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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 19th Oct 2015, 07:39
  #701 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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WTF are 'soft life skills'? A total management wanqueword expression. Does it mean 'learning how to have a soft life', or what

As for this daft modern nonsense of 'visions' - and silly motivational buzzword cant such as 'agile, adaptable, capable'....

I'm almost surprised that 'Freedom through work' and 'Strength through joy' haven't made unwelcome reappearances......

Last edited by BEagle; 21st Oct 2015 at 07:27.
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 07:40
  #702 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
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I agree with the view that the real issue here is the staffing side, bringing several hundred volunteers back up to standard is going to take a lot of time. Also, a large number would have left and the natural throughput of new staff via the staff cadet system has also been depleted. Not forgetting the admin burden of medicals in an Air Force already paired down in this respect, CRB checks etc, etc. Turn over of staff was already a problem, the average staff cadet may stay for a few years, go off to University a may come back after, but staff do not tend to stay for as long as they used to. The other issue is all training up to G1 is in-house, which you can't do if you haven't got the instructor resources to hand. Then, you also need to build a new engineering system to support, is there an appetite to set up a new mgsp?

To my mind, the way forward may be to set up half a dozen regional gliding centres, which offer gliding scholarships 5 days a week. The organisation could be staffed by ftrs. Weekend air experience/GIC could continue but on a more limited scale. At least then the aircraft would be better utilised. If each centre had 8 aircraft, and utilised 6 keeping 2 spare, each centre could deliver 12 scholarships per week, and 600 per year. That is 3600 per year. I think the current model works on a target of approx 2700 per year.
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 07:42
  #703 (permalink)  
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Munster Winches

What all of them !
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 08:25
  #704 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
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MK 111 'arrivals'


Well said VS my abiding memory of the first visit to a GS was being shown to a room that had a mountain of welly boots and another one of oversize denims.
Of course they had all been laundered and suitably 'cleansed' (i think not) and the sight of would be mini pilots with odd boots (complete with dried mud) and no visible hands was wonderful. In actual fact it was all part of the 'get on with it' system that made a generation self sufficient and expected to make an effort.
In fact there was a semblance of H&S as the stores had 'goggles' for winch drivers and gloves for cable repairs. The goggles (proper MK8 with two sets of lenses and anti mist cloth) never saw the light of day at the winch as the instructors wore them in case someone took a photograph,and for their motorbikes. (my staff cadets had cars).
In any way with 'Frelon' as i/c equipment it was easier to steal the crown jewels.than prise any equipment out of his santa's grotto.
What we did have was competent LEADERSHIP all the way down the chain of command and staff committed to a 'get them airborne' syndrome backed up with tech expertise at HQ Air Cadets and the centres. It annoys me that we had a system that worked VERY WELL and the crats broke it,and it is a disgrace.
Sorry Frelon it was not really a grotto (more like Fort Knox) how about a photo of you wearing a Soapyhat with goggles !
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 08:54
  #705 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Clearly this was too much fun all those years ago ...

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Old 19th Oct 2015, 09:49
  #706 (permalink)  
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Simple is best


Minimal to the extent of launch instructions


Gone by my time but saw Ladley do a demo at SM local airshow.
Same airshow saw Spit with flat tyres dragged out of hangar,tyres pumped up and a circuit flown with UC down (i suspect not a lot of paperwork in evidence).
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 10:52
  #707 (permalink)  
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Never mind. There is a consolation.

The gliders have been grounded long enough that they are likely to be included in the next edition of Wrecks and Relics.

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Old 19th Oct 2015, 18:55
  #708 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
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Sale and replacement

Those of you who would advocate the sale and replacement of the glider fleet should understand that the Type certificate holder of the VGS fleet is not the manufacture but a contractor that is paid by the MoD to cover that role.

So with no easy MoD money the type certificate holder will drop the type certificate like a hot potato.

No type certificate = no civil CofA = no resale value.

The gliders are for the most in reasonable condition and if the recertification program can be run by an experienced glider maintance company with proportionate support from an experienced glider type certificate holder then the aircraft could provide years of service at modest cost.
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 19:22
  #709 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Fleet Sale

A&C I know its some time ago but what paperwork went with the Falks and fretwork fighters when they were sold.
Anyway is it a fact that no paperwork is available for the fleet.
If so how is some sort of 'handover' going to happen that could not happen to anyone else especially a non PT club operator or GSA.
At the worst a 'deep' inspection will be required so more money will still be going out for what is now an aging fleet.
Better to cut and run and stop the drain and pain. If there had been a 'flow' of machines back to service then one could have some confidence that the situation was recovering,but with no obvious improvement in sight then money and resources are just being squandered on a non event.Sorry but in the real world this seems to be a case of mismanagement being rectified by more mismanagement.We are talking about SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY lacking a full trail, and they were not going to fall out of the sky because the planes did not know about the trail and were quite happy flying,because they were ACTUALLY AIRWORTHY.

Last edited by POBJOY; 19th Oct 2015 at 19:46.
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Old 19th Oct 2015, 21:31
  #710 (permalink)  
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While I can understand the temptation to cut and run but with the cost of new gliders IRO 120k the cost of returning a finically worthless glider to service and getting another twenty years service from them makes new gliders a nonstarter.

There are companies that could take over the role of type certificate holder and maintenance providers who are much better placed to do the return to service some of who are not the usual defence industry suspects but this would require the ministry to look further than they usually do.

The big question is does the military establishment have the vision to take the work to glider experts or will the committee go the with the conventional route of defence industry contractors who don't have any glider expertees ?
My guess is that with the failure of the original defence contractor to keep the fleet airworthy the military will go for the safe option of another defence contractor........... If the tax payer ( and cadets ) are lucky the defence contractor will have subcontracted an expert glider repair and maintenance company to physically do the work.

Soon the cat will be out of the bag as soon as the big meeting happens, so we won't have long to wait to know the answer.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 07:41
  #711 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: The sky mainly
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Just when it couldn't get any worse............weapons are next !!!

Taken from the air cadet central forum:

Because Armament Engineering Section (AES) at MoD St Athan is severely undermanned and the inability to recruit more staff due the uncertain future of MOD St Athan. With insufficient manpower to operate safely all Air Cadet shooting activities would have to be suspended until further notice. As of the week commencing 2 Nov 15, AES will endeavour to retrieve all arms and ammunition from all squadrons across both wings.
So unless cadets can get to St Athan during the working week as they are also a ban on weekend working in the armoury cadets cannot shoot. Also with the loss of weapons from units there will be no dry training so any shooting will have to have been preceded with the dry training. So no training no WHTs and no shooting.
I believe this is not a short term thing as they have been trying to recruit staff but nobody wants to work in south Wales.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 11:32
  #712 (permalink)  
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Come on Frelon lets have that picture of you wearing the full monty of cold weather gear plus the winch drivers goggles !!!

At least they looked the part; as opposed to the ridiculous sight of the later brigade wearing plastic ones designed for use when grinding.

If this picture is not forthcoming i will have to spill the beans about a certain incident regarding the Austin 4x4 1 Ton having its radiator shot with a bow and arrow !!!

When you look back to how much flying and actual solo's went on with very basic facilities and no 'crats', it makes you weep to see how they have destroyed the very core of the organisation that gave youth the chance to unlock their potential and develop ongoing skills that they could take forward in life.

Picture please PP
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 12:24
  #713 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Salisbury
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The really frustrating part of this sorry story, is there appears to have been no thought placed in what happens after the "pause", almost that the organisation reverts to the status quo and carries on as if nothing happened. When the magnitude of this problem was identified and clearly the pause was going to be longer than imagined, then surely the thing to do at that point was to decide on the future of the organisation - recognising that they were going to lose current staff and that future staffing would also be impacted. It seems they are only just waking up to some of these issues, but without any thought or idea on how to rationally proceed.

Fact is that over the last 20 years or so, the VGSs have changed radically, especially with the added administration burdens that have crept in over the years. It is not uncommon for staff to report for duty before 8am yet not commence flying ops until after 10. Likewise, all the cop stats etc makes for a very elongated day. I also suspect that staff turn-over is much higher these days - with VGSs staffed by a younger cadre of instructors who give a few years service and then go off to University etc. When I first flew with a VGS, there were many staff who had been there 20-30 years or more - but I don't think that is so much the case. As such, the staff training burden is far higher.

Fundamentally, the organisation needs to decide whether the VGSs are going to be either a voluntary organisation, run along the lines of civilian gliding schools / GSA or whether it needs to be more akin to a service flying Sqn - which will necessitate salaried staff and appropriate support systems in place; not just engineering, but logistics, medical, etc, etc - all in the face of cutbacks and rationalisation. What is likely, is that one of the outcomes from the pause will tend towards increased regulation and so the second option may be the only viable option.

One other thought is that in addition to staff having their weekends back, local residents (particularly near vigilant schools) have had two quiet summers. Is a return to flying going to prompt a wave of noise complaints. How may that impact on the resumption of operations.

I have heard tell of meetings with VGS OCs and staff - do we know when these are due to take place?
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 00:01
  #714 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
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OC's with AOC this weeknd at Syerston.

VGS Staff with 2FTS on 7 Nov 15.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 08:00
  #715 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by The B Word View Post
OC's with AOC this weeknd at Syerston.

VGS Staff with 2FTS on 7 Nov 15.
Now postponed. New date TBC.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 08:03
  #716 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
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I think you make a good point about noise. I've flown at several Viking VGS where we have had complaints about the noise they make (they have a distinctive 'whooom and whistle' noise sometimes) and know that for many years there have been complaints about Vigilant operations at Little Ris............

Sadly many of the 'complainants' often turn out to be retired service personnel !

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Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:28
  #717 (permalink)  
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Am I alone in finding myself bereft of speech!
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:30
  #718 (permalink)  
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I remember that some of the noise complaints in the Venture days at Little Ris were made by a Dr Mitchell, RJ Mitchell's son.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:49
  #719 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Salisbury
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That will be another year lost then. To conduct any sort of study, write and present the report and reach a decision is going to take months. Then there is the implementation of that decision which is hardly going to be a short process. This suggests that there is no chance of any gliding before 2017 at the earliest.

What I don't understand is why they have cancelled the meetings with the VGSs. That brief statement hardly answers to multitude of questions. To leave volunteers hanging like this is frankly not on.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:49
  #720 (permalink)  
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There are lots of powerful (rich and political) people in the areas around Little Ris.

I was told once by Gordon that direct approaches were made by locals to the MP for the constituency 'to get the noise stopped or moved'

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