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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 2nd Nov 2015, 22:08
  #841 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Grob Engine

I think Limbach are still around with VW type 4 engine variants up to 125kw.
Does anyone know why the original engine can not be overhauled.
Have flown and driven with these units (they do what they say on the tin).

Mmich
My letter to the CAS has been copied to the Defence Minister Sir Michael Fallon.

I felt the need to point out that the the Gliding Schools (VGS) have been providing safe flying training for over 70 years using volunteer staff and are being let down by an overcomplication of the system backing them up.

I did not use the word incompetence because i only wished to highlight the situation not cause offence,but i did suggest that 'Action this Day' was needed before the 'patient' died.

Let us hope some 'sense' gets into the system before it is too late. PP
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 22:30
  #842 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sook View Post
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).
As a WGLO, I attended a meeting where this was discussed. The proposal was to use both Vigilants and Vikings on the same VGS. The rationale was for Vigilants to be used for the upper air work and Vikings for the circuits, on the basis that Vigilants were in essence "touring" gliders, not designed for circuit bashing and hence it would reduce the impact on their fatigue life (I may stand corrected on that point). Whether it happened I don't know, as I left the ACO shortly afterwards. That said, my local VGS suffered more than most of the others, having been told to cease flying in April 2013 when the former RAF Watton was sold to a private landowner. As far as I know, they've hardly flown since, as they relocated (eventually) to Honington, it didn't go smoothly and that was before the current grounding commenced....
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 09:13
  #843 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Auster Fan

The concept of using mixed Viking & Vigilant schools within the current basing model is flawed on a number of levels:

It's too complex in terms of pilot currency for weekend only staff
It's complex to operate 2 different types of ground operation - including fire cover
Propellers and conventionals with inexperienced ground handlers - recipe for disaster/accident..........
Many sites not wide enough to get separation required
Noise issues
Hangarage
Fuel storage

So many - I can't even begin to cover them all.

I am amazed that the idea was even floated..................

shows a complete lack of understanding from the higher levels...........

Arc

Last edited by Arclite01; 3rd Nov 2015 at 09:14. Reason: Hanagarage, Fuel etc.........
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 11:13
  #844 (permalink)  
 
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Serious question: does anybody know why the ACO went for powered gliders in the first place (back in the days of the Slingsby Venture)?

And using them as conventional aircraft throughout seems to be defeating the object of why you have them in the first place. If that was wanted why not get a fleet of microlights?
Martin the Martian is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:21
  #845 (permalink)  
 
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Well said that man

"I felt the need to point out that the the Gliding Schools (VGS) have been providing safe flying training for over 70 years using volunteer staff and are being let down by an overcomplication of the system backing them up." ( Pobjoy post)

It's very important to emphasise this fact, and to remember that despite the massive over-reaction and scaremongering in the current crisis, the VGS staff have not been involved in ANY Cadet fatality since August 1995, which is a better record than the AEF's where experienced RAF pilots were involved in no less than 3 Cadet fatalities in short time a few years ago.


This crisis is tragic considered the continued loss of real flying experience and flying training for Air Cadets , remembering the name of the organisation with that very important word - AIR. Not only is it the loss to Cadets, but also the loss of some extremely well experienced and extremely hard working VGS staff who have given their all for the benefit of our air minded youth and the fulfilment of the aspirations of many past, serving and trainee RAF Pilots.


As a former Aeronautical Engineer and 30 yr+ VGS staff man now retired, with experience on 5 types of VGS powered and conventional aircraft over the years , I know that F700's, paper trails and QA are an important and vital part of the machinery of producing safe and reliable operations. Equally, I have seen nothing yet, that would cause me to think that the aircraft that I flew until 2006 were anything other than totally safe and airworthy. ( and my RAF PTC Flight Safety award tells me that I'm quite good at spotting the non-airworthy machines !)


What I have seen, is that for reasons of availability and commercial considerations, the Engineering and maintenance contract was outsourced without adequate Managerial oversight and supervision, which has resulted in the present crisis.


One of the fundamental issues for ALL HMG departments and RAF Air Command is to ensure that civilian contracts are placed where expertise is evident and proven, and more importantly, that Supervision is ever present, not just an occasional oversight visit. Sub contracting is not an easy option if it is to be executed correctly - on the face of it, it is an accountant's dream, but as we have now found, it can be a practical nightmare, and indeed is just that.


Sadly for Air Cadets and VGS staff, the outcomes are not going to be good, and may well involve much reduced capacity, much increased travel distances, loss of very experienced staff, possible loss of aircraft and far less availability overall. Some units have already almost bled to death and if we go on much longer, they will be beyond resuscitation. As for using surplus AEF hours, this will provide only air experience and not instruction and participation, not to mention Flight staff Cadet experience as a grounding for future careers in the RAF.


Surely CAS can inject a little common sense into this, as he is a very pragmatic man ? Has anyone up there ever hear of "Action this day " ???
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:30
  #846 (permalink)  
 
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SLMG

M t M
The concept was ok and it was supposed to extend the flight time to get more 'handling' in per flight as opposed to the 2-3 mins in a MK3.

The problem was the 'launch performance' was poor and no doubt it was not helped as it got heavier. The BGA clubs were also looking to have something that avoided the winch/cable issues at restricted sites.

They only really suited large airfields where an EFTO was less of a problem,as the ATC were used to a situation that a 'cable break' procedure saw you land on the airfield, as opposed to outside the boundary (in a field) as per normal ppl training in powered craft.

There was always an issue with climb as it really needed more power and the engines available at the time (VW) were limited.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 15:00
  #847 (permalink)  
 
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An email from OC 2FTS

Dear All
Following on from my note last week I wish to provide you with some additional information explaining the glider activity that will take place between now and Christmas.
First at the outset let me remind each of you that Gliders have the highest visibility with our Senior Leadership both in Air Command and the MOD, and we retain their total support to sustain gliding well into the next decade.
Viking
So turning first to Viking. Commercial are actively engaged in outsourcing a comprehensive Viking recovery program. Once the details are agreed I can provided you with further information. We also continue to recover the Vikings with Southern Sailplanes.
Vigilant
22 Trg Gp and 2FTS are :
  • Continuing with Vigilant recovery at RAF Syerston
  • Undertaking a quick review of the merits of powered and unpowered gliding and powered flight
Reviewing the relative merits of Tutor vs Vigilant
  • Producing a generic definition of the gliding (powered/ conventional) requirement for cadets
Once the above work is completed a second piece of work will follow to:
  • Review Options (cost, time , risk)
  • Mixes of fleets
  • Basing
  • Sqn attribution
  • This work is to be completed before Christmas.
RAF Syerston Activity
Supplementary to this we anticipate Vikings at RAF Syerston soon and once we have refreshed our QGIs we will be inviting some of the Viking Community to RAF Syerston to undertake flying to FAT standard.
We continue to fly our Vigilant alternating between cadets and VGS staff. We soon anticipate inviting some G1/2 Vigilant staff to fly at RAF Syerston. We have secured additional funding (RAFCT) for more staff motivational flying. Details to follow soon from John Bradbury. Finally we are working on a program to deliver a formal part task trainer syllabus to cadets. I am minded some of you are already doing this but we intend to make it a formal element of the VGS training package to cadets in the future. I anticipate having this to you in the New Year.
Personal Note
On a personal note I am well aware of your frustrations regarding recovery of gliders; they are no different to mine. From afar it must seem quite an easy problem to solve. But I can assure you, glider recovery is most probably the most challenging task I and my supporting staffs have had to deal with. Yes we have glitches, mistakes are made, assured deadlines move to the right to name a few. But let me reassure you, some individuals are all working many long hours to solve the problems as quickly as possible.
And from myself, I am personally committed to getting this sorted. My maturity tells me some of you are unhappy with decisions, timing of information etc- I can only do my best which I do with passion and total commitment. That said, whilst I remain on watch, I intend to leave a legacy for ACO gliding that is fun, safe, sustainable and demonstrates we are worthy as a community of the significant investment and confidence placed in us by wider Defence. There are still many hard decisions to come and some of you, most likely, will be disappointed. I sense the future “glider space” is most likely to change, just like the RAF has changed over the years. That said, I encourage each and every one of you to work to the future alongside me and 2 FTS staffs. Moreover, encourage your VGS members to follow and contribute to it success. We must not lose sight we are all in this for the betterment of the air cadet - nothing more nothing less.
Thank you
Comdt 2FTS
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 16:24
  #848 (permalink)  
 
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One presumes that email has only gone to the VGS? it certainly hasn't filtered down to sqn level.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 16:47
  #849 (permalink)  
 
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"<snip>
the VGS staff have not been involved in ANY Cadet fatality since August 1995, which is a better record than the AEF's where experienced RAF pilots were involved in no less than 3 Cadet fatalities in short time a few years ago.
<snip>"


And airworthiness was not an issue in those fatalities. The airframes concerned were on the G register. I also struggle to think of a civilian glider accident where airworthiness was an issue, other than where the glider was misrigged. Can think of a few of those included one which killed a friend.

However now the paperwork and other defects have been uncovered there is no way any of the affected airframes will fly again until the paperwork and the rest is in a satisfactory situation. If the pure gliders were to be transitioned to the G register this work would still have to be done.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 16:50
  #850 (permalink)  
 
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So reading between the lines...........<>

'Dear All <You Vocal moaners>
Following on from my note last week I wish to provide you with some additional information explaining the glider activity that will take place between now and Christmas. <I am giving myself a big time window>
First at the outset let me remind each of you that Gliders have the highest visibility with our Senior Leadership both in Air Command and the MOD, <I have done my utmost to stifle and camouflage the fiasco with senior management so they have no idea> and we retain their total support <They have no idea of the mess this is> to sustain gliding well into the next decade <Only 4 years away really and it'll take at least 2 to sort this mess out>.
Viking
So turning first to Viking. Commercial are actively engaged in outsourcing a comprehensive Viking recovery program. Once the details are agreed I can provided you with further information. We also continue to recover the Vikings with Southern Sailplanes. <Nothing to report of any substance so we'll submerge it in 'Commercials'>
Vigilant
22 Trg Gp and 2FTS are :
Continuing with Vigilant recovery at RAF Syerston
Undertaking a quick review of the merits of powered and unpowered gliding and powered flight <I am keeping the staff busy generating meaningless paper studies, the output of which I'll ignore but at least I can confuse Senior Management by making Activity look like output>
Reviewing the relative merits of Tutor vs Vigilant <Why ? the Tutor wasn't a glider of any shape or form last time I looked>
Producing a generic definition of the gliding (powered/ conventional) requirement for cadets <Management drivel that no one will understand and has no definable output that can be associated with me>
Once the above work is completed a second piece of work will follow to:
Review Options (cost, time , risk) <I hope no one asks what we have been doing for the last 18 months>
Mixes of fleets <I already know the answer in my head but this makes it look as though I have taken advice>
Basing <I can slide some cuts through here looking good>
Sqn attribution <I need to look like I understand my customer requirement and that I care>
This work is to be completed before Christmas. <No one will look at it until February at the earliest>
RAF Syerston Activity
Supplementary to this we anticipate Vikings at RAF Syerston soon <no idea of date> and once we have refreshed our QGIs we will be inviting some <not the vocal troublemakers> of the Viking Community to RAF Syerston to undertake flying to FAT standard.
We continue to fly our Vigilant alternating between cadets and VGS staff. We soon <no idea of date> anticipate <no concrete commitment so we are safe here.....> inviting some G1/2 Vigilant staff to fly at RAF Syerston. We have secured additional funding (RAFCT) for more staff motivational flying <no commitment to SCT whatever happens so we are safe here......>. Details to follow soon <no idea of date> from John Bradbury <pass the buck - I am Teflon WRT this>. Finally we are working on a program to deliver a formal part task trainer syllabus to cadets <another pointless hoop introduced and a few more people kept busy generating meaningless shelfware but hey-ho>. I am minded some of you are already doing this but we intend to make it a formal<That is another hurdle to slow down the line queuing at the checkout> element of the VGS training package to cadets in the future. I anticipate having this to you in the New Year <no idea of actual date>.
Personal Note
On a personal note I am well aware of your frustrations regarding recovery of gliders; they are no different to mine. From afar it must seem quite an easy problem to solve. But I can assure you, glider recovery is most probably the most challenging task I and my supporting staffs have had to deal with. Yes we have glitches, mistakes are made, assured deadlines move to the right to name a few <I will hide all this in the blurb>. But let me reassure you, some individuals are all working many long hours to solve the problems as quickly as possible.
And from myself, I am personally committed to getting this sorted. My maturity <?> tells me some of you are unhappy with decisions, timing of information etc- I can only do my best which I do with passion and total commitment. That said, whilst I remain on watch <until I leave>, I intend to leave a legacy for ACO gliding that is fun, safe, sustainable and demonstrates we are worthy as a community of the significant investment and confidence placed in us by wider Defence. There are still many hard decisions to come and some of you, most likely, will be disappointed <I know you will and don't care>. I sense the future “glider space” is most likely to change <I already know>, just like the RAF has changed over the years. That said, I encourage each and every one of you to work to the future alongside me and 2 FTS staffs. Moreover, encourage your VGS members to follow and contribute to it success. We must not lose sight we are all in this for the betterment of the air cadet - nothing more nothing less.
Thank you
Comdt 2FTS'


Hmm
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:05
  #851 (permalink)  
 
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What does "assured deadlines move to the right" mean in English
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:14
  #852 (permalink)  
 
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= LATE (late) (to make 10 characters)
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:20
  #853 (permalink)  
 
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So, the $64,000 dollar question is - "So, Comdt 2 FTS, what the f*ck have you and your staff been doing for the past 18 months?"

The man has, IMHO, always been an oxygen thief and this latest outpouring of utter management [email protected] merely provides further evidence to reinforce my opinion!
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:30
  #854 (permalink)  
 
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An email from OC 2FTS

Nice one Arc, we knew you could read between the lines, and indeed find the hidden messages that we all suspected would be there
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:46
  #855 (permalink)  
 
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I don't see anywhere an emphasis on:
[*]Getting VGS people involved - after all, we know our area better than anyone....
[*]Getting Cadets Flown - we exist to fly our cadets - and I don't mean the staff here...........
[*]Emphasis on enjoyment - we used to enjoy our gliding, a day out in the fresh air with our mates and like minded people - not so anymore. Far too much emphasis on paperwork and syllabus.

Last time I was at Syerston doing my 'B' Cat, Bruce Tapson (who sent me first solo in 1981 !) was retiring and he spoke to me and said he thought 'we'd seen the best of Air Cadet Gliding....................'

how right he was............

Please God let this fiasco be rapidly resolved.

Arc
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:47
  #856 (permalink)  
 
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Arclite01

Cynical at Olympic level or what !

I can however see why one would take this view following the events of the last year or so but the glider grounding comes at the same time as the armed forces are under huge pressure to economise and look for new ways of doing things.

With this in mind the the whole air cadet flying requirement is under review, I get the impression that the feeling is that gliding should be just that rather than the motor glider half way house to powered flying.

With the high cost of the motor glider engine retrofit that will be required and the better availability of the Grob Tutors ( due to the reduction in RAF pilot training ) the opertunity to increase the cadets powered flying in the Tutor has presented its self ( albeit at the loss of motor gliding ).

The RAF is acutely embarrassed by the glider grounding as it is the longest grounding in RAF history yet on the simplest aircraft they own and I see a real determination to get the situation resolved ASAP. It would seem that they now have the money to resolve the problems with only the capacity of the industry to govern the time this will take.

I have no doubt some gliding sites will close, extra capacity will be available to others and more powered flying will replace some of the motor gliding, in short things will change but next summer the RAF will have air cadets flying gliders once again.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 18:02
  #857 (permalink)  
 
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With this in mind the the whole air cadet flying requirement is under review, I get the impression that the feeling is that gliding should be just that rather than the motor glider half way house to powered flying.
Yes, but Air Cadet Flying has been "under review" for some years even before this debacle.

Have a look here dated January 2013.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 19:14
  #858 (permalink)  
 
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Freda

That is an interesting document for sure.

Seems to have been overtaken by events sadly. Interesting that they were considering replacing Vigilants with new airframes at that point !!

Arc
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 19:36
  #859 (permalink)  
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Very interesting read cheers mate

I spotted the 'Task the TUcano and Gliding Support Authoirty to identify a clear engineering pathway to improve engine reliability/husbandry' which 'will mitigate the engine reliability risk'

What was that all about? Were cadets flying behind dodgy engines?
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 21:09
  #860 (permalink)  
 
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EnigmAviation: Good summary.

My interpretation of the OC 2 Gp e-mail is that Vigilants will almost certainly get the chop, however cadets will get more AEF with the possibility of some basic handling? Still leaves a shortage of Viking sites/aircraft so I assume a reduced syllabus (plus part-task trainers) will be on offer, with fewer getting to the solo stage. To make the numbers work, I would also assume each individual cadet will get a reduced number of flights (glorified GIC?) and only the top performers/more committed will do the entire current syllabus.

Flug
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