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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 16th Feb 2020, 21:14
  #4921 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by campbeex View Post
I recall a time when this thread used to be about the state of gliding in the Air Cadets with relevant contributions from the likes of tucumseh and Engines.
It still is, RAF Kenley is about to start ATC Gliding(Viking) operations again, It just happens to also coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and Kenley is the only Cadet Gliding field to have been part of that. 615 VGS (formerly 615 Gliding School ) has been at Kenley since inception, and is the only reason that the airfield has survived as long. The Air Cadets have a proud and historic location that can now serve the 'Cadet rich' area of London and the S-east again.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 08:45
  #4922 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
Everyone is resigned to the fact that motor gliding within the Air Cadets is dead, that sailplane gliding is a shadow of it's former self, and that the Air Cadets' Vikings are out of service in a year with no mention of any replacement anywhere.
I for one am appalled at the way the Air Cadets have been let down by those in charge at the top; but despite this the organisation still has a shed load of brand new winches and a quantity of 'refurbished' Vikings. Apart from anything else 2FTS will still want to keep themselves employed, and in the case of Kenley which serves the largest catchment area of all they have been provided with a brand new HQ on what is a secure site. The Vigilants have been killed off due to the lack of will to engage with the engine issue of being on extension, and despite an LAA based project to sort this out it no doubt suited those who wanted to 'bury the dead' for the patient to stay dead. The Vikings have now been effectively given an extra life, so with Kenley (615), (and soon 626) getting new facilities I think there must be a 10 year future at least. This is enough time to look at, and organise replacement equipment if the budget and will exists.
Either way although we will not see the organisation 'as it was' it at least still gives an 'AIR' element to those Cadets who aspire to train to solo standard.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 09:29
  #4923 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
The Vikings have now been effectively given an extra life, so with Kenley (615), (and soon 626) getting new facilities I think there must be a 10 year future at least.
I standby to be corrected, but I think I remember reading somewhere of an out of service date of 2021 for the Vikings, by which point they'll be 36/37 years old.
I'm not sure whether they've had any substantial work completed on them to give another 10 years of life.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 09:36
  #4924 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
I standby to be corrected, but I think I remember reading somewhere of an out of service date of 2021 for the Vikings, by which point they'll be 36/37 years old.
I'm not sure whether they've had any substantial work completed on them to give another 10 years of life.
I thought the original OSD was based on the expected Fatigue Life. On the basis that the fatigue life has been hardly used, and the fact that all the returned airframes have had in depth inspections I think it's not an unreasonable expectation that the OSD might move back 10 years to 2029.


The sensible play now would be to order K-21's on a basis of 5 - 8 a year and re-equip 1 school per year on a rolling programme. My choice would be the ASK21Mi which could be winch launched and then used for extended training but also later on only for the circuit phase.

It'll never happen of course.

Arc
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 10:06
  #4925 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by campbeex View Post
I recall a time when this thread used to be about the state of gliding in the Air Cadets with relevant contributions from the likes of tucumseh and Engines.
Thank you. If I may, the essential difference is that Pobjoy correctly highlighted and bemoaned the imminent demise of ATC giding and predicted the effect, while myself and engines (whom I know) drew on past experience and offered the solution. (Implement mandated regs). We all complemented each other.

I admit I haven't followed this recently, but am surprised at the timescales quoted. Is there a conflict between (a) the OSD of 2021, and (b) the Treasury requirement to show '5-years useful life' against any expenditure? Linked to this, as soon as the OSD is declared, annual support funding drops by 20% for each of the final 5 years. If this policy, which applied throughout my career, has been relaxed, then that would require a major hike in the equipment budget. Or, more likely, the diversion of existing monies from higher priorities.

Like much of this case, something doesn't smell right. Keep pushing Pobjoy.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 12:21
  #4926 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
The Vikings have now been effectively given an extra life, so with Kenley (615), (and soon 626) getting new facilities I think there must be a 10 year future at least.
Viking flying returned to 626 and Predannack a fortnight ago, heavily supported and facilitated by 2FTS personnel. Still very early days and a long road ahead, but it's very welcome steps in the right direction. There is some hope that there might be some limited Gliding sorties for Cadets over the Easter period.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 12:25
  #4927 (permalink)  
 
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Campbeex,

I thought i'd respond to your mention - as ever, I hope that my occasional contributions might be of some use.

Here's a thought - how about a substantial effort by the PPRuNe community (e.g. a good many FoI requests) to the MoD for information on the Viking OSD? Here's a steer. My previous efforts got me a copy of the 2002 Viking Ageing Aircraft Audit (AAA). I'd asked for a copy of a 2009 AA, but it appeared that the 2002 document was all they held for the Viking at that time (2018). I also got an Ageing Aircraft Structural Audit for the Vigilant dated 2009, which reported significant gaps in that aircraft's structural safety case. I'd love to know how the Vigilant RTS survived after that document was issued.

By now, they must have carried out another AAA on the Viking. Perhaps we can get that one - it would provide definitive answers on OSD and fatigue life. There should also be documented and controlled documents setting out Viking Maintenance Policy, as well as a Fleet Management Plan. Oh, and of course a copy of the RTS should be released. Or, how about details of the 10 year funding lines for ATC gliders?

The MoD will fight tooth and nail to protect this stuff. None of it should be remotely classified, none of it would be commercially sensitive. But it would be embarrassing. And. from my direct personal experience, many in the MoD do not like FoI requests at all. They resent them, they dislike them, and they do their best to obstruct them. They've forgotten that they work for us, and that they are accountable to us.

Anyone want to pick up the cudgels?

Best regards as ever to all those really irritating people out there who keep digging,

Engines

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Old 17th Feb 2020, 19:52
  #4928 (permalink)  
 
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Now having spent a considerable amount of effort and money to get two Viking Squadrons to the point of flight status by providing new facilities I do not see that could possibly mean it all closes again next year.
The organisation now has an actual surplus of new winches, and probably more refurbished Vikings that it can use at one time.
The actual Viking 'fatigue life' left is considerable so it would not be a problem to start to organise their replacement now without having to shut down operations.
Kenley has a good Cadet Catchment potential and is central to former staff from closed Squadrons. It would not be beyond the wit of man to utilise this location with more 'continuous courses' during school vacations thereby increasing utilisation and keeping some of the experience skill level going. Remember the ATC Gliding operation was a TRAINING ORGANISATION and it was very good at that. I know we will never get back to the days of the fretwork fighter with so few launches before going solo, but even so that goal of SOLO FLIGHT should always be something to aim for, and it can still give the Cadet force that unique facility that set it apart from other youth organisations. Giving that opportunity (available to all) is not just about learning to fly but it opens up a voyage of self discovery and decision making that is life changing. The Cadet gliding organisation should now rise to the occasion and show what it can offer, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain but they may have to up the utilisation situation to make up for the lack of sites. I wish them well and just like Kenley they will survive.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 20:26
  #4929 (permalink)  
 
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Rising from the ashes

Originally Posted by 478152 View Post
Viking flying returned to 626 and Predannack a fortnight ago, heavily supported and facilitated by 2FTS personnel. Still very early days and a long road ahead, but it's very welcome steps in the right direction. There is some hope that there might be some limited Gliding sorties for Cadets over the Easter period.
And a jolly well done to those were still around to make it happen. You have a fine location (and mushroom crop) which lends itself to 'summer camps' if you find enough staff. Not the best located for easy w-end access, but good enough for the keen Cadets who make the effort. Ideal location for two Squadrons to make the best use of the location and as alluded great location for summer camps to get the utilisation level up.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 22:14
  #4930 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Now having spent a considerable amount of effort and money to get two Viking Squadrons to the point of flight status by providing new facilities I do not see that could possibly mean it all closes again next year.
The organisation now has an actual surplus of new winches, and probably more refurbished Vikings that it can use at one time.
The actual Viking 'fatigue life' left is considerable so it would not be a problem to start to organise their replacement now without having to shut down operations.
Kenley has a good Cadet Catchment potential and is central to former staff from closed Squadrons. It would not be beyond the wit of man to utilise this location with more 'continuous courses' during school vacations thereby increasing utilisation and keeping some of the experience skill level going. Remember the ATC Gliding operation was a TRAINING ORGANISATION and it was very good at that. I know we will never get back to the days of the fretwork fighter with so few launches before going solo, but even so that goal of SOLO FLIGHT should always be something to aim for, and it can still give the Cadet force that unique facility that set it apart from other youth organisations. Giving that opportunity (available to all) is not just about learning to fly but it opens up a voyage of self discovery and decision making that is life changing. The Cadet gliding organisation should now rise to the occasion and show what it can offer, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain but they may have to up the utilisation situation to make up for the lack of sites. I wish them well and just like Kenley they will survive.
I feel you'll be sorely disappointed there is no large surplus of winches 2 at each squadron and a slack handful to cover CGS and survivability cover and they're all gone. No squadron has more than 4 airframes so again not a huge surplus to tap into. Fly the ones there are harder and they'll just stop flying while the wait for their slot in the maintenance schedule.

615 will probably spend the rest of the year RTFing their instructors and graded pilots before they begin cadet flying output, 626 even longer.
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Old 17th Feb 2020, 23:13
  #4931 (permalink)  
 
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STAFF

TNG Who has replaced the CGi's and staff cadets.
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Old 18th Feb 2020, 06:47
  #4932 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
TNG Who has replaced the CGi's and staff cadets.
No one replaced them, they haven't flown for 5 years as a unit though. They may well have all they're old school crews left on the books but their partners, children friends will have got used to having them around the adjustment back to the amount of time VGSing takes shouldn't be underestimated
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Old 18th Feb 2020, 08:34
  #4933 (permalink)  
 
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Staffing

Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
No one replaced them, they haven't flown for 5 years as a unit though. They may well have all they're old school crews left on the books but their partners, children friends will have got used to having them around the adjustment back to the amount of time VGSing takes shouldn't be underestimated
Interesting, history repeats itself; In 1940 they could replace an aircraft overnight but the Pilots were a different matter.
Kenley (615) is probably in a better position for drawing in staff, plus has a civvy club on the same field, but 626 has no nearby units and is situated in an isolated position on the Lizard peninsular. There is a Navy GSA at Culdrose, so that may be able to help. Am I correct that there will be no CGI's in the future, and are staff cadets still drawn from former solo cadets who have already done advanced training.
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Old 18th Feb 2020, 09:05
  #4934 (permalink)  
 
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No new CGIs the ones there are can remain or move across, drawing them is one thing training them up another thing entirely.

Upto the OC to decide how he draws in staff cadets but with a set establishment getting cadets through at the right time to fill a vacant post without holding thar vacant post for a long time is a tricky juggling act
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Old 18th Feb 2020, 20:17
  #4935 (permalink)  
 
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So, basically they have screwed Gliding, screwed AEF flying, screwed shooting, screwed fieldcraft.

Not a lot of point left in being an Air Cadet really!

Oh, but for the whole badge chasing rubbish.

The Administration has serially failed a generation of youngsters.

Sad but true,

Air Cdre Chamier wll be turning in his grave.


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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:10
  #4936 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2 View Post
So, basically they have screwed Gliding, screwed AEF flying, screwed shooting, screwed fieldcraft.

Not a lot of point left in being an Air Cadet really!

Oh, but for the whole badge chasing rubbish.

The Administration has serially failed a generation of youngsters.

Sad but true,

Air Cdre Chamier wll be turning in his grave.
But they've made more paperwork, so that's great.

Only saving grace is that the kids don't know better. They don't know what they've 'lost', because they've never had it.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 12:17
  #4937 (permalink)  
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Obviously, this whole thing is a debarcle….but if I was 13 again would I join knowing what I know now....absolutely, and would I recommend anybody to join now...absolutely!
Even if I took the 'nice to have bits' - camps, flying, gliding etc etc back to a bare minimum (as they are now) I still had a fantastic time as a cadet (and later as Staff).
For team building and making a better person in later life I think the Cadets offer a fantastic opportunity.
I appreciate that paperwork / H&S etc has changed over the years...where hasn't it?....but I still think for a youngster the Air cadets has a lot to offer...and the squadron staff I am sure are still trying their best to make it fun / rewarding / educational...and all the other things I loved.

Would you get the same from the Army Cadets/ Sea Cadets / Scouts /Girl Guides etc etc....probably, but as I never was one, I am obviously biased...and I am sure they have all changed over the years to.

We would all love it to be the way it was, but it isn't......again most things these days seem to be like that, but lets not detract from what the cadets can offer...even it's just attending Parade nights.

Not all cadets just join because they can fly or shoot....some are there (and I do count myself as one who joined for other reasons!) because it is something good to do with your time.

Good luck I say to all those who are still involved at all levels....and thanks to all those who I knew in my time, you probably made me the person I am today...which I think is a good thing!
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 14:38
  #4938 (permalink)  
 
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In the last few months my 15 year old has flown in the Grob, Viking, Chinook and Voyager. He has also shot the L98A2 as well as spending a week at RIAT. Thoroughly enjoys every minute of it. He also has a few badges he is proud of as well.
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Old 20th Feb 2020, 07:47
  #4939 (permalink)  
 
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Apart from the one above, it sounds awful.

it was aerobatics in a chipmunk over the white horse vale that got me hooked on this as a career.
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Old 20th Feb 2020, 09:11
  #4940 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Meester proach View Post
Apart from the one above, it sounds awful.

it was aerobatics in a chipmunk over the white horse vale that got me hooked on this as a career.
I suspect his recent Grob and Viking flights have had the same effect and have got him hooked.
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