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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 18th Apr 2019, 10:22
  #4801 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
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.

What do you suggest, do the squadrons operating again call it the pause and the rest call it the cull? Maybe in time the pre pause(cull) levels of operation will get back but probably not without people doing the best with what we have got. And certainly not if everyone says what a wonderful job the BGA would do if we paid them.

Is it time for the title of the thread to change? “Air cadets has changed since 1960s/90s/2014.” So has the airforce/army/navy no one is saying they’re grounded. There are units operating, if not at, then very close to pre “pause” levels and people working very hard to make it happen.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 13:53
  #4802 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
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.
The ministerial statement that reduced the Viking fleet and slashed the vigilant fleet followed by the subsequent complete withdrawal of the Vigi were pretty clear it was not going to return in the same format.

You never know it might grow again as the next step.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 14:44
  #4803 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Glider111 View Post
What do you suggest, do the squadrons operating again call it the pause and the rest call it the cull? Maybe in time the pre pause(cull) levels of operation will get back but probably not without people doing the best with what we have got. And certainly not if everyone says what a wonderful job the BGA would do if we paid them.

Is it time for the title of the thread to change? “Air cadets has changed since 1960s/90s/2014.” So has the airforce/army/navy no one is saying they’re grounded. There are units operating, if not at, then very close to pre “pause” levels and people working very hard to make it happen.
"Reduction", and "loss" would be more appropriate.

Coupled with problems in the AEF world there are areas of the country who have seen and continue to see virtually no flying at all. I'm past caring how it's spun, really.
We've got a busy unit of 60+ cadets. Less than 10% have ever flown. I'm fed up of passing promises over to them that we know will be broken, again.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 15:53
  #4804 (permalink)  
 
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Air Cadet Numbers Starting to Increase

Encouraging news on Air Cadet numbers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statis...tatistics-2019
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 16:52
  #4805 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATFQ View Post
Encouraging news on Air Cadet numbers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statis...tatistics-2019
Not really, Air Cadets are down to 32,850, which is a drop of 530 since 2015. Although CCF for Air Cadets is up 100, it is still a net loss. Considering, they should be around 40,000 then it’s not very good at all. In 2012 there were 35,750 before we started “pausing” gliding, so they are about 10% down on where they were. We’ve got to make sure that the 5 year stats don’t become the new ‘norm’.

Last edited by Lima Juliet; 2nd Jun 2019 at 17:31.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 17:51
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Cadet Numbers

When you consider that they had £50 million of libor money thrown at it, it is hardly a good return on Bangs for your Bucks.
A ship without a rudder is going nowhere, and unless the leadership is changed nothing else will.
The 'AIR' has left the Cadets but no shortage of Pension topping jobs still in the system.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 10:33
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At what age can youngsters fly a glider solo with a BGA Club? Thought so. Why can the ACO not achieve the same? Answers on a postcard.......
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 13:45
  #4808 (permalink)  

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Like many, I soloed in a glider with the Air Cadets at the age of 16. This led to fixed wing flying - also with the cadets - and subsequently a 40-odd year flying career. No RAF or flying family background, so without that opportunity - who knows?

Could this happen now? Unlikely...... but they do have a lot more badges. We only had two for flying: the glider solo and then the Flying Scholarship.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 15:39
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
When you consider that they had £50 million of libor money thrown at it, it is hardly a good return on Bangs for your Bucks.
A ship without a rudder is going nowhere, and unless the leadership is changed nothing else will.
The 'AIR' has left the Cadets but no shortage of Pension topping jobs still in the system.
The 'Air' left Air Cadets back in the '90s which is why Rob Walton, then OC 2409 (RAF Halton) Sqdn started microlight AEF for cadets.
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 17:04
  #4810 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
At what age can youngsters fly a glider solo with a BGA Club? Thought so. Why can the ACO not achieve the same? Answers on a postcard.......
Quite simply, the public attitude to “risk” has been conditioned to regard anything the least out of the ordinary as dangerous:

Cue Daily Whail headline about children flying ‘planes before they can drive cars!!!!!!!

At the same time the MoD appetite for “risk” has diminished to close to zero.

YS
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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 21:18
  #4811 (permalink)  
 
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Risk or Lawyers benefit

Why do I get the feeling that if Bear Grylls was leading the Cadets numbers would be going up rather than down.
The Scouts are going great guns, and civvy gliding clubs sending 14 year olds solo so the problem is one of attitude.

Someone has to challenge the excuses for non delivery of potential Cadet experiences, and ask why other organisations seemingly are able to offer so much.
We need a complete change of direction from the top down, and someone has to ask searching questions as to why a civilian club can send a 14 year old solo in equipment that is certainly no better than the ATC had, and in theory still has. My old School at Kenley has just passed the 1000 th PTT badge point: to be quite honest if HQ Air Cadets had suggested that in my day we would all have 'walked' in disgust rather than pretend we were in the serious basic flying training business. (which we were and it worked just fine)
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 09:34
  #4812 (permalink)  
 
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Aah, PPL before driving licence was my biggest worry at just 17. Dad had been ill and could not drive for 9 months, got his licence back on 1 May 61, I passed my test on 8 June, and promptly started "teaching" my Mother who had let her wartime licence lapse. Got my PPL a month or so later, at Sywell with the irascible Les Hilditch.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 22:30
  #4813 (permalink)  
 
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Last week we had two Air Cadets come along to our civvie gliding club to join up. They are brother and sister, 16 and 15 years old. They want to fly, but feel that the ATC will not be able to offer that opportunity. Another young person joined about a month ago again a former Air Cadet who decided to leave the ATC and come civilian gliding instead. He is very high aptitude and will do well.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 13:55
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Given the hash that Serco made of the Air Cadet glider maintenance and records, its rather surprising that their attempted buyout of Babcock, (who have oversaw the work on the majority of the Viking fleet which were put back in the air) hasn't had a mention here.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 16:42
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As I've posted before, the responsibility for the 'hash' (actually a complete c*********k) made of ATC glider and maintenance records lies squarely with the RAF, not Serco. When you contract out a maintenance activity, you don't give up responsibility for supervising and monitoring the performance of that contract. The RAF failed to do this, as was mentioned in letters from the Minister responsible.

I was part of an Air Station team that supervised Serco's execution and performance of a contract to carry out packages of work for second line maintenance of Sea King helicopters back in the (very) early 90s. We took great care to ensure that the teams assembled by Serco were fully qualified to work on our aircraft, rejecting some of their appointments if we felt the people involved didn't pass muster. The Serco operation was fully supervised and checked as part of normal Air Station Quality Assurance and regularly inspected in the same way as every other unit. The result was very good, for us. I don't have shares in Serco, not did I ever have any stake in them. They were no better and no worse than other contractors I worked with, the general standard being good, as long as you kept a close eye on what was going on.

This was (and is) 'ops normal'. It wasn't us being clever, it was just us doing the standard, basic, straightforward job of managing contracted activity. The fact that the RAF proved incapable of doing that should be ringing serious alarm bells against all the other stuff that they've contracted out. Sadly, I suspect that those bells aren't ringing. I'd guess that not a few RAF personnel are content to blame it on the contractors. Thats not a good place to be.

Best regards as ever to all those managing contracts and getting the best out of them,

Engines

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 19:21
  #4816 (permalink)  
 
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Hi GliFly, I heard a whisper that the ATC were actively discouraging cadets from flying with civil clubs. I also heard that when approached by some civil clubs about flying cadets the ATC insisted that only Full Cat Instructors could fly cadets. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 20:18
  #4817 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
Hi GliFly, I heard a whisper that the ATC were actively discouraging cadets from flying with civil clubs. I also heard that when approached by some civil clubs about flying cadets the ATC insisted that only Full Cat Instructors could fly cadets. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
In my day, AP1919 put so many restrictions on ATC cadets flying in light civil aircraft whilst wearing uniform it just wasn't worth the bother of going through the paperwork, the sole exception being the microlight AEF we did at Halton using a 'blood chit' which had been approved by HQAC; even Flying Scholarship cadets had to fly with instructors who had been checked out by CFS and had a minimum number of hours on type.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 21:19
  #4818 (permalink)  
 
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Short parliamentary briefing note on Cadets

https://researchbriefings.parliament.../LBP-2019-0067

"This House of Lords Library Briefing Pack contains a selection of material relevant for the forthcoming question for short debate on the Cadet Expansion Programme in schools; and what steps are being taken to encourage the growth of cadet units of all three services."
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 08:40
  #4819 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
As I've posted before, the responsibility for the 'hash' (actually a complete c*********k) made of ATC glider and maintenance records lies squarely with the RAF, not Serco. When you contract out a maintenance activity, you don't give up responsibility for supervising and monitoring the performance of that contract. The RAF failed to do this, as was mentioned in letters from the Minister responsible.
Engines
Too right.

Lots of years ago, I and my colleagues stood in front of a 1* showing evidence of a contractor failing to fulfill their contract.
It wasn't the first time. CMT were also called in to present evidence of checks being carried out to ensure contract was being honoured.
CMT had failed to highlight, to the authority, that work was not being done in accordance with the regulations. In fact they had just kept putting satisfactory against the concerns.

No further action taken as 1* was told things will improve.

Funnily enough, the OC of the CMT took a nice high paying job with the contractor!

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Old 20th Jun 2019, 08:55
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Engines:-
As I've posted before, the responsibility for the 'hash' (actually a complete c*********k) made of ATC glider and maintenance records lies squarely with the RAF, not Serco. When you contract out a maintenance activity, you don't give up responsibility for supervising and monitoring the performance of that contract. The RAF failed to do this, as was mentioned in letters from the Minister responsible.
While I don't quibble with your summary of the ATC Gliders descent into the present perpetual pause, I must take issue with your implication that this is a scandal solely affecting the RAF . The initial attack on Air Safety was perpetrated in the late 80's by RAF VSOs it is true, but such is the virulent nature of unairworthiness once the defences are down that it infected all UK military aviation regardless of the individual Service operators involved. The results are often fatal and can strike anywhere at any time.

One such tragedy was the mid-air collision of two FAA Sea King ASaC Mk7's on the 22nd March 2003 that killed all seven occupants. It transpired that the aircraft were improperly fitted with High Intensity Strobe Lights that replaced the previous Anti Collision Lighting in identical positions. The result was that the forward HISLs could blind the pilots from reflection from the surface of the sea or in cloud or poor vis conditions. An unofficial procedure to cope with this phenomena was to operate in such conditions with the forward HISLs switched off. This collision occurred in such conditions when the ever present Swiss Cheese holes put both aircraft in the same place at the same time. Were their forward HISLs switched off? Whether yes or no, they were by definition unairworthy along with the aircraft they were fitted to. No fleet, no Service, is spared from the curse of unairworthiness once the defences are down.

The defences remain down thanks to the cover up by RAF VSOs protecting those who first attacked UK Military Air Safety over 30 years ago. Army and Naval aviation fleets are just as exposed as Royal Air Force ones, including ATC gliders, make no mistake.
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