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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 20th Feb 2020, 09:39
  #4941 (permalink)  
 
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RNAV
As has been posted on this thread a few times - geographic location of individual sqns will have made a huge difference to to the amount of flying achievable by most cadets since the grounding/'pause'
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Old 20th Feb 2020, 18:48
  #4942 (permalink)  
 
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Reborn VGS sites

Despite what has gone before, the rebirth of 615 and 626 is a step in the right direction. Kenley can serve a very large 'Cadet Rich' area, and Predannack with its very large field and nearby Culdrose could be a base for 'camps' rather than just serving the immediate Cadet area.
AS yet we do not know what effect the new OC 2 FTS will have on the organisation, but no doubt he will be seeking to maximise the existing fleet whilst grappling with introducing the new staff required.
Either way this will have gone some way to get the AIR back into the organisation, and despite the hill to climb can only be a good thing to BUILD on.
Who knows some common sense may even creep back into the Vigilant fleet currently gathering dust at Little Ris and Syerston. Perhaps with some out of the box thinking someone will realise that the required engine overhaul situation is well do able and that this fleet should go back to serve the organisation they were obtained for. The LAA were prepared to oversee getting the Vigilants back into the air, and this is a respected organisation with DECADES of engineering and design ability. The MOD could do a lot worse than utilise this experience to compensate for the lack of it in their own system.
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Old 20th Feb 2020, 21:35
  #4943 (permalink)  
 
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Viglant fleet? What have you been drinking?
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Old 21st Feb 2020, 07:06
  #4944 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Who knows some common sense may even creep back into the Vigilant fleet currently gathering dust at Little Ris and Syerston.
Not a chance.

The Vigilants are dead and gone.
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Old 22nd Feb 2020, 08:25
  #4945 (permalink)  
 
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Viglant wind up

Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2 View Post
Viglant fleet? What have you been drinking?
Never heard of a Viglant, but would be a good name for a reborn Vigilant. I drink milk sometimes with lemon and honey !!! N E S P

As far as I know the airframes on the Vig fleet are not an issue, but an overhaul of a VW engine is of course second only in complexity to changing a crankshaft on a Napier Sabre.
In practice you could OH it on a substantial kitchen table if you had to (the VW that is). I did say the organisation will have to do some out of box thinking if it is to get back on track to providing a facility it should be doing, and has been paid for.
The Sabre would of course need a VERY SUBSTANTIAL table.
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Old 22nd Feb 2020, 21:27
  #4946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
Not a chance.

The Vigilants are dead and gone.
Have the Vigilants been disposed of yet?
I know I haven't seen any photos of a landfill brimming with crushed GRP and let's face it, there isn't much money in scrap GRP and burning is out of the question, sixty odd GRP airframes is an awful lot of MMMF to go blowing in the wind.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 03:39
  #4947 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone have an idea which VGS/Sqdns have re-started operations at what airfields?
I've heard of Rissy, Kenley and Predanack from this thread but any more airfields?
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 04:51
  #4948 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Does anyone have an idea which VGS/Sqdns have re-started operations at what airfields?
I've heard of Rissy, Kenley and Predanack from this thread but any more airfields?
RTF complete:
644 Syerston
637/621 Little Rissington
622 Upavon
661 Kirknewton
632 Ternhill

Converting (both squadron and airfield):
645 Topcliffe

Starting RTF:
626 Predannack
615 Kenley

Waiting:
614 Swanton Morley
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 09:05
  #4949 (permalink)  
 
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Vigilant Disposal

Originally Posted by VX275 View Post
Have the Vigilants been disposed of yet?
I know I haven't seen any photos of a landfill brimming with crushed GRP and let's face it, there isn't much money in scrap GRP and burning is out of the question, sixty odd GRP airframes is an awful lot of MMMF to go blowing in the wind.
Although it is unlikely to make headline news the Vig disposal looks like it is nearly settled with the idea that some airframes will eventually be RTF but not with the Grob engine.(not in UK anyway). I suspect the other airframes will not be scrapped but get RTP for eventual spares use, poss overseas. There is no desire to see the VW engine /airframe combination flying again in the UK no doubt due to awkward questions being asked. If they quietly find their way somewhere else it will effectively be a carpet sweep (under) that closes the chapter. For the record there was no tech reason for the machines not to go on to the LAA system, but the politics of the whole wider pause and recovery issue has rather clouded this alternative.
Of course this does not diminish the service they gave with a valuable addition to getting Cadets airborne which started (SLMG) with the VW engine Falk., It should also be remembered that Cadets did train to solo on both these machines at locations where winch launch operations were difficult to maintain. It is the lack of suitable winch launch sites that will limit the ongoing Gliding program for the future, but it is better than not having the facility at all. It is no different in the civilian gliding world with many locations quite remote, and not able to attract a wider membership.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 09:07
  #4950 (permalink)  
 
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Is there any news on when 631 (Woodvale) may RTF ?
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 09:23
  #4951 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tingger View Post
RTF complete:
644 Syerston
637/621 Little Rissington
622 Upavon
661 Kirknewton
632 Ternhill

Converting (both squadron and airfield):
645 Topcliffe

Starting RTF:
626 Predannack
615 Kenley

Waiting:
614 Swanton Morley
Thanks for that.
So there's a massive gap in the area once served by Wethersfield, 616 Henlow, 613 Halton, 612 Abingdon and 618 Odiham plus nothing to serve Kent and East Sussex (previously 617 Manston).

Last edited by chevvron; 23rd Feb 2020 at 09:50.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 10:57
  #4952 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Who knows some common sense may even creep back into the Vigilant fleet currently gathering dust at Little Ris and Syerston. Perhaps with some out of the box thinking someone will realise that the required engine overhaul situation is well do able and that this fleet should go back to serve the organisation they were obtained for. The LAA were prepared to oversee getting the Vigilants back into the air, and this is a respected organisation with DECADES of engineering and design ability. The MOD could do a lot worse than utilise this experience to compensate for the lack of it in their own system.
Pobjoy, you have written this line loud and often but I do not believe you. The Vigilant is very close to a Grob 109. That aircraft has a current type certificate supported by a type certificate holder. My understanding is that as a type it is not eligible for transfer to the LAA system. It doesn't matter what the LAA might have been prepared to do, it is the CAA who issue Permits to Fly, they cannot issue a permit to an aircraft that can have a CofA. From a passing involvement in this project I understood pretty much all of the airframes are unserviceable and require a Viking style survey by a competent organisation (unlikely to be LAA) to return them to flight. Not saying it can't/won't happen but as I understand it the only route is with a CofA and with the support of the TCH. The engine situation just adds more expense to the whole equation. With 109s fetching around £30K, who can justify doing very much to these airframes?
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 17:32
  #4953 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by spekesoftly View Post
Is there any news on when 631 (Woodvale) may RTF ?
I can't remember the reasoning, but I recall that there was a decision that (non-powered) gliding is verboten at Woodvale. The Vigilants were ok, but Vikings are a no. So, it won't.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 19:10
  #4954 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
I can't remember the reasoning, but I recall that there was a decision that (non-powered) gliding is verboten at Woodvale. The Vigilants were ok, but Vikings are a no. So, it won't.
Thanks for your reply. It's a shame that they don't even have the option of returning to Sealand where they flew for many happy years.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 20:18
  #4955 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by spekesoftly View Post
Thanks for your reply. It's a shame that they don't even have the option of returning to Sealand where they flew for many happy years.
631 changed to an AGS, along with 616, 633, 634, 663 and 664
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Old 24th Feb 2020, 09:16
  #4956 (permalink)  
 
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I am convinced the Vigilants will fly somewhere again in some shape or form.

I don't believe they will be under the LAA banner though. And almost certainly not in the UK, and definitely not under the RAF/Air Cadet banner.

Which is sad. They earned their money when they were in service. I think there is certainly a political issue somewhere in the background either in MoD, the RAF or the ACO that does not like seeing Motorised aircraft operated by non-RAF pilot volunteer staff. I think they are not really in favour of aircraft being operated by volunteers full stop TBH but they 'accept' conventional gliders (just).

This engineering debacle suited them to just 'compartmentalise' what is left into a no-productive, expensive sideshow.........

Arc
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Old 24th Feb 2020, 17:46
  #4957 (permalink)  
 
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Carpet Sweep Under

[QUOTE=Arclite01;10694653]I am convinced the Vigilants will fly somewhere again in some shape or form.

I don't believe they will be under the LAA banner though. And almost certainly not in the UK, and definitely not under the RAF/Air Cadet banner.

Which is sad. They earned their money when they were in service. I think there is certainly a political issue somewhere in the background either in MoD, the RAF or the ACO that does not like seeing Motorised aircraft operated by non-RAF pilot volunteer staff. I think they are not really in favour of aircraft being operated by volunteers full stop TBH but they 'accept' conventional gliders (just).

This engineering debacle suited them to just 'compartmentalise' what is left into a no-productive, expensive sideshow.........



Absolutely ARC, the machines mainly flew to where they are now and I suspect in practice could fly out again. This was all about A... Covering. and there were so many A......'s the carpet would have had many bumps in it.
However what they failed to disprove is the fact that a VOLUNTEER CIVILIAN force managed to deliver excellent ab initio flying training to solo standard in a SLMG for many years with an enviable record of performance and safety. The fact that the 'students' were not streamed or selected just goes to show how well the system worked (we know that anyway). We all know who let the system down, and it was not those at the coal face.


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Old 26th Feb 2020, 14:00
  #4958 (permalink)  
 
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ACMB reporting “the planned post-recovery position is unlikely to exceed 30% of previous activity levels”.

Two thirds of gliding as was has been written off. For good.
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Old 26th Feb 2020, 19:45
  #4959 (permalink)  
 
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Pobjoy,

I have tried to keep out of this debate for years. As an ex-ATC cadet who went solo in a T31 in 1953 and then joined the RAF as a pilot because of the influence of the ATC (and my desire) I am saddened to see the way things have gone! I am not out of touch, having been a CI at my local ATC squadron until a couple of years ago, and having flown gliders and various powered aircraft all my working life. I feel that the Air Training Corps (or Cadets, RAF Section?!) have lost their main reason for being! However, having followed this thread (and your first class explantions) I do sense that all is not lost with the people who really matter! Please keep up the good work!

Bill
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Old 26th Feb 2020, 21:48
  #4960 (permalink)  
 
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Rising Again

[QUOTE=Bill Macgillivray;10696720]Pobjoy,

I have tried to keep out of this debate for years. As an ex-ATC cadet who went solo in a T31 in 1953 and then joined the RAF as a pilot because of the influence of the ATC (and my desire) I am saddened to see the way things have gone! I am not out of touch, having been a CI at my local ATC squadron until a couple of years ago, and having flown gliders and various powered aircraft all my working life. I feel that the Air Training Corps (or Cadets, RAF Section?!) have lost their main reason for being! However, having followed this thread (and your first class explantions) I do sense that all is not lost with the people who really matter! Please keep up the good work!

Bill, Indeed I to am furious at the needless waste of resources, and loss of a valuable experience to a huge number of Cadets who have been badly let down.
However we have a new boss at 2 FTS who must be given the chance to see the organisation gets 'enabled' to rise again even though we know it not be to the same level. The two new return to flying operations both have a chance to help this situation. 615 Kenley is in a prime location for Cadet Squadrons to access, and I know that it will rise to the occasion because both 615 and Kenley have a history of survival, delivering the goods, and the will to provide an excellent service.
626 at Predannack is a remote location but has a fantastic site with lots of space. Staffing may well be an issue there, but if 2 FTS are allowed to think outside of the box and utilise outside temporary help then this could be a great summer camp location with perhaps some staff coming down to run continuous courses, in the same way Halesland operated. Once Cadets see the gliding opportunities coming online it will be an excellent chance for them to get stuck in and help out with staffing and then the process can build again. This is what the organisation needs, hands on association with aircraft you can actually help to handle and get to fly, that's what the Air Cadets should be about for those who are keen. A bit of a 'hill' to climb, but better than letting it go without a fight. Venture Adventure, and B...... the twitter and facebook brigade. Regards Pobjoy.
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