Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Air Cadets grounded?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Air Cadets grounded?

Old 3rd Mar 2020, 13:55
  #4981 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,030
Absolutely scandalous. Verging on corrupt.

Can't find the public funds to refurb them for the ACO but can find the money to give them away and part fund their refurbishment for a 'charity'. All done behind closed doors.

Either they are airworthy - or they are not............

Outrageous doesn't begin to describe it.

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 13:57
  #4982 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 789
Just a brief post:

Note the spin on this announcement. The Vigilants are, apparently, 'former MOD gliders'. Actually, they are 'former RAF gliders'. The words 'Royal Air Force' don't appear anywhere in this article. I can't think of the last time I saw any news item about RAF aircraft that didn't have the tag 'RAF' plastered all over it. And the use of the term 'decommissioned' is interesting - I suppose it's less embarrassing (for all concerned) than the more accurate 'grounded and removed from service due to being found non-airworthy'.

It might be interesting to see how much Aerobility plan to spend to get 2,600 kids into the air each air, then compare that with what the RAF are spending on their ATC organisation and the Vikings. Yes, I know it's apples and oranges, but....

But well done to Aerobility, and to the MoD for managing to find a bit of goodness out of this sorry saga.

Best regards as ever to all those getting young people into the air.....

Engines
Engines is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 14:20
  #4983 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: here and there
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Absolutely scandalous. Verging on corrupt.

Can't find the public funds to refurb them for the ACO but can find the money to give them away and part fund their refurbishment for a 'charity'. All done behind closed doors.

Either they are airworthy - or they are not............

Outrageous doesn't begin to describe it.

Arc
Entirely agree. Outrageous! I can tell you the guys on at least one now disbanded VGS feel the same. I think Pippa’s plan to get rid of SLMG squadrons now plain to to see.
Mushroom club is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 15:08
  #4984 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Behind you...
Posts: 63
C**ts, the lot of them. Utter c**ts.
Cat Funt is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 15:23
  #4985 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,188
As the Air Cadet Organisation as a whole has been 'disabled' by the whole debacle, maybe this will allow its members to fly in the refurbished Vigilants?
Mechta is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 16:30
  #4986 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 78
Dear gods you couldn't make it up!
ExAscoteer2 is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 18:08
  #4987 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Old Hampshire
Age: 64
Posts: 584
Well that answers my question of 22 Feb.
Maybe now the members of the disbanded VGS's will get an apology. Though I doubt it.
VX275 is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 18:49
  #4988 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: East Sussex
Posts: 132
"Aerobility, a charity which provides flying experiences to those who might otherwise never get a chance to take to the skies."

Like, well, Air Cadets?

Words fail me. Do we know how much they were sold for and how much the grant from the Department for Transport is?

And why could the ACO not have done what Aerobility have done and put Cadets back in these gliders?

WB627 is online now  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 19:42
  #4989 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 2,916
Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
And why could the ACO not have done what Aerobility have done and put Cadets back in these gliders?
Because to have a couple of junior staff simply follow regulations would expose the failures of their superiors who directed that the regulations be ignored, or sat back in the knowledge they were being ignored. Plus the aforementioned direct linkages to fatal accidents within the same command.
tucumseh is online now  
Old 3rd Mar 2020, 19:44
  #4990 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 73
Posts: 1,036
Very large bumps under the carpet

Well its official now. !0 Vigs get the full makeover (totally uneconomic) and 53 get to be 'refurbished' whatever that means, to pay for the other 10. Have no problem with Aerobility getting some airframes, but at what cost. It just proves that there was no reason to pull the fleet at all. It also shows that the other offered scheme using many of the airframes for AE youth flying for all was quite possible and at very low cost. Of course none of this was about getting the 'best use' from an out of service airframe it was all about trying to cover up the appalling way the Air Cadet fleet had been allowed to decay in airworthiness terms. It appears now that all the airframes are suitable for 'refurbishment' and indeed funds seem to be available to assist with this, so why did so many VGS Squadrons with a combined TRAINING service of hundreds of years get binned !!! This has been a megs scandal for the Air Cadets and a great loss of a fine World Class TRAINING organisation whose record is second to none. Has someone redefined the wheel, or just forgotten the Cadets already had a system that provided flying for ALL for 10s of thousands !!!! Actually
100s of thousands.






































Last edited by POBJOY; 4th Mar 2020 at 09:44.
POBJOY is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 10:17
  #4991 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
Posts: 2,365
POBJOY,

Are you sure? The way I read that piece is that the first 10 will be overhauled and refurbished by Grob in Germany, and the remaining 53 will have the same work done by Southern Sailplanes in the UK.
pr00ne is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 13:27
  #4992 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 73
Posts: 1,036
Modification/refurbishment

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
POBJOY,

Are you sure? The way I read that piece is that the first 10 will be overhauled and refurbished by Grob in Germany, and the remaining 53 will have the same work done by Southern Sailplanes in the UK.
I
I can only quote the RAF 'news bulletin' 10 aircraft will be 'Modified' with new engines, props and cockpits and recertified by GROB in Germany.

Depending which Rotax 912 is used a ball par real cost per aircraft for all that work would be in the order of £65,000 (prob more) per machine plus moving them about.
The remaining 53 does not mention 'modified', only engineered which is not surprising as the cost would be totally uneconomic, and who is going to pay.
Remember the basic airframe was designed as a TOURING SLMG not a trainer, and indeed the alterations done under ongoing Air Cadet usage were in the main to beef up the undercarriage and mountings which also also added a bit more weight.
This also asks the prickly question of whether the machine is ideal for its planned use as a 'disability platform'. The over wing access is certainly not in its favour, nor the door system.
The whole concept does not stack up against using a C 172 which is far more practical, access wise, space, and handling friendly. plus has a cabin like a van which makes it rugged and easy to adapt.
No mention is made as to the sale price of these machines to the parties concerned, so all in all the Air Cadets have lost a worthy valuable fleet and have gained nothing in return. Unlike the Viking fleet the documents for the Vigs were in store at Syerston so that tends to confirm that the histories are not defunct and hence the machines were as airworthy as the engine state.
To re-power with the Rotax is a major firewall fwd operation plus cowlings and a new prop is also required. With labour and certification fees I suspect my estimate above will have been on the low side, so the final cost could be VERY EXPENSIVE. (No surprise there). To sum up:- The Cadets lost a prized training facility and the experienced staff, Grob get some more well paid work, S Sailplanes get some well paid work, and a far from ideal machine gets used for disabled service at a highly uneconomic cost. Nothing changes then.
Someone will be able to post the real cost of 'recovering' the Vikings, and this was a simple machine with no engine !!!! I suspect you will be staggered. on an operational point of view the Grob is still a tail dragger which has handling limitations in crosswinds, and does not lend itself to rugged grass strips. With an ever increasing airfield availability of a single runway, utilising is always compromised with a tail wheel machine.


POBJOY is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:09
  #4993 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,030
I am more concerned that someone, somewhere is making a bundle of ££ by getting aircraft effectively for free and then selling them on with what I expect to be the minimum amount of remedial work. I don't know the charity or who backs them or how they operate.................

And it has all been done behind closed doors. How do we know that this was the best deal and offers taxpayers the best value for money ??, why weren't other organisations given a chance to bid ??

Something smells here to me.................

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 18:55
  #4994 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: No Fix
Posts: 8
Worth taking the opportunity to highlight (with their words, my emphasis): 'Aerobility is a charity that, through exposure to aviation, seeks to improve the lives of people with all kinds of disabilities including physical impairments, learning difficulties, mental health conditions & sensory impairments...'

Serious questions to be asked of the RAF et al. about the entire gliding saga certainly, however this seems to be a better outcome than all of the airframes decaying in hangars whilst the executives avoided an uncomfortable decision.

Unable to post a link, but the G109 Able website may be of interest
Caconym is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 19:00
  #4995 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 73
Posts: 1,036
Who makes the money !!!

Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
I am more concerned that someone, somewhere is making a bundle of ££ by getting aircraft effectively for free and then selling them on with what I expect to be the minimum amount of remedial work. I don't know the charity or who backs them or how they operate.................

And it has all been done behind closed doors. How do we know that this was the best deal and offers taxpayers the best value for money ??, why weren't other organisations given a chance to bid ??

Something smells here to me.................

Arc
ARC My prev post was long enough without going for the 'financial reward' bit which I am fully in agreement with you on. Look at the companies involved. Grob, S Sailplanes, plus other smaller companies. The question is why would Areobility seek to obtain so many airframes with a less than ideal suitability and then announce 'some will be sold to expand operations'.
This only highlights the scenario that a substantial fleet of Aircraft were pulled from ATC use with little real reason other than various 'rumours' . It now seems that they will fly again but only after a huge amount of money gets expended which means more 'profit' for some people again. Either way the Cadets get NOTHING, and the real unanswered question is who decided that the training organisation that had given such quality of service for decades with experienced staff, was thrown away. They can Twitter and Facebook for all its worth the facts are the organisation lacks leadership and quality tech input. One hopes that the new OC 2FTS will address some of the issues ,but the stable door has been blown off its hinges and most of the horses are now grazing elsewhere. The alternative scheme offered with cooperation under the LAA did not require use of ALL the airframes, and indeed Aerobility could still have had as many as they needed to use. What it did not require was the aircraft being modified or having a new powerplant / propeller. Another interesting element was utilising prev VGS pilots if they were available and in suitable area's. The machines would have operated as detached flights with volunteer back up, and available to all youth organisations . No one was going to make any profit out of this but the satisfaction of seeing the machines being used for what they had been purchased for was enough for those involved.



POBJOY is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 19:17
  #4996 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: East Sussex
Posts: 132
So why could the ACO not have got Southernsailplanes to return the aircraft to airworthiness and provide ongoing maintenance, as Slingsby had done in the past? They appear to have the experience and the competence to do it. Perhaps the people at the top of the ACO just want to wash their hands of cadet flying?

Perhaps someone could persuade their MP to ask a question in the house? I've got no chance with mine, although she was recently sacked by Boris, I am certain that she is still a Conservative Party lackey.
WB627 is online now  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 22:42
  #4997 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Teesside
Posts: 186



I found these at Linton On Ouse last week and they were very close to a skip although possibly not beyond saving ?
David Thompson is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2020, 22:48
  #4998 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Teesside
Posts: 186


Also from Linton .
David Thompson is offline  
Old 5th Mar 2020, 10:16
  #4999 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,030
Pobjoy

What I am getting at is why would MoD (UK Plc) give away 62 airframes that have a considerable second hand value to a niche charity very few people have heard of and agree to part fund the refurbish of said airframes and also to allow the charity to semi-refurbish the others to a 'standard' and then pocket the cash to 'expand the organisation' ?

Even as they are the Vigilants have to be worth at least £10K (so 62 x £10K = £620K) scrap value each and as an 'airworthy' aircraft £40K each (62 x £40K = £2.5M) and as a refurbed Grob 109 'Advantage' (62 x £140K = £8.6M) - OK take out the refurbish costs but to the man in the street that is still big ££

The questions for me is/are 'Why' ?
  • Why did ACO not do this for their own people ? (small cost - big return)
  • Why has this all been done on the QT and not out in the Open ?
  • Why is the Govt backing this niche charity in this way ? Who are their powerful friends who have covered this up/'arranged' the transfer ?
I don't see fleets of refurbished Vigilants flying hordes of disadvantage or disabled kids any time soon. But I do see a lot of people on a nice gravy train going to the seaside on the taxpayers ££ and the much reduced capability of the ACO Gliding organisation.

Followed by a statement in a couple of years to say that sadly the project proved 'non-viable' for a variety of reasons.

Where are they going to store 62 Vigilant airframes ? - that's a huge footprint. I hope it's not going to be FOC on Government property (where they are now) surely............ - could always park them alongside the Shackletons at Paphos I suppose

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 5th Mar 2020, 12:57
  #5000 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 73
Posts: 1,036
Why indeed

Originally Posted by Arclite01 View Post
Pobjoy

What I am getting at is why would MoD (UK Plc) give away 62 airframes that have a considerable second hand value to a niche charity very few people have heard of and agree to part fund the refurbish of said airframes and also to allow the charity to semi-refurbish the others to a 'standard' and then pocket the cash to 'expand the organisation' ?

Even as they are the Vigilants have to be worth at least £10K (so 62 x £10K = £620K) scrap value each and as an 'airworthy' aircraft £40K each (62 x £40K = £2.5M) and as a refurbed Grob 109 'Advantage' (62 x £140K = £8.6M) - OK take out the refurbish costs but to the man in the street that is still big ££

The questions for me is/are 'Why' ?
  • Why did ACO not do this for their own people ? (small cost - big return)
  • Why has this all been done on the QT and not out in the Open ?
  • Why is the Govt backing this niche charity in this way ? Who are their powerful friends who have covered this up/'arranged' the transfer ?
I don't see fleets of refurbished Vigilants flying hordes of disadvantage or disabled kids any time soon. But I do see a lot of people on a nice gravy train going to the seaside on the taxpayers ££ and the much reduced capability of the ACO Gliding organisation.

Followed by a statement in a couple of years to say that sadly the project proved 'non-viable' for a variety of reasons.

Where are they going to store 62 Vigilant airframes ? - that's a huge footprint. I hope it's not going to be FOC on Government property (where they are now) surely............ - could always park them alongside the Shackletons at Paphos I suppose

Arc
Spot on with the 'overview' of the situation as it appears that the biggest scandal that started it all has finished with another 'situation' that does not stand scrutiny.
I use the word 'situation' with care as the alternative word also starts with a S but finishes with an l. I did say all along that the 'Carpet' would have many bumps in it after the sweeping !!!
PM on its way. Pobjoy. I suspect the Vigs will be allowed to stay at Ris until required by 'whoever' for attention.
POBJOY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.