:25
  #4783 (permalink)  
 
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I understood that the Germans had no other choice than to glide, powered military-aviation was banned by the Treaty of Versailles. Gliding and clandestine schools in Russia were the only options.
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 11:38
  #4784 (permalink)  
 
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WHY the Air Cadets 'should change' but cant/will not.

Leaving the tech aspects aside for a moment the Air Cadets need a top to bottom change for the organisation to survive as a credible youth (Aviation related) operation.
The organisation's problems stem from it having become a nice safe 'JOB' for too many in the higher echelons of the system and the parent service (The RAF)
These are the people that let the system down and just could not understand that the 'Hands On' element (Volunteers) were a very capable force that ran a flying training unit 'DESPITE' the poor back up being provided from above. With so many Pension Toppers in place there will be no reason to effect change, so they adopt the usual corporate remedy of spending huge amounts of money (Telling Lies) or as they would say promoting the activity (or lack of it), and bringing along Celeb promoters to dress the stage. The whole scenario of moving from being the CORPS to becoming RAF CADETS is just another wasted effort that no doubt saw even more pension toppers employed. The expanded AEF operation has not in any way replaced the accessibility of simple ATC Gliding, and certainly has not replaced the USP of the 'Youth Solo experience'. Look at the evidence 'Post Pause' huge amounts of money still being spent and idle equipment in store, but no real actual substantial FLYING going on where it should be or where it was promised, buts lots of jobs still in post 'doing what'.


Last edited by POBJOY; 14th Apr 2019 at 20:14.
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 19:33
  #4785 (permalink)  
 
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Choices ....

...
I understood that the Germans had no other choice than to glide,....

They could have sat safely on their RCs, shuffling paper, making up excuses, reorganising and patting each other on the back for a job well executed.

Look at all the trouble it might have saved if they had. ........ .

.........
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 20:27
  #4786 (permalink)  

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They could have sat safely on their RCs
Thought for one moment there Milord Flash that you meant Regional Commandants!!

But then none of them are pilots these days I understand ... not too long ago they all were. Coincidence.....??
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 08:39
  #4787 (permalink)  
 
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Big Pistons has the answer, if Teeteringhead is right there's your clue.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 09:15
  #4788 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever;
I personally think that playing the safety card is just an excuse for inaction. A robust gliding program where Air Cadets get to fly solo is totally doable If there is the organizational will to make it happen
The only 'will' I see in the Air Cadets is for: endless grip-and-grin moments; rolling-out kids to stand at rugby matches, funerals, etc; adult staff (sorry CFAV) more focussed on themselves than the cadets; big 'super-camps' that have an air of exclusivity; Air Cadet choirs, orchestras etc (one presumes to stroke egos at big-wig functions); Total Safety gone mad, with hierarchy not actually knowing what Total Safety means; MBA style Performance Indicators that reach down to squadron level; civil servants who are not serving; Wing/Regional HQs and HQAC who regularly forget that they are the supporting element and not the supported; a half-hearted commitment to reduce admin burden that has completely failed to reduce; more grip-and-grins.

I see very little aviation minded structure - one just need to look at the Progressive Training Syllabus. A reminder, the aims of the ATC:

To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF). To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life. To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.
Dear Comdt Air Cadets, how are you performing against the primary aim? Why don't you try and get aviation back to the forefront and spend less time of the pink-and-fluffy non-aviation stuff that is tweeted every few hours?

PS. Despite the rant, I still have huge amounts of time for the kids we help develop. It just annoys me that the organisation has evolved into a blue-suit version of the Scouts (who I admire) and has lost/is losing it's raison d'Ítre.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 10:32
  #4789 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger View Post
The only 'will' I see in the Air Cadets is for: endless grip-and-grin moments; rolling-out kids to stand at rugby matches, funerals, etc; adult staff (sorry CFAV) more focussed on themselves than the cadets; big 'super-camps' that have an air of exclusivity; Air Cadet choirs, orchestras etc (one presumes to stroke egos at big-wig functions); Total Safety gone mad, with hierarchy not actually knowing what Total Safety means; MBA style Performance Indicators that reach down to squadron level; civil servants who are not serving; Wing/Regional HQs and HQAC who regularly forget that they are the supporting element and not the supported; a half-hearted commitment to reduce admin burden that has completely failed to reduce; more grip-and-grins.

I see very little aviation minded structure - one just need to look at the Progressive Training Syllabus. A reminder, the aims of the ATC:



Dear Comdt Air Cadets, how are you performing against the primary aim? Why don't you try and get aviation back to the forefront and spend less time of the pink-and-fluffy non-aviation stuff that is tweeted every few hours?

PS. Despite the rant, I still have huge amounts of time for the kids we help develop. It just annoys me that the organisation has evolved into a blue-suit version of the Scouts (who I admire) and has lost/is losing it's raison d'Ítre.
While I know what you mean by this, there another side to it. With the unit I'm attached to we got a calendar of events sent down by our Wing detailing all the things they were asking us to do, take part in, promote, assist with, etc... Of the 52 weekends in the year, 40 of them had something cadet related going on. That's before you get to the midweek sessions, the extras not planned in, and the things you want to do with your own unit. And then there's just wanting a weekend to yourself...

I don't blame fellow CFAVs for thinking about themselves a bit.

But there are still those who just want the clobber to pose around in. Them we can do without.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 16:36
  #4790 (permalink)  
 
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IS THERE THE WILL TO CHANGE DIRECTION

'ATC Gliding 'AS WAS' is still doable, but not under the current management regime, who have effectively killed it off.
Ask yourselves why; with new winches, trucks, and a supposedly reasonable supply of 'recovered machines' the UK skies are not home to the 'reborn Vikings'. Answer They don't know how to do it. The 'Doing It' expertise was all in the Squadrons and when they went so did the capability. Assuming you could find a suitable VGS team to help steer the ship back on course an 'experienced' VGS thinking 'think tank' would have to convene at HQ Air Cadets to make it happen. How would you do that; well I could suggest that a well proven way was to build a Squadron then split it until you have the required no of units. Whilst waiting for qual 'CATS' to cover solo ops this could be covered by suitably qualified types covering more than one operation as required.
The nonsense that is the PTT should be removed as part of the training, although they could go to the Wings for pr/recruiting duties that at least have an Aviation theme. In a nutshell they need to 'involve' those that were 'doing it' well for so many years and let them help get the system back on line, no one else has a clue.
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 14:55
  #4791 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
'ATC Gliding 'AS WAS' is still doable, but not under the current management regime, who have effectively killed it off.
Ask yourselves why; with new winches, trucks, and a supposedly reasonable supply of 'recovered machines' the UK skies are not home to the 'reborn Vikings'. Answer They don't know how to do it. The 'Doing It' expertise was all in the Squadrons and when they went so did the capability. Assuming you could find a suitable VGS team to help steer the ship back on course an 'experienced' VGS thinking 'think tank' would have to convene at HQ Air Cadets to make it happen. How would you do that; well I could suggest that a well proven way was to build a Squadron then split it until you have the required no of units. Whilst waiting for qual 'CATS' to cover solo ops this could be covered by suitably qualified types covering more than one operation as required.
The nonsense that is the PTT should be removed as part of the training, although they could go to the Wings for pr/recruiting duties that at least have an Aviation theme. In a nutshell they need to 'involve' those that were 'doing it' well for so many years and let them help get the system back on line, no one else has a clue.
err so you've pretty much described what is happening with CGS providing the nucleus to then split out to autonomous ops
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 08:34
  #4792 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
While I know what you mean by this, there another side to it. With the unit I'm attached to we got a calendar of events sent down by our Wing detailing all the things they were asking us to do, take part in, promote, assist with, etc... Of the 52 weekends in the year, 40 of them had something cadet related going on. That's before you get to the midweek sessions, the extras not planned in, and the things you want to do with your own unit. And then there's just wanting a weekend to yourself...

I don't blame fellow CFAVs for thinking about themselves a bit.

But there are still those who just want the clobber to pose around in. Them we can do without.
I was definitely in the same region as you appear to be in - possibly even the same wing given the reorganisation a few years back, and on our highly active Sqn probably had a similar level of activity through wing events or stuff we were doing for ourselves. The Sqn WO and I had very supportive partners and we reckoned that we were putting between 20 and 30 hours per week each into the Sqn. We worked that out on a unit that had basic hours of 6.30 -10.30 for staff twice a week plus weekends. Having a large, enthusiastic - and most importantly competent - team is absolutely key to support that level of activity, Wing HQ kind of knew what we were up to as they saw the paperwork (or wondered how the hell we were using so much .22 ammo) and the local AEF boss at Church Fenton knew he could call us on a Friday evening if slots were open, but this is the side of the activity that RHQ and Cranwell were by and large ignorant of. A Reg Cmdt on his first visit to a summer camp with Sqns from our wing was having dinner with a group of VRTs in the mess at Cosford and asked what they all did for jobs before they joined the cadets. That's the level of insight we sometimes had to contend with.....
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 12:29
  #4793 (permalink)  
 
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BPF:-
I would suggest that Canadian and British parents have similar levels of risk tolerance for the safety of their children. So why can't the British Air Cadets basically give any of their cadets a meaningful "air" experience when the Canadian Air cadet organization manages to give around 300 cadets a full Transport Canada Glider Pilot License every year ? The Canadian Air Cadet program also has a robust program of air experience flights in gliders for the younger air cadets.
As far as I know the Canadian Airworthiness Authorities have not deliberately subverted and suborned their own Airworthiness Regulations. The British Airworthiness Authority (aka the MOD and its wholly owned subsidiary the MAA) has, and maintains a continuing cover up of that illegal action, thus preventing reform. That is why, BPF, and will continue to remain why until Regulation and Investigation is removed from MOD control.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 16:48
  #4794 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry for the misleading bit about 200 launches/year vs. 200 launches between maintenance. However, thinking on a bit more about the maintenance schedule and recovery plan, I'm left wondering with 50 or so airframes for recovery, why are only about a third of them serviceable and available to VGSs? One presumes a minor should maybe take a day? What about major inspections? When I ran a flying school, my chief engineer would get his parts felt if a 50hr took more than a day and an annual more than 8.

I suppose my query is regarding the efficacy of the recovery and ongoing provision of serviceable airframes.

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Old 17th Apr 2019, 19:31
  #4795 (permalink)  
 
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CGB, you should know the answer...` When the weight of the `gilet-jaunes,plus the paperwork is equal to.........`and has been scrutinised by CDS,ACMS,MAA,CAA,UNCLE TOM and the tea-lady....if we can then find a Duty Stakeholder,etc,etc,etc.....!!!
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 20:20
  #4796 (permalink)  
 
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The Canadian Air Cadet aircraft are civil registered and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Flight training also follows the civil syllabus. The RCAF provides funding support, the use of some Military facilities on a non interference basis with RCAF operations, and also provides safety oversight with the RCAF flight safety program.

While not perfect it is a model that works.......

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Old 18th Apr 2019, 00:50
  #4797 (permalink)  
 
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5 YEAR 'PAUSE'

Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
err so you've pretty much described what is happening with CGS providing the nucleus to then split out to autonomous ops
I see; 5 years on and 2 FTS has built a bigger empire, but the VGS element is now minimal., and Cadet solo !!!!.
With NO CHANGE there will be NO DIFFERENCE, just more of the HYPE, TYPE, and TRIPE emanating from the top. Squillions of £ spent on non flying 'trainers', and no evidence that they even understand what they have lost. It was quite obvious that something was seriously amiss when the question of 'Badge Stitching' had to be 'approved'. Well they got to grips with that, shame about the airworthiness of the aircraft !!!!
They not only threw the baby out with the bathwater they lost the B....y bath. Remember this is GLIDING we are talking about; the aviation equivalent to a hollow log, and in the main was run by youngsters still at school operating the equipment; with a great safety record to boot.
When capability gets replaced by box ticking watch out.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 06:52
  #4798 (permalink)  
 
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BPF:-
The Canadian Air Cadet aircraft are civil registered and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

Then you have answered your own question, BPF, as to why British Air Cadets cannot share the gliding experiences of Canadian cadets. The latter are regulated by a competent Air Regulator, the former are not. It would seem to me that the quickest solution would be for the British ACO to adopt the Canadian model, for the MAA will be unable to fulfil its purpose until it be made independent of the MOD and able at last to begin proper reform of British Military Airworthiness. Ditto British Military Air Accident Investigation.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 08:24
  #4799 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
I see; 5 years on and 2 FTS has built a bigger empire, but the VGS element is now minimal., and Cadet solo !!!!.
With NO CHANGE there will be NO DIFFERENCE, just more of the HYPE, TYPE, and TRIPE emanating from the top. Squillions of £ spent on non flying 'trainers', and no evidence that they even understand what they have lost. It was quite obvious that something was seriously amiss when the question of 'Badge Stitching' had to be 'approved'. Well they got to grips with that, shame about the airworthiness of the aircraft !!!!
They not only threw the baby out with the bathwater they lost the B....y bath. Remember this is GLIDING we are talking about; the aviation equivalent to a hollow log, and in the main was run by youngsters still at school operating the equipment; with a great safety record to boot.
When capability gets replaced by box ticking watch out.
how big do you believe this empire is compared to the previous management system, especially as that obviously wasn't big enough or we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place?

Squillions of £ really?

heaven forbid flying suits provided by the RAF would be maintained in the same way all the other flying suits they provided are.

some of the old war stories of operating the wood and fabric gliders in the good old days are clearly unsafe, there are still plenty of youngsters involved in getting the operation running but doing it in a way that is as safe as reasonably practicable. The new commandant has been in post for a little over a month maybe there will be a change of direction but it's unlikely to go back to the 60s so it's best to get on with what is available.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 09:55
  #4800 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
but it's unlikely to go back to the 60s so it's best to get on with what is available.
Which is why their language has to change. It's no longer justified to refer to what happened as "a pause", as that implies that at some point it will carry on as before.

Operations ceased. And have now begun -slowly- to restart, but at nothing like their previous level and will never reach their previous level. We're selling a false narrative to parents and cadets, and promising things that will never materialise. All cadet staff will be happy to accept a new reality, they won't be happy to be fed the same old promises that we know won't be met.
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