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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 23rd Nov 2020, 14:10
  #5141 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
This only highlights what happens when an organisation such as the Cadets gets 'infiltrated' by non aviation types at the top, and is further influenced by former regular RAF staff who have their own agenda re use of civilian volunteers. The Cadet organisation did not get broken by those running squadrons and local VGS flying ops, it got pulled apart from pension toppers who did not understand how the operation worked or where the centre of excellence was. It most certainly was not at HQAC or 2FTS.
Well said!
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 21:04
  #5142 (permalink)  
 
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No sour grapes here just the facts

Just to be clear on this, I have no issues with the charity getting some free machines, but as they only wanted about half a dozen one has to ask why they were given the entire fleet !!.
The proposed 're-engineering' of the machine is a complete economical nonsense, and only highlights what a appalling decision the authorities made. Just look at what the Cadets got out of all this, :- NOTHING, and what did they loose,:- the effective break up of a World Class training organisation that had given over seven decades of hands on flying training by a very capable mainly civilian volunteer force. Lets be quite clear about this, it was a national disgrace, a complete shafting of a respected youth organisation, a cover up of the highest degree, and a financial deal that would not pass scrutiny outside of the military overlords. They only get away with it because in the great scheme of things the Government and Country at large now have rather more serious issues that have to be addressed.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 00:30
  #5143 (permalink)  
 
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It is indeed a national disgrace, POBJOY, but the scandal is much much bigger than the loss of the ACO gliders! 'They' get away with it because the Establishment has banded together to ensure that the RAF VSO cover up holds. The ACO gliders were but the latest air fleet to suffer from the attack on the previously ring fenced Air Safety funds, which were diverted to compensate for massive losses sustained when new AMSO policies failed so spectacularly. The reason the Air Safety budgets were ring fenced is because once resources are withdrawn there is no way back. Airworthiness starts to haemorrhage in fleet after fleet until the swiss cheese holes all line up. They did so on the Mull in 1994 to Chinook ZD576 and in Afghanistan in 2006 to Nimrod XV230. These two fatal accidents alone killed all 43 occupants. Other airworthiness related air accidents have accounted for many other fatalities, including the Red's Sean Cunningham death in 2011. Mercifully there was no such accident in the ACO fleet, and remedial work has quickly restored airworthiness albeit to the civvy register and operator. Why couldn't that have been done whilst retaining them within the ACO? It could have been, but that would have raised questions of why they were unairworthy in the first place, which would have compromised the cover up and certain RAF VSO reputations.

The MOD will be quite relaxed about any grumbling staying within the Air Cadet Organisation. Their very first line of defence is to stove-pipe each accident, each example of unairworthiness. Indeed, airworthiness is rarely touched upon by BoI's/SI's, let alone the lack of it being identified. It took a bunch of civilians producing evidence to the respective Nimrod and Chinook Judicial Reviews to show that both the Chinook HC2 and Nimrod MR2 fleets were unairworthy at the time of their accidents. In reality it infects many other fleets and will go on doing so until Air Regulation and Accident Investigation is removed from the maw of the MOD and made truly independent of it and of each other.

Self Regulation Never Works and In Aviation It Kills!
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 11:10
  #5144 (permalink)  
 
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Cover up and DESA

I agree CHUG, but the actual VIG fleet disposal operation was the remit of DESA.
The DESA 'mission statement' is quite clear, and states that without compromising legal issues they are tasked with getting the MAX return on assets for the MOD, plus provide opportunity for British business as part of their prosperity agenda.
DESA manifestly failed to do this, and by doing so have been complicit in the overall cover up.
The public interest has not been served either in a financial or practical way, nor has the Air Cadet organisation been provided with a fit for purpose ongoing facility that it paid for and is still doing so.
The sad facts are that the very strengths of the Air Cadet gliding operation in its 'volunteer' civilian operational leadership, gave it little actual power to mitigate the appalling lack of leadership and Tech support from those who were supposed to be running the organisation at HQAC.
The requirements of DESA were quite obviously compromised in a similar fashion by those wishing for the full disgraceful episode to be hidden in a way that cost the tax payer even 'more' money, and true to form got nothing in return.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 11:32
  #5145 (permalink)  
 
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And I in turn couldn't agree more with you, POBJOY. DESA is part of the MOD, just as the MAA is. Both are therefore compromised from the word go. What is more notable is the way that institutions and organisations outside the MOD; RAeS, HSE, various Police Forces, the Scottish Crown Office, and others, have chosen to ignore evidence of this gross scandal and actively field for the MOD. All this to cover up the reputations of a handful of ex RAF VSOs!

The cost has been enormous in blood and treasure and goes on doing so because Regulation and Accident Investigation remain compromised by the continuing cover up. If the excuse is that the good name of the Royal Air Force would suffer following complete revelation, I would merely counter that the real RAF exists behind the Station Gates, outside of which is merely a pyramid of bureaucracy. It is that bureaucracy that has so utterly failed those who serve behind those gates and which needs total reform just as urgently as the MOD itself.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 12:51
  #5146 (permalink)  
 
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Slightly off topic but worth mentioning, when -sometime next year- the various cadet organisations are permitted to hold parade evenings once more I do wonder how many cadets and adult staff will not return. I also wonder if that will force units to close and ultimately lead to a consolidation into one Joint Cadet Corps to save money.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 13:00
  #5147 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
Slightly off topic but worth mentioning, when -sometime next year- the various cadet organisations are permitted to hold parade evenings once more I do wonder how many cadets and adult staff will not return. I also wonder if that will force units to close and ultimately lead to a consolidation into one Joint Cadet Corps to save money.
I know in my Wing (of approx 30 units) we're likely to lose ~10 squadrons through lack of staff alone.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 14:55
  #5148 (permalink)  
 
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A straw poll in my wing has indicated a 40% loss of cadets and 30% loss of staff.
Yes, Covid has given staff and cadets time to take stock and an excuse, but it was only the straw that broke the camels back.
Staff are fed up of the red tape and mountains of paperwork.
Cadets are fed up with the lack of meaningful physical activities such as gliding, shooting, fieldcraft etc.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 14:49
  #5149 (permalink)  
 
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Sky,
I heartily agree with your comments. It's close to three years since I left after 40+ years as an instructor, along with close to seven years as a cadet. When the ATC scribblers discovered Risk Assessments and other forms of admin, that was the beginning of the end. Of course any organisation responsible for the safety and well being of children must operate safely. What happened was that the pendulum swung way too far the other way. Example: a risk assessment to cover a cadet making the tea(?) Taking cadets on training visits needed a health form for each cadet, and every staff member. These had to be kept for five years after each visit. A new set had to be produced for every visit. When I asked why the answer was that you couldn't rely on parents telling us if their child had developed anything since the last trip. Whole empires were built on this stuff, as Wings needed dedicated officers to police the units.

An old friend who is still in the Corps has told me that recently all their buildings have been inspected by those that manage them. Ominously, in his wing, all the locks on the buildings were changed....

Please don't dismiss this as the rants of a grumpy old ex-instructor. The ATC was for most of it's history the best youth organisation in the country, and possibly the world. Many of the cadets we had the privilege to work with. went on the do great things. Those that didn't still earned useful skills and that, given guidance and encouragement, they too could excel. What happens when COCID ends it's stranglehold on us i something I dread to think about.

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Old 25th Nov 2020, 15:24
  #5150 (permalink)  
 
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Police Investigation?

Given the underhand 'disposal' of the Vigilant fleet and the accusations in the recent Private Eye article, is there enough here to warrant a police investigation?
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 16:09
  #5151 (permalink)  
 
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Sky Sports,

What law do you think has been broken and what criminal act carried out?
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 17:52
  #5152 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Sky Sports,

What law do you think has been broken and what criminal act carried out?
Misfeasance in public office for a starter.

Last edited by air pig; 25th Nov 2020 at 20:28.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 18:08
  #5153 (permalink)  
 
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What law do you think has been broken and what criminal act carried out?
I have no idea, i would never be so presumptuous as to tell the police how to do their job!
However, given the accusations made on other forums/websites, the inference of a bung by the Private Eye, the finger pointing at Mr. Middleton, the FOI releases and the awkard questions in the House of Lords, it's about time this was properly looked at.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 10:58
  #5154 (permalink)  
 
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The danger is of conflating the two main issues - the reason for the grounding, and the act of disposal. The obvious common offence is the making of false record (fraud by misrepresentation).

The Police, CPS and HSE have all refused to take action - the HSE saying it has no authority in cases involving airworthiness. A quite specific exemption apparently, even if deaths have occurred; although after the Cunningham case (closely related to this through a shared Type Airworthiness Authority) one takes what they say with a pinch of salt.

But if someone has evidence of other offences relating to the disposal, then best of luck. And whoever persuaded Private Eye to run their piece, well done.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 18:53
  #5155 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by air pig View Post
Misfeasance in public office for a starter.
air pig,

VERY difficult to prove that the accused had a duty of care to the plaintiff and acted deliberately in the knowledge that what they were doing was illegal.

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Old 27th Nov 2020, 10:46
  #5156 (permalink)  
 
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Venture and Misadventure

Having experienced what the ATC could provide when it was subject to vision and capable leadership, I struggle to see what the future will hold even under the new 'RAF Cadets' banner, especially with the leaning towards Space and pilotless devices.
In fact one could say the organisation is even less likely to prosper under 'service bureaucracy' with its ever deceasing 'hands on element' due to the ever increasing interpretation of H&S with associate paperwork 'box ticking'.
The Gliding fiasco was probably the final straw in showing that the 'organisation' is actually incapable of organising itself, let alone backing up a capable team of volunteers.
The attempt to give the 'redundant' Vigilants another 'life' out of service control was very cost effective and deliverable, as indeed were the original actual Cadet Gliding schools and their volunteer staff. No cogent reason could be found to dismiss this proposal at DESA, and indeed as alluded it would have not have stopped another organisation having some machines for themselves. However this would NOT have suited the RAF themselves purely on the basis that it may have thrown doubt on why the Cadets were loosing this facility in the first place !!.
With the 'Carpet' already lifted by the RAF, and suitable commercial interests hovering with a broom the death blow was delivered under the DESA banner, but in reality by collusion and the RAF wishes. I might add that the Vig use plan was not dependent on any 'Golden hello grant' or indeed any public money being needed. It was a bold and honest plan to see some 'right' come out of the appalling Gliding fiasco, but in true 'Yes Minister' tradition was suitably flattened by the very people who had FAILED to do their public paid jobs.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 11:35
  #5157 (permalink)  
 
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POBJOY,

In what way can you justify your statement "..the very people who had FAILED to do their public paid jobs?"

In what way have they failed?

They took decisions that you didn't like.

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Old 27th Nov 2020, 13:13
  #5158 (permalink)  
 
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In what way have they failed?
You're obviously new to this thread and the sorry saga of how a whole fleet of aircraft, much enjoyed by thousands of kids, was taken from them with NO REPLACEMENT provided.

I know its 258 pages long, but please go back and start reading this thread from the start. If you can't be bothered, or don't have the time, just read the FOI's detailing how people basically sat around drinking tea and smoking fags while they should have been overseeing the airworthiness of the most basic of aircraft.

They took decisions that you didn't like.
And neither did anyone else. In fact, the only people who 'liked' the decision, were those handful who had an awful lot of arse covering to do!
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 15:23
  #5159 (permalink)  
 
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Gents,

I wanted to hold back for a bit here, to see if anyone picked up on what I thought (happy for others to disagree) was the key aspect of the ATC Glider Scandal (and yes, I think it merits its own title). Happily, Sky Sports hits the nail square on the head.

In my view, this isn't primarily about RAF VSOs - although they played their part in setting the conditions. It isn't about criminal cases - although I could see how that might possibly be an angle. The core of this thing is a systemic failure by the RAF to properly procure and maintain an airworthy fleet of aircraft. My view is as follows. The failure started in a rushed procurement, which was compounded by a failure to properly set up the basic building blocks of airworthiness. This was followed by the issue of what must have been, even at the time, an insufficiently supported CA Release and RTS. It was topped off by an extended failure to properly maintain the aircraft, and a failure to maintain the required airworthiness record. The result was that the RAF, for some years, was flying civilian children in non-airworthy aircraft.

A number of people failed to do their jobs properly, at the working levels of all the organisations concerned. People 'did as they were told' and signed off type airworthiness documentation that they almost certainly knew was defective. People failed to carry out basic checks on the contracted maintenance activity. People read ageing aircraft audits and apparently failed to address serious issues. You can't have that many people dropping the ball without concluding that there has to be something awry with the system in which they were working. That's a systemic failure.

When they failed their initial CAMO audit by the MAA, the RAF (2 FTS) had absolutely no idea how bad the situation was. They issued a stream of updates and press releases to their staff (and the cadets) that bore no relation to the real world. Promise after promise evaporated as they failed again and again to execute their various 'recovery plans'. The RAF then went out and lied to the press about what had happened. Then they got Ministers to lie on their behalf. And right at the death, the RAF got the Government to bung a charity 750 grand to take the Vigilants off their hands, and get the issue under the carpet.

Why does this matter? Because it could be happening right now on your squadron, in your hangar, on your aircraft you just signed out. That's what 'systemic failure' means. Covering it up means that it's very probably not been addressed.

The RAF is chock full of excellent people. I worked with the RAF for years, and I always pay tribute to the excellence and professionalism of those I met along the way. But something was clearly really badly wrong here.

Best regards as ever to all those good people in the RAF working hard and professionally to do the right thing. They deserve our respect and gratitude for what they do.

Engines
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 15:49
  #5160 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
Gents,

I wanted to hold back for a bit here, to see if anyone picked up on what I thought (happy for others to disagree) was the key aspect of the ATC Glider Scandal (and yes, I think it merits its own title). Happily, Sky Sports hits the nail square on the head.

In my view, this isn't primarily about RAF VSOs - although they played their part in setting the conditions. It isn't about criminal cases - although I could see how that might possibly be an angle. The core of this thing is a systemic failure by the RAF to properly procure and maintain an airworthy fleet of aircraft. My view is as follows. The failure started in a rushed procurement, which was compounded by a failure to properly set up the basic building blocks of airworthiness. This was followed by the issue of what must have been, even at the time, an insufficiently supported CA Release and RTS. It was topped off by an extended failure to properly maintain the aircraft, and a failure to maintain the required airworthiness record. The result was that the RAF, for some years, was flying civilian children in non-airworthy aircraft.

A number of people failed to do their jobs properly, at the working levels of all the organisations concerned. People 'did as they were told' and signed off type airworthiness documentation that they almost certainly knew was defective. People failed to carry out basic checks on the contracted maintenance activity. People read ageing aircraft audits and apparently failed to address serious issues. You can't have that many people dropping the ball without concluding that there has to be something awry with the system in which they were working. That's a systemic failure.

When they failed their initial CAMO audit by the MAA, the RAF (2 FTS) had absolutely no idea how bad the situation was. They issued a stream of updates and press releases to their staff (and the cadets) that bore no relation to the real world. Promise after promise evaporated as they failed again and again to execute their various 'recovery plans'. The RAF then went out and lied to the press about what had happened. Then they got Ministers to lie on their behalf. And right at the death, the RAF got the Government to bung a charity 750 grand to take the Vigilants off their hands, and get the issue under the carpet.

Why does this matter? Because it could be happening right now on your squadron, in your hangar, on your aircraft you just signed out. That's what 'systemic failure' means. Covering it up means that it's very probably not been addressed.

The RAF is chock full of excellent people. I worked with the RAF for years, and I always pay tribute to the excellence and professionalism of those I met along the way. But something was clearly really badly wrong here.

Best regards as ever to all those good people in the RAF working hard and professionally to do the right thing. They deserve our respect and gratitude for what they do.

Engines
As ever, a fantastic post Engines. Thank you.
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