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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 27th Nov 2020, 18:02
  #5161 (permalink)  
 
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When I did my military and civvy training, I was told, on both courses, that it was a criminal offence to falsify an aircraft document. And yet, here we have a group of people who did it for years and years and not one single prosecution either military or civil!
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 19:28
  #5162 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
When I did my military and civvy training, I was told, on both courses, that it was a criminal offence to falsify an aircraft document. And yet, here we have a group of people who did it for years and years and not one single prosecution either military or civil!
Well said. And far worse are those who instruct subordinates to make the false declarations, and disappear back into the woodwork when the Inquests open.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 19:54
  #5163 (permalink)  
 
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Sticking with my post

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
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.
You need to read the book not just the cover !!!
My POST stands in all its contents and the evidence is there to for all to see.
MY point is that this disgraceful display of incompetence and technical ineptitude was finally swept under a large carpet with the help* of DESA. DESA were not the makers of the situation but were used* themselves in the ensuing cover up.
I do not pretend to be 'right' all the time, but I do know what the TRUTH is, and indeed WAS the casualty in this sad episode.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 20:25
  #5164 (permalink)  
 
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Engines :-
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.
It rather depends upon what you mean by 'primarily' and what 'it' is. If you mean what happened in the first place it very much was to do with RAF VSOs, who subverted the UK Air Safety System in the late 80s by diverting funds away from it (to shore up RAF VSO incompetence) and getting rid of trained experienced engineers to be replaced by pliable inexperienced non-engineers who would suborn the Regulations as ordered. Now that was a very long time ago, over thirty years for the main part, but the result has been like a canker in UK Military Aviation ever since (nb not just in the RAF!). If you mean by 'it' the scandal of the ACO gliders then we are playing the MOD's game. Stove-Piping! The canker keeps emerging in fleet after fleet, often in fatal air accidents, because the experience, knowledge, and skill sets are not there to detect, let alone cure, the lack of airworthiness. If the truth of what has happened is not openly confronted, no matter the individuals concerned, the Services, the Departments involved, then that old adversary of PO Prune, the Gremlin, will have the last word as it always does when left to run riot.

If you pulp the Regs, cut and cut again the Safety budgets, reorganise the system umpteen times so that a manufacturer's Safety Bulletin can never find its way to the appropriate office (even if it was not a contractual obligation in the first place), then you can scarcely be surprised if airworthiness goes to hell in a hand cart. And who is the 'you' in this case if not the VSOs? Was the guy that over torqued the drogue shackle bolt (that should never have been undone on the flight line in the first place) on the Red's seats primarily to blame, or the VSO that ordered that illegal RTI in the first place? Mull was blamed on the pilots, until a 14 year campaign run in this forum got that VSO finding overturned. The Nimrod Review named an SO and a junior VSO when others further up the food train were never mentioned at all. Mull still remains a known unknown despite unequivocal evidence that the Chinook Mk2's were grossly unairworthy, because having overturned that BoI another has never been convened. The unairworthiness of the Nimrod Mk2's were such as to have scrapped the upgraded MRA4s publicly on TV! Who oversaw all these doomed fleets if not VSOs? And while we are mentioning VSOs, yes the great bulk of them are/were RAF VSOs, but not entirely!

The scandal is not primarily (that word again!) about the ACO Gliders, but about UK Military Airworthiness (or rather the lack of it). That it blighted the ACO fleet, the most simple aircraft of all, is terrible. Along with many here, I benefited from the selfless dedicated volunteers that sent me solo as an air cadet. But the fleet was grounded because it was unairworthy. Whatever else has happened or not happened we should give thanks for that small mercy. It is unthinkable what the outcome would have been if the ACO fleet had suffered an airworthiness related fatal air accident along with all the others that pepper this forum.

So I must politely take issue with you Engines. It is primarily about RAF VSOs, and it is about potential criminality. Where I totally agree with you though is that it is also about systemic failure, not just within the RAF but primarily (again!) within the MOD.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 27th Nov 2020 at 21:07.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 21:23
  #5165 (permalink)  
 
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Chug, why? Why do you post these bloody diatribes. You know Jack shit on the subject aside from what you have read here on PPRuNe - and that is very obvious from that you have posted over the years and continue to post.

Your diatribes just distract attention when people who can add something useful do just that. Engines is one who obviously really understands some of the issues. Tuc is another. But your posts, sorry, no. You just post the same utter shite, again and again and again.

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Old 28th Nov 2020, 05:26
  #5166 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by salad-dodger View Post
You just post the same utter shite, again and again and again.
As I'm mentioned as someone who understands SOME of the issues, as far as I can see Chug's post is factually accurate. And given how long this has been going on, quite succinct.

So, too, Engines' post.

I know Engines has researched this case deeply. I take his word that the procurement of the gliders was originally flawed. But in what way?

One key phrase in Chug's post is 'stove-piping'. When procuring anything related to aircraft one does not set up an airworthiness system from scratch. One implements mandated regulations and procedures, and where deviation is allowed there are guidelines. What you do is tailor the system to suit, within boundaries.

We have seen many threads here on airworthiness related accidents, but they too are stove-piped. MoD wants us to think they are unrelated accidents - Nimrod XV230 can't be related to Hercules XV179, they're different aircraft. But what would have prevented both accidents is implementation of consecutive paragraphs on the same page of the mandated regs. The Boards of Inquiry didn't look for this linkage, and nor did anyone above them.

Similarly, the deaths of Red Arrows pilots Burgess and Cunningham, 14 years apart. Burgess isn't mentioned throughout the Cunningham case, but both were killed by a failure to conduct disturbed systems testing. That's not rocket science. Every apprentice has the concept hammered into him/her, and isn't allowed near an aircraft until examined and tested. But my use of 'failure' implies Burgess was the first. I'm probably wrong. But most definitely, on Cunninham it was a flat refusal in the face of certain knowledge of what caused Burgess' death. The warnings had been issued, and those who issued the instruction that prevented disturbed systems testing made a conscious decision to deny the maintainers the wherewithal to implement their training, resulting in an unserviceable seat being used. That was truly malevolent. It was gross negligence. Frankly, it was manslaughter.

Similarly, Chinooks ZA721 and ZD576, 7 years apart. Far too many recurring failures. And when the Director of Flight Safety pointed out, 5 years after ZA721, that they were still recurring, he was ignored. By the VSOs who later fought the MoD campaign against the ZD576 pilots. Linkages. What was their primary role? Ensure airworthiness. They failed. No, they refused, after being warned by the proper authority. They had a duty of care. They knew exactly what they did. Gross negligence. Manslaughter.

Cunningham was a recurrence, and so too the gliders. The same flat refusal to implement regulations. Very few actually say to you 'Don't implement the regs'; and those who do are usually non-engineers who have been permitted to self-delegate airworthiness approval. (See 2003 RN Sea King ASaC mid-air and 2 of the Board's 3 main contributory factors. The risks had been identified and contacts let to mitigate. He cancelled them, and ignored that the risks still had to be mitigated). Initially, these people are easy to deal with: 'Please state in writing what regs I must ignore, and what I use in their place'. But that only works once, as you'll immediately be 'encouraged' to find a job in a non-air systems part of MoD. Colleagues see what happens and.... Again, that is malevolent. But what most do is simply deny you resources and wherewithal, often through an anonymous committee or minor screening meeting. Their first target is always 'airworthiness' money, as it's an intangible. It doesn't generate a 'due-in' on their stock computer, so must be a waste of money. In the Cunningham case, a simple change of maintenance policy that ostensibly saved money, but at the expense of safety. Why did no-one step in and point out that maintainers would now have to sign for something they knew hadn't been proven serviceable? And what is even more malevolent is the cover-up, blaming the company for not providing information, when they've already provided it and the RAF has used it to produce 13 training films. People MUST have known the audit trail was being torn up, and this outright lie perpetuated in court. That's the same team and management chain responsible for gliders, and just another way of expessing the same problem that Engines describes.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 12:08
  #5167 (permalink)  
 
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Link to readable Private Eye article?

Anyone got a link to it? Cannot seem to find it through a search, here or on tinterweb.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 12:16
  #5168 (permalink)  

 
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Huey - Link to readable Private Eye article? As far as I know it's not available electronically. I do have a scan of the printed piece, but I think it's probably illegal to post it here.

You could go out and buy the magazine for £2! It's No 1535, 20 Nov - 3 Dec edition. Page 40.

airsound

Last edited by airsound; 28th Nov 2020 at 12:17. Reason: correcting date
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 12:32
  #5169 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by airsound View Post
Huey - Link to readable Private Eye article? As far as I know it's not available electronically. I do have a scan of the printed piece, but I think it's probably illegal to post it here.

You could go out and buy the magazine for £2! It's No 1535, 20 Nov - 3 Dec edition. Page 40.

airsound
Iíll see if I can get access to a Canadian copy. I live in the frozen north!
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 12:55
  #5170 (permalink)  

 
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Sorry about that, Huey - not about where you live, of course, which is entirely admirable - but because I rather doubt Private Eye is published in Canadia. But they do have an overseas subscription number which I can let you have if you want

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Old 28th Nov 2020, 13:01
  #5171 (permalink)  
 
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In what way have they failed?
From the FOI release 20170704 FOI12017 05825 DHAN100

ODH CAE Comments


The primary reason why glider airworthiness was questioned, leading to the 'pause', was a failure
of the operation, maintenance and assurance system
.

CAE (DDH) Comments

The engineering risks are as follows:
• Adopting New Standards & Procedures - This will be the first time that the ac have been maintained and managed correctly for a number of years and, whilst MAOS accreditation has been achieved, there will be a heightened level of risk until the standards and procedures are fully embedded.


And there is plenty more gems like that in the other FOI's.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 14:26
  #5172 (permalink)  
 
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Sky,

Good post, and you're quite correct, there is plenty more to be found in the FOIs.

I'm posting again, because I want to to attempt to 'square the circle' with Tuc and Chug. I'd also urge all of us to treat all posts here in a polite way - but I'm not a moderator, so feel free to ignore this. I apologise sincerely if I've been the source of any angst - it certainly wasn't my intention.

I agree with Tuc and Chug that some senior RAF officers have, in the past, behaved very badly. I tend to assign their actions to incompetence, arrogance and ambition. I agree that at least some of them have been grossly negligent. I also agree that it has been in their interest to try to 'stove pipe' problems with airworthiness to obscure what they did. And I also agree that they should have been, and still should be, held to account. Their actions caused significant damage to the UK's ability to properly manage airworthiness. Honestly, I am not at all sure that any of their actions would, at this distance, rise to the level off proven criminal offences - I'd leave that to the lawyers, but I respect Tuc and Chug's opinions. I think I've also taken pains to address the 'stove piping' aspect by repeatedly pointing out that this issue is very probably not confined to the ATC glider fleet, and that it's systemic in nature, by which I mean it probably exists across the RAF system, and possibly other services as well.

Where we differ is, I suggest, how these problems might now be addressed. Tuc says (amongst other very good advice) 'just implement the existing regulations' and he's quite right. Chug takes aim at 'the MOD' and calls for an end to 'self-regulation'. I respect these opinions.

My approach has been to focus on the working level - what regs the organisations didn't implement, and why that might have been. Yes, the MOD (at that stage with many RAF officers in previously civilian held positions) did the procurement and should have assured that the 'Type Airworthiness' certification was supported by the required evidence. The 'Continuing Airworthiness Management' (a bit of MAA terminology I support) was firmly in the hands of the RAF. There were failures in both of these.

As an example, why did the RAF not properly monitor their servicing contract for the gliders? Tuc correctly points out that a very good DEFCON was basically ditched without replacement, along with a slew of other regulations. However, in my experience, a headquarters engineer somewhere, probably at SO2 or SO1 level, was the 'customer' for that contract. I was just such an engineer (Lt Cdr), and a big part of our station's second line engineering support was being placed out to contract. This was around 1991. So what did we do?

At that stage of my career, I certainly wasn't familiar with DEFCONs. But what I was familiar with was our Quality Assurance system for all air engineering activity on the Station, uniform or civilian. And that was why our QA Officer (a Lt) stepped forward and proposed how we would incorporate the contractors into that system. And so we did. We inspected their work, checked the qualifications of the guys they had brought on the air station, and blocked the clearances of a couple of their managers, because we felt they didn't have the right skill set. We didn't do this because a VSO told us what to do. We didn't tell any VSOs what we were doing. We didn't even look at DEFCONs. We were just doing bog standard, basic, day to day airworthiness management. We didn't need to look at any regs. So how did a long series of RAF engineering personnel fail to do something like that? Was it that they just didn't know what to do? I find that hard to believe - their training is second to none. Did they try to do their jobs and get told 'not to bother' by a VSO? Honestly, I can't see anyone below a Wg Cdr getting involved in what should have been a routine QA audit on a contractor. Honestly, I can't say.

I'll end with what I think needs to happen (the 'King for a day' scenario), and I'm sure that others will disagree. But anyway: I'd get a the SofS to task the DG Defence Safety Authority (a 3 star) to carry out an independent review of the ATC glider scandal. I'd tell him that while he can involve MAA personnel, his review team must be led by an expert from outside the MoD or the Government, and include reps from the other MoD Safety Organisations to bring a more independent outlook than I'd trust the MAA to do. I'd also tell the DG that his team has to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and if that leads on to other accidents and organisations, so be it.

I'm going to go 'silent and deep' for a while now - I've bored enough people for far too long. If any of you want to carry this on, feel free to PM me.

Best Regards as ever to the aircrew who get into the aircraft every day to do their job. You are never taken for granted, and your lives are precious to each and every professional engineer out there.

Engines

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Old 28th Nov 2020, 15:19
  #5173 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
Sky,

At that stage of my career, I certainly wasn't familiar with DEFCONs. But what I was familiar with was our Quality Assurance system for all air engineering activity on the Station, uniform or civilian. And that was why our QA Officer (a Lt) stepped forward and proposed how we would incorporate the contractors into that system. And so we did. We inspected their work, checked the qualifications of the guys they had brought on the air station, and blocked the clearances of a couple of their managers, because we felt they didn't have the right skill set. We didn't do this because a VSO told us what to do. We didn't tell any VSOs what we were doing. We didn't even look at DEFCONs. We were just doing bog standard, basic, day to day airworthiness management. We didn't need to look at any regs. So how did a long series of RAF engineering personnel fail to do something like that? Was it that they just didn't know what to do? I find that hard to believe - their training is second to none. Did they try to do their jobs and get told 'not to bother' by a VSO? Honestly, I can't see anyone below a Wg Cdr getting involved in what should have been a routine QA audit on a contractor. Honestly, I can't say.

Engines
Engines won't mind me saying this, but I first met him in 1985. I am fully aware of the problems YL were experiencing at the time, as I was the HQ 'Customer' he mentions, on FAA avionics - radar/sonics at the time, and a year later comms, nav and EW. The basic requirement was for one to have had a logical and planned progression through (at the time) five grades, with appropriate training at each grade, for the next grade. That is, useful from day 1. My very first task in post was to write the Admiralty Board Submisson for the first Sea King AEW Mk2 upgrade, and staff it through approval. My mentors (and tormentors) were an old and bold Sunderland pilot, and the Cdr RN eng who slept on a cot for months managing the AEW job in 1982 24/7. Both superb. The main thing they taught me was, you can ALWAYS tell someone's background by what they omit from a requirement.

I fully agree with what Engines says. The actions YL took were, in our HQ and in MoD(PE), mandated policy in all avionics contracts - and theoretically remain so. His actions would not have raised eyebrows. Just common sense, although that is a rarity! Especially, the right to vet company employees. Moreover, the regs required that they be an MoD appointment. We couldn't fire them, but we could (and did) rescind their appointments and withdrew their financial delegation if they weren't up to the job. (MoD will have kittens reading that. Delegating financial approval to a named individual at a contractor? Yes, it was how you managed to kick off safety investigations within minutes of notification. No contract amendment required. Ask SERCO, or Grob, of whoever, what such authority would have meant on gliders. Even if told by some idiot in MoD not to keep an audit trail, they'd be able to ignore them and be guaranteed payment). However, the Def Stan and DEFCON(s) alluded to have indeed been cancelled without replacement. The MAA's attempt to write something suitable in the new regs gets the basic definition wrong, and wanders off at a tangent. But, while cancelled, it is notable that MoD's flagship Infantry programme is still entirely based on the Def Stan, which must tell the MAA something.

Finally, the proposal to have an inquiry is sound. No doubt it would be resisted in the way the Nimrod and Mull Reviews were, but that could be overcome again. It needn't be long. List the recommendations from those reviews, underline those that are mandated policy (over 95%) and say, get on with it, or I'll employ someone who will.

Well said Engines. Feet up.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 15:28
  #5174 (permalink)  

 
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Engines, dear thing - you are a star. Please don't go absolutely 'silent' - or too 'deep'.

airsound
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 17:45
  #5175 (permalink)  
 
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I second Airsound in his plea for you to stick around please, Engines. We all want the same thing I'm sure, a return of Airworthiness to the UK Military Airfleets, and proper Air Regulation and Air Accident Investigation. How to get there is of course the tricky part. You and tucumseh have the advantage over most, if not all here. You've both been there and done it. Hence you are both respected and listened to avidly when you describe your experiences, analyse what has gone wrong, and suggest where we should go from here. I have to be up front here, I just don't trust the MOD to want to reform Air Safety. I know that is a terrible stance to take, but I look at what they have done and indeed not done to date. Mull is an indictment of the MOD. It pressed a knowingly unairworthy type into RAF service even as BD was still assessing it (and stopped doing so because it was 'positively dangerous'. When the inevitable accident happened it took 29 lives. The reaction was to brief against the pilots, fix the BoI by ensuring the withholding of evidence and witnesses, and find the dead pilots Grossly Negligent, all the time knowing the aircraft to have been Grossly Unairworthy. Finally when the SoS 14 years later put the finding aside it was never acknowledged by the MOD and the Reviewing Officers Finding is still clung to.

Now everywhere that I mention the MOD in the main I must admit I am talking about the actions and attitudes of RAF VSOs who have a stranglehold on the management of much of UK Military Aviation. I admire the way that the RN/FAA managed to avoid the worst aspects of that management simply by not being the RAF! RAF Engineers though had no such leeway. They were/are in the direct CoC that goes all the way to the top of their Service within the MOD. I don't pretend to comprehend how that pans out in real life, but take the Reds Mk10 seats for an example. The servicing bay is removed by the beancounters, an RTI is issued requiring the drogue shackle to be uncoupled to inspect for seat beam cracks every 50 hours. To conform to the RTI is to defy the seat servicing instructions. No RN headcover here, defy the CoC or the servicing instructions. What to do? Obviously don't carry out the RTI. Result? No coffee or tea interviews wearing out ever more illustrious carpets. I'm not trying to defend RAF EngO's here, just indicating the constant pressure on them to defy the Regs and simply get on with it. The result of that? A man dies!

You suggest going direct to the SoS. Numerous SoS's confirmed that disobeying an illegal order was an offence in itself! The MOD is not to be trusted in any way. Nothing that is in its orbit is independent. Even independent judicial reviews are minded to say that at the height of subversion of Air Safety it was a 'Golden Period' for goodness sake! All the goodwill in the world will not change this leopard's spots. Whatever reform of UK Military Air Regulation and Air Accident Investigation is to happen has to be outside and independent of the MOD and of each other. How we get there of course is difficult I have to admit, but get there we must in my view if the avoidable accidents and needless deaths are to cease (to the best of our abilities of course).

We all feel strongly about all this, professionally and as caring individuals. That is only natural. We all have varying ideas as to what should be done. Somehow we must come to a consensus and offer a united front to those who simply want to maintain the cover up and hope for the best. Aviation doesn't work like that as we all know. So jaw jaw, not war war!

Like you I am not a mod, and can only endorse your wise words, Engines. Let's all place nice!
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Old 29th Nov 2020, 19:31
  #5176 (permalink)  
 
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Chug said: “I just don't trust the MOD to want to reform Air Safety.“

Shortly before the Nimrod Review was announced (2010?) I was hired by BAES to help introduce Mil Part M into a fleet in their contracts. DEFSTANS (05-130?) were already published (although very poorly edited) and the bones of organisations were already there as I arrived at my post.
There were a few glaring operating errors, naive regulatory assumptions and some BAES management issues to clear out but all were quite simply corrected even though it meant relocating and re-allocating some staff. The uptake of the DEFSTANS by the brand new MAA was initially really welcome...and then the decline started to happen...
Slowly, Almost one phrase at a time and then a chapter here and there, the regulations started changing back toward the old AP101 (or whatever it was)...and eventually the DEFSTANS were withdrawn replaced with whatever it is now. First I started slapping desks and then placing my head gently on the steering wheel as I left work...
Then, luckily, I was headhunted and left the place to the MAA/RAF’s leisure. Still masters of their own destiny.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 10:34
  #5177 (permalink)  
 
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2 FTS survey

Apparently 2 FTS have pushed out a survey asking cadets and staff members for their views and experiences of air cadet flying activities.

Questions include, how can we get more cadets flying? How can we make it more diverse? 🤔
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 11:29
  #5178 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
Apparently 2 FTS have pushed out a survey asking cadets and staff members for their views and experiences of air cadet flying activities.

Questions include, how can we get more cadets flying? How can we make it more diverse? 🤔
Back in the early '90s, some of us decided there wasn't enough 'Air' in Air Training Corps' which is why we started the Microlight project at RAF Halton, intitally for AEF with Rotax powered Cyclone AX3 aircraft, (although they pemitted cadets to be flown for AEF with certain conditions, HQAC took a dislike to Rotax engines even though the AOC himself tried one and was full of praise) then when we switched to Chevvrons which had Konig engines, HQAC funded Microlight Flying Scholarships.
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Old 18th Feb 2021, 15:44
  #5179 (permalink)  
 
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Konig engines - that well known manufacturer

Arc
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Old 29th May 2021, 13:51
  #5180 (permalink)  
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Not seen any mention that 615 at Kenley are active again but, unless I'm very much mistaken, one of their Vikings has just launched and completed a quick circuit... Surrey Hills don't normally fly at weekends and it was silhouetted against the sky but I'd say it was a Viking. There is another one just launched and thermaling...

Seven years.
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