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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 29th Oct 2015, 13:13
  #781 (permalink)  
 
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Meanwhile the actual number of ATC cadets has increased over the last 5 years....
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 13:18
  #782 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Subsunk View Post
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.
<snip>
In my view grounding the Vikings was the only course of action on finding the paperwork problems, which have now been followed by other physical problems. A civilian club would have done exactly the same had they found one of their gliders to be in the same situation. My own club found an annual inspection had not been correctly done / documented, with the result it had to be complete repeated.

The question isn't if grounding was reasonable, it's about how the situation occurred. Once they were where they were there was no choice.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 13:42
  #783 (permalink)  
 
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A correct summing up

Cats Five has the situation summed up correctly, what is now vital is that the recovery program it put in the hands of people who have the experience with glider maintenance, overhaul and have the motivation to so.

I'm sure Cats Five gliding club did not put their problem glider back in the hands those who messed up, it is vital that the RAF don't try to use the contractors who have failed to maintain the glider fleet in the past.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 13:48
  #784 (permalink)  
 
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Just this once,


And how abut the last TWO years to eighteen months?
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 13:52
  #785 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by A and C View Post
Cats Five has the situation summed up correctly, what is now vital is that the recovery program it put in the hands of people who have the experience with glider maintenance, overhaul and have the motivation to so.

I'm sure Cats Five gliding club did not put their problem glider back in the hands those who messed up, it is vital that the RAF don't try to use the contractors who have failed to maintain the glider fleet in the past.
Thanks, and we certainly didn't, and won't in future!

However I don't think you need someone skilled in glider maintenance etc. to oversee the program to get the Vikings in the air again. IMHO you need a good manager with good people skills. If they are being paid to do that, that should be sufficient motivation unless of course they are being paid peanuts.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 16:29
  #786 (permalink)  
 
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The statistics were made available earlier this year, and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...SP7Apr15-O.pdf

Cadet numbers fell slightly 2014->2015.
ATC 2013 33,490
ATC 2014 33,590
ATC 2015 33,370

The real drop is in staff numbers, which have fallen more heavily.
ATC CFAV 2013 12,080
ATC CFAV 2014 10,430
ATC CFAV 2015 9,900
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 16:48
  #787 (permalink)  
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One of my mates that's on a loca squaddron said they had been told that a few thousand cadets down this year
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 16:49
  #788 (permalink)  
 
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Cadet Numbers

I do not think we should play the numbers game here as they are so easily manipulated when it suits.
However it should be pointed out that the ATC 'reduced' its lower age limit to 12 in 2014 which will have given it a boost. (ATC Creches next on agenda)*

What should be of more concern is the difficulty in keeping adult staff which continue to fall.

I do not mind going back to help driving a winch but i am not wearing those b....y Wellies or silly badges !

* Creche Squadrons will have lego aircraft sims, Lancaster cockpit cots,and high chairs that look like an ejector seat trainer.

Last edited by POBJOY; 29th Oct 2015 at 22:55.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 17:27
  #789 (permalink)  
 
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Simply showing how many cadets and CFAVs are in the ACO in a given year might not tell the whole tale. Each year, hundreds of young people join the ACO in the hope of Venture Adventure. An accurate gauge of morale might be to measure how many of those recruits stay for more than, say, 3 years and then determine the reasons behind leaving.

A similar story for CFAVs: there are many reasons why they might leave; age, pressure of work, change of career etc. Again it would be necessary to know why they had left rather than assuming that it had anything to do with the lack of gliding.

On the question of the suitability of OC 2 FTS, it is worth noting that Comdt ACO accepted his application and nomination when he was already beyond the mandatory retirement age for FTRS (which is 65). I'm not defending his performance in role (although it could be argued that he has made the ACO gliding organisation safer than it has ever been), but he was either the only candidate, the best candidate, absolutely the right man for the job, or some other reason.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 18:14
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Meanwhile the actual number of ATC cadets has increased over the last 5 years....
Cadet numbers fell slightly 2014->2015.
ATC 2013 33,490
ATC 2014 33,590
ATC 2015 33,370

The real drop is in staff numbers, which have fallen more heavily.
ATC CFAV 2013 12,080
ATC CFAV 2014 10,430
ATC CFAV 2015 9,900
To summarize then, SINCE the gliding pause, numbers of cadets and staff HAVE dropped, (like all of us at the coal-face keep saying), DESPITE the organisation lowering the entry age to attract more cadets!

Now that deserves one of those sad face things that go at the end messages!
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 18:18
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It is easy to play the numbers game. It's what keeps many of these people in jobs.............

What is at issue is the fact that fairly shortly we will have Cadets who have not been gliding or know what a VGS does (did). After a bit 'you don't miss what you never had' and then the writing is on the wall for the capability/activity. An easy cost saving opportunity.............

It's a great shame. At all levels................

Arc
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 18:42
  #792 (permalink)  
 
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numbers of cadets and staff HAVE dropped, (like all of us at the coal-face keep saying), DESPITE the organisation lowering the entry age to attract more cadets!
And has the upper age limit for cadets stayed the same?
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 19:29
  #793 (permalink)  

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lowering the entry age to attract more cadets!
Not quite as simple as that...

..... as I understand it, the entry is now Year 8 (2nd Form in old money) rather than an age, and the logic, at least in part, was to save breaking up groups of mates.

Bunch of kids arrive, Sqn Cdr says "You can join now, you can come in at Easter, but you can't come 'til Summer!"

Net result - they all go somewhere else. (As a Gemini, it always peed me off to be the last-ish one in class to be able to do anything (legally! )) And for numbers to be meaningful, they must be put against the size of the cohort/age group. There is (a bit of) a "demographic trough" affecting cadet age; remember all those primary schools which closed a few years ago due to "falling rolls"? That cohort is now of cadet age.

That accounts for some at least of the missing cadets. I'm not saying that none have left because of lack of gliding, nor that 2 FTS is a model of managerial competence, or that OC 2 FTS is a Saint.

But I AM saying that post hoc rarely equals propter hoc; there are usually a number of contributory factors. As an example, real world pressures contribute to a lack of adult volunteers, which is absolutely a key driver of cadet numbers. In times of austerity/economic stagnation/low pay, fewer people want to be the bloke/lass who has to get off sharpish every Monday and Thursday (or whatever).

And cadet exit age remains their 20th birthday.

Just saying'..........
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 19:44
  #794 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
To summarize then, SINCE the gliding pause, numbers of cadets and staff HAVE dropped, (like all of us at the coal-face keep saying), DESPITE the organisation lowering the entry age to attract more cadets!

Now that deserves one of those sad face things that go at the end messages!
I think you are rather desperate to quote a sub 1% variation in cadet numbers over 3 years as evidence of a rapid decline and all the numbers quoted are still above those of just 5 years ago.

It is a tragic state of affairs but making up statistics will not help the cause.
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 19:54
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Just This Once
There has been a definite drop off in cadet numbers this year,statistics are always out of date !
I am not saying it is all caused by lack of gliding but certainly it is a big factor !

Nobody on here has said that the grounding was totally wrong - it is the secrecy and lack of leadership/info/lack of practical time scales and lack of getting cadets airborne (officially) by other means.
We are talking very simple aircraft here and I doubt that all of them were unairworthy to any great extent.
Lack of adventure training will kill the ACO (remember when we used to actually go shooting ?)

rgds LR
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Old 29th Oct 2015, 23:56
  #796 (permalink)  
 
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Cadet Age

Ok The problem is Cadets leave much earlier than they used to due to education/job, other more 'fun' aspects.
Ok They (as from 2014) can join earlier,but that makes a longer wait for a 'solo' gliding course.(remember them)
Also hardly any Service bases left with a flying element.
As it happens i was lucky to go on one of the first 'experimental' AE Gliding visits long before it became a regular activity.
When i went for my first Chipmunk flight (trussed up and hardly being able to see out) it certainly did not surpass that steep climb and superb view from the ringside seat in the MK111.
It was all about the quality of the 'EXPERIENCE' and also being able to take part in handling the aircraft before and after launch.
This is what sets gliding apart from all other ATC flying; you actually help with all the activity and interact with your pilot who may well be another Cadet.
The fact that you can eventually get to fly a machine on your own is an outstanding opportunity not to be underestimated.
This facility/operation MUST be back in order by 2016 Period.
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Old 30th Oct 2015, 04:48
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When schools were all winch launched, visiting AEG cadets were kept occupied all day with ground handling the aircraft when not flying, whether it was hanging on to wingtips, hooking on cables,(making sure you used the correct hook on a Mk3!) waving signal bats/flashing aldis lamps or just pulling them back to the launch point. A camararderie quickly developed as you went through the day.
Nowadays at Vigilant schools, cadets just hang around doing whilst waiting to fly.
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Old 30th Oct 2015, 08:24
  #798 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
<snip>
This facility/operation MUST be back in order by 2016 Period.
AFAIK there are over 100 Vikings (pure gliders), which is an awful lot of gliders. G-INFO lists 74 K21s, 98 K13s, 29 G103s and 28 Puchatz. There are a few other gliders used for training - the odd DG505, DG1000, Duo, a few other types - but these 229 are the bulk of the civilian training fleet. Maybe the whole civilian training fleet is ~250 gliders.

In that context the cadets have a massive fleet - maybe 1/3 of the civilian fleet. The supply of skilled people who can do and sign off an annual check on a G-reg glider (e.g. BGA inspectors) more or less matches the demand, so finding spare people to check etc. 100+ gliders in 6 months (by May 2016) is not going to happen.

They might all be done in 2 years IF whoever is doing the checking can average 1 per week. However where issues other than paperwork that need addressing that airframe will take longer, and if they start needing lots of parts that could be the wrong sort of 'entertaining'.

I reckon 4 years to get every single Viking either airworthy, though I also think it possible some will get condemned if those airframes have a lot of undocumented repairs.

In that light I also think it possible the ATC gliding will reshape what it does to offer less gliding per cadet. BGA clubs could take up some of the gliding, but if the ATC insist on Full Cat instructors (as the one we are talking to has) that will make it very hard for much gliding to be provided.
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Old 30th Oct 2015, 08:58
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Cats Five

One more time you hit the nail on the head, the quality of management of the project is critical to its success.

Two contractors are currently bidding for the contract, one is offering to pay 45k for the general manager role, the other is offering IRO 30-35 K ( with other roles advertised at about 10K short of the going rate)

It will not surprise you that the company offering the lower remuneration is the company that has had the contact for the past few years and has been responsible for the mess that the MAA found.

To me this shows that I the upper management are so wide of the mark about the quality of the people they want to put in place and what you have to pay to get these skills that it demonstrates their underestimation of the task in hand.
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Old 30th Oct 2015, 09:17
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The now OC 2FTS looked a the Gliding Syllabus back when he was Commandant North Region. Anyone with Bader Sharepoint access will probably be able to find it (do a global search for "GLIDING SYLLABUS"). Basically it looked at spliting the GS in two - into Initial Glider Training (mostly general handling) and GS (circuits, emergencies and solo).
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