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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 24th Oct 2015, 17:55
  #761 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
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Pobjoy, A great idea in principle. However I would just love to read a present day risk assessment for Air Cadets flying solo from the start on a modern day Grasshopper. A work colleague recounted tales of flying one at school. An over enthusiastic launch, of what should have been a ground slide, saw him having to fly over a tree on the school boundary and land in in a field on the other side.

Here's how the Lithuanians do it:

Regarding the Dagling, it got its name because it was first built in the UK by RF Dagnall of Godalming (better known for survival equipment as RFD), a copy of the Zogling, designed by Alexander Lippisch who also designed the ME163 Komet. The name Dagling seems to have been used subsequently for almost any primary glider, a bit like 'Hoover' for vacuum cleaners.

The SG38 was a German development of the Zogling, and benefited from a sprung skid. The SG 38 was licence-built after the war by Elliotts of Newbury as the EON Eton. The Slingsby Grasshopper was an SG38 with Kirby Kadet Wings.

The broken joint problems were partially overcome by using a nail to secure the landing wires to the kingpost. In the event of a heavy landing, the nail sheared and was easily replaced.

Last edited by Mechta; 24th Oct 2015 at 18:09.
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Old 24th Oct 2015, 20:44
  #762 (permalink)  
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Bring on the Daglings

MY suggestion was not actually serious; but in the present situation what is serious is the complete lack of competence being shown by the organisation to get its house in order in a reasonable timescale.
My letter to CAS will be delivered next week (copy to the the Defence Minister).
In 'olden times' one would get a letter in Flight but the web seems to be getting the message out there now.
It is great that ex Cadets are just as furious as the the current ones such is the regard they hold the Air Cadet movement.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 12:25
  #763 (permalink)  
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Has anyone seen any technical documentation or report detailing (or even giving an overview) of the situation with both Viking & Vigilants?

There seems to be a lot of second hand information, updates from 2FTS with very little real content (and lots of big management words) but little hard information - or am I just looking in the wrong places?

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Old 27th Oct 2015, 13:18
  #764 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
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This should give you some clues, but I am sure it is not the latest information being dated from April 2014!

Last edited by Freda Checks; 29th Oct 2015 at 16:20. Reason: Speeling!
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 14:16
  #765 (permalink)  
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AFAIK what is wrong (at least with the pure gliders - the Vikings) is the paperwork, and how it is wrong differs from glider to glider. Therefore the only way to get it right is to go through each glider with a magnifying glass to make sure it has all the mods it should have, and that any repairs (documented and undocumented) are done correctly. I can imagine the only way of ensuring the later is to redo them...
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 14:49
  #766 (permalink)  
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Cats 5

Having spoken to a few people who are 'involved' it also seems that some of the repair schemes applied to the Vikings break some of the rules with regard to size and style of repairs for the size of damage which potentially are not 'best practice' (read into that what you will).

Of course these repairs are not fully documented and have to be fully investigated before they are released to service (or re-repaired).

The good news is that the companies who are now doing the work do know what they are doing...............

No timeframes of course.

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Old 27th Oct 2015, 21:07
  #767 (permalink)  
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Arc what level or 'repair' could be undertaken at the average VGS base as opposed to having to go back to Centre.
What level of repair facility did/does the Centre have.
Who from the RAF was supposed to keep the tech side of the operation under scrutiny.

I can understand the odd problem occurring at a w-end base with no on site facility,but at a full time staffed Centre with the aircraft operating under a regular routine if there was a problem 'building' why did it not surface until the whole fleet (including theirs) had to be grounded !
Hardly a model of quality control or overall management.
Missive gone to CAS, Cmdt ATC, and Sir Michael Fallon MP asking for the VGS to be 'available' for the Corps 75th anniversary.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 22:22
  #768 (permalink)  
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There are a couple of interesting reports on ASIMS at the moment regarding engineering issues and paperwork. Reading between the lines there would still appear to be issues with the aircraft document set with claims of advanced information leaflets overwriting old advanced information leaflets leaving the documents almost unreadable. Also aircraft being released for flight that have bits missing or screws missing. Seeing as they have supposedly had 19 months of scrutiny to sort out these sorts of issues, it's not very good is it???

Leadership starts at the top and responsibility stops at the top. I don't see much progress and only thin promises of 'jam tomorrow' for the Viking. Is it time for some new blood leading this utter debacle? Or are we better sticking it with it for continuity?

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Old 27th Oct 2015, 22:56
  #769 (permalink)  
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Screwing up the system

CC All we know is something has s....... up big time over SIMPLE engineering.
Fixing the problem is not going to happen quickly with the same people involved.

The CAS needs an independent task force to sort it NOW with the mandate to have operations start again by 2016.He has plenty of expertise around with the RAF GSA.We do not need a witch hunt or cover up just a focused look at making a firm date to START OPERATIONS by 2016.This may have to be on an initial reduced scale (combined VGS ops) and every effort should be made to improve utilisation with evening and weekday ops. If this means starting again with one winch and a glider so be it.Once started momentum will rise and then a steady build up can ensue as staff get current and Cadets get involved.
2016 75th anniversary of the ATC without VGS NOT AN OPTION.
If they need a winch driver count me in !!! Lets get them up again chaps.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 23:18
  #770 (permalink)  
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I am not sure there will be much of an Air Cadet 'Organisation' left in the near future !Like the rest of britain it has to contend with growing amounts of risk aversion and red tape - all the interesting adventure type activities are rapidly disappearing - the cadet numbers are dwindling fairly rapidly because of loss of interesting activities.
Not to be able to get a simple and fairly small glider fleet airborne is ...........
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Old 28th Oct 2015, 01:40
  #771 (permalink)  
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One really has to wonder, presuming this mess is ever sorted out, how many people on the VGSs would still be willing to go back to working 20-30hrs a week for the current leadership given the appalling lack of basic people skills thus far shown? I've seen nothing over the past 18 months (and longer given his previous tenure as Regional Comdt North) to suggest that Comdt 2 FTS has the first clue about what makes the ACO tick or how to handle unpaid volunteers. Ultimately, they're not dependent on him for their careers and are able to tell him to off at the high port, fill in a form, turn in their MoD90 and walk away. If nothing else, I think his intended "roadshows" would probably have given him a rather entertaining reality check.

Of course, if the comments in the thread below are to be believed, he doesn't fare much better with regular personnel either.


I firmly believe that those who choose stick around will do so in spite of him, rather than because of him, because they believe in what they are doing. But even those determined souls will have their limits.
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Old 28th Oct 2015, 23:30
  #772 (permalink)  
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Rumour has it that they are looking at the 'powered' aspects with some discussion about Tutor/Vigilant - with cost being the driver.

Re. my previous post, and the split between Viking and Vigilant fleets, I don't see how the same level of training can be delivered, i.e. courses with the aim of going solo, if only limited numbers of Vigilants (or none!) come back into service. Unless they are going to up the number of Vikings, then I predict that training across the whole ATC won't be to the same level (except for a lucky few selected to get training all the way to solo). With the simulators already paid for, I think we could be looking at a mix of synthetic and actual flying - meaning a less lofty aim for the syllabus.

It does seem mind-boggling that the briefings have all been called off. We are not talking about deficiencies in the capabilities of front-line aircraft after all, so why all the secrecy and lack of info?? I believe that the briefings would have been a great opportunity to finally show some leadership and after the preliminary whinging and letting-off of steam, they would have perked everyone up and maybe restored some confidence in the Gp leadership.

We all know they have a difficult job and I think being open and honest would have gone a long way to restoring some faith in the system. In my experience, even if you can't offer a brilliant plan to put everything right, you at least win a bit of grudging respect for treating your staff/servicemen as intelligent human beings. We are not all wilting violets and in these situations, as a leader, you need to bring everyone with you.

Bad Show
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Old 28th Oct 2015, 23:36
  #773 (permalink)  
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Cat Funt.

I am sure that the Commandant 2 FTS wouldn't have a problem with that as in a recent outburst he said that all VRT Officers should have their Queens Commissions replaced with Lord Lieutenants Commissions and CIs should "know their place" and if he had his way they would all be replaced by ex-Regulars (Good Luck with that one).

The irony is that the Air Cadet personnel he is being so disparaging about are more highly qualified, better educated, better paid, and unlike the Commandant some are even qualified pilots.

He also said that he is doing a grand job under difficult circumstances and that we are ungrateful curs for criticizing him on this website and he would do his best to identify and hunt us down.

"People skills" are not his strongest point.

Last edited by DC10RealMan; 1st Nov 2015 at 19:55.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 00:53
  #774 (permalink)  
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Your remarks surprise me not at all.

A (very average?) ex-Tornado nav - and a failed pilot crossover to boot - so operationally suspect, with ****-all knowledge of gliding and well-advertised lack of people skills. So, just perfect for the role!

Who on earth even suggested that he was suitable for this position, never mind recruited him?
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 01:09
  #775 (permalink)  
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ATC flying has been the victim of a tri-service idea that the best place to bury bad senior officers is in charge of cadet and reserve force organisations. What started as a fixable drama for cadet flying has turned into a crisis, and then into a catastrophe, because the personality at the top is temperamentally unsuited to the role. The whole thing has become a study in toxic leadership.

Last edited by Subsunk; 29th Oct 2015 at 08:08.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 08:46
  #776 (permalink)  
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I do hope when this farce is over they arrange a good party....now surely they can organise a pi... oh, hang on!
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 09:29
  #777 (permalink)  
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Appartly it could be million + quid for the vikking repair contracts and viggie mostly getting binned as no cash / too hard to fix. All these gliders would be flying by now and wouldn't need to spend all that money if contractor hadn't messed up and fixed them so is contractor getting sued? Taxpayer money so doesn't there need to be an enquiry?
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 10:55
  #778 (permalink)  
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1M sounds good value to return the 100 Vikings to service as 100 new K21 replacements would be 10M+ (and the delays in supply).

I agree though with the rest of your statements though about an enquiry. That will never happen though as the people who would commission it, undertake it and report back are the people who are to blame............Turkeys don't vote for Christmas do they ?

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Old 29th Oct 2015, 11:51
  #779 (permalink)  
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The current 'Safety Case' and 'Duty Holder' regime which governs this whole crisis has been misapplied. Utterly.

The key phrase is 'ALARP' - risks must be made As Low As Reasonably Practicable. The key word in this phrase is 'Reasonably.'

Bringing all flying to a halt is not a reasonable response, just a weak one from a Duty Holder who would rather not have the risk at all. There was a famous quote from a US military spokesman during the Vietnam War, who said something like 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it' - thus, the response to one challenge was to conflate it with a load of others.
And will someone please tell Comdt 2 FTS that 'cascade' is a noun and not a f###ing verb?
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 12:32
  #780 (permalink)  
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all the interesting adventure type activities are rapidly disappearing - the cadet numbers are dwindling fairly rapidly because of loss of interesting activities.
Not to be able to get a simple and fairly small glider fleet airborne is ...........
Ah good, more of the usual whining and exaggeration. Are you really suggesting that, following cadet deaths both flying and doing adventurous training, everything should continue as it always has been with no attention paid to safety concerns?

Yes the current situation with gliding is damaging and disappointing, but the constant drone of misery is both inaccurate and tedious. Do you have any figures to support your assertion about cadet numbers?
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