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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 17th Nov 2015, 18:06
  #981 (permalink)  
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ATPL to fly a Tutor?

Surely some mistake?

If so "they" are crazy.
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 18:42
  #982 (permalink)  
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Nope; it's there in black & white. If not a Qualified Service Pilot (QSP) then an ATPL is required. I think there are still one or two non-QSP AEF pilots out in the sticks who have PPL or CPL but they will have 'grandfather rights'. All new non-QSP, AEF pilots need an ATPL. Even then, I suggest that it's not an automatic right of entry.

I suggest that perhaps it's not entirely the fault of the RAF, remember that the waiver to fly a public transport category aircraft (which the Tutor is, given its role) without a licence only applies to QSP (Rule 58? of the ANO).
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 20:09
  #983 (permalink)  
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I'm reasonably sure that a Nav with a PPL can also fly AEF in a Tutor - I know one!

I also think that Vigilant is probably now doomed. The extension for the engines from 2015 was for 2 years to 2017. With 2016 fast approaching then I suspect maybe a small number of low-houred Viggies will fly maybe at just Syerston? Sadly the engine extension has been squandered with the 'pause' and I believe it's unlikely that Grob will extend again...

As for Viking. I suspect there is still a long haul ahead. There is still not a single one airworthy nearly 20 months down the line. Also the newly bought Skylaunch winches do not have a clearance to operate the Viking from. Some test flying and amendment to the RTS and aircrew manual will be needed. I was hoping that this work would have been done during said 'pause' but I have seen no evidence that it has - anyone know for sure?

Seeing as it is the 75th Anniversary of Air Cadets in 2016 then they are cutting a bit fine to have something to crow about!!!

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Old 17th Nov 2015, 20:28
  #984 (permalink)  
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That was then and they probably have the grandfather rights I mentioned. Now it's QSP or ATPL.
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Old 17th Nov 2015, 23:21
  #985 (permalink)  
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I don't understand why you need an ATPL? There is no remuneration element, the aircraft is not operating on an AOC and is not a passenger carrying airliner. The pilot is doing this as a secondary duty outisde their primary duty. Some of the AEF flight profiles meets the intent of the EASA Introductory Flight - which only requires a PPL - https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Inform...ice2015029.pdf

So is this another attempt to 'guild the lilley' or 'gold plate' by those that regulate Air Cadet flying? The Grobs are even on the Civilian register!!!

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Old 18th Nov 2015, 07:22
  #986 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DC10RealMan View Post
ATPL to fly a Tutor?

Surely some mistake?

If so "they" are crazy.
The same sort of thinking that means our local ATC want full-cat instructors to fly cadets in our club gliders on what are AirEx fights.

Also astonished at "Also the newly bought Skylaunch winches do not have a
clearance to operate the Viking from."

When we got our Skylaunch there was some training for the winch drivers, for the glider end there was no additional training except a briefing it would happen a bit faster than before. The Skylaunch documentation includes the settings for the Grob 103, if they had the Viking changed so much it's different to launch that is the work of utter p*ll*cks.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 08:11
  #987 (permalink)  

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An ATPL to carry out basic flight instruction in a SEP?

I'd say that seems bizarre because the majority of currently employed civilian instructors on this category of aircraft are most likely to hold a CPL.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 08:25
  #988 (permalink)  
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It seems to indicative of a growing culture of over-regulation; because over-regulation makes things safer doesn't it? Of course it doesn't but it does satisfy the needs of those who "need to be seen to be doing something" to improve safety.

Demanding that ATC cadets can only be flown by BGA full category instructors is bizarre because the ACO and the BGA already have a mutually agreed conversion scheme for VGS instructors who want to gain a BGA rating. Providing the VGS instructor has a minimum of a FAI Silver C the Laws and Rules allow:

Current experience as an Air Cadet A or B category instructor,can be recognised towards an individual obtaining a BGA instructor rating. Air Cadets ‘A’ Category Instructors on conventional gliders who hold the qualifying experience required by the BGA may convert to a BGA Assistant Instructor Rating either by attending a BGA Assistant Instructors’ course, or by local training with a Regional Examiner (RE) or a Senior Regional Examiner (SRE), as necessary to reach the required standard. Other categories of Air Cadet instructor must complete the approved BGA course.

So, the ACO has agreed that its top rated VGS instructors are the equivalent of a BGA Assistant Instructor. They are also happy for cadets to be flown by graded pilots on VGS who may be cadets themselves. Why then does the ACO insist that an instructor at a BGA club has to be a Full Category (a higher qualification than exists in the ACO) to fly cadets?

Answers on a postcard...
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 09:35
  #989 (permalink)  
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Buckley boy

To address some of your questions:-

You are correct that the public transport category of C of A has gone under EASA but some of the requirements for tighter operating standards remain under the ANO. As the aircraft in civil terms is being operated as a commercial venture it requires a pilot with at least a CPL unless it is operated under a military waver.

This is why a service pilot has to be up to wings standard, just think of the headlines in the Daily Mail if a cadet was killed and the pilot instructor was not qualified up to the basic RAF standard or if a civilian did not hold the basic civilian qualification for the civil operation of the type.

As for a financial interest in the Viking recovery program....... That is in the lap of the MoD and their contracts department as a few crumbs might indirectly fall my way. However a large slice of the loaf might come my way should the MoD opt for a sustainable Vigilant recovery program but a realistic view of the costs involved makes it a non-starter, the airframe recovery will cost the same as a Viking plus the the engine retrofit adds IRO £60k per copy. Add to this the aircraft having a civil type certificate and so is an immediate candidate for putting on the civil register so the aircraft is financially a very attractive candidate for disposal.

( it should be noted that the RAF policy of not shutting down the Vigilant engine in flight adds to the engine problem, in civilian hands the Gilder part of motor glider would no doubt be taken advantage of extending the engine life)

As much as my wallet would like to see a big Vigilant recovery program I see it as the wrong way to go for the Air Cadets, real gliding is a much better team building a exercise involving cadets occupied all day ( rather than sitting about the Crewroom waiting for their flight ) and the numbers stack up towards the Vikng recovery program with the money saved by not recovering the Vigilants ( and selling them ) being spent on other forms of cadet flying or new gliders.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 09:52
  #990 (permalink)  
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Self Build?

One way forward might be to encourage cadet organisations to look at self build projects to get more youngsters engaged in aviation. Rather than bus a bunch of cadets to an AEF or VGS in the hope of a flight subject to weather and aircraft some bases should have a self build project underway for cadets to assist with.

For example, RAF Cosford has an AEF, VGS, Cadet HQ, gliding club, Joint Service Flying Club as well as being the home of RAF Engineering. I think it could also be a place for a self build project where, under supervision, cadets are shown how a basic glider or powered aeroplane is built. Cadets can then have a go at riveting, metal bashing and other trades before being allowed to do something live on the self build kit.

Once completed to the satisfaction of the LAA, BGA etc the self build aeroplane could be handed over to the club for use.

Sadly, the MOD is so risk averse they would wet themselves at the thought of teenagers building a glider or powered light aeroplane. When I was 17 there were still schools bungee launching kids in primary gliders from playing fields and as far as I know there were few serious incidents with these hops.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 10:50
  #991 (permalink)  
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While I totally agree with your sentiments we now live in a society where the ambulance chasing lawyers and headline seeking journalists would wreck the career of anyone who takes any sort of calculated risk with that added bonus that the govenment is a bottomless money pit if they win in court.

The only way to go if you are a public servant and want to see your pension is to disguise any decision within committees and endless meetings to avoid any one person being responsible, there are some very good people in the RAF and cadet forced who are forced to drive daily through this sea of bull~*#! in order to make some sort of progress, they are hindered on one hand by "compliance" and on the other by endless budget cuts.

I have a great deal of respect for 99% of the RAF officers I have met and worked with but they have to operate in the environment they find thenselfs in, it is not a surprise to me that with all the pressures these people took their eye off the ATC glider ball while having to attend to front line duties.

I long for the days when I was a cadet, the risk assessment of cadet activities was done in my squadron but two guys one who's risk assessment training had been done at night over Berlin and the other at Arnem, these very tough men had common sence by the bucket load but I would bet that had something gone badly wrong their logic would have been torn apart in court by a modern ambulance chasing lawyer who has years to scrutinise a decision that had to be taken in seconds.

I'm sorry to say this Bigpants but you and me are just dinosaurs in this risk free PC fantasy that the lawyers have created to make a fast buck, sadly the real victims are the youth of today who have to turn to video games to get any sort of adventure and due to lack of risk exposure will become a danger to themselves as they will fail to develop any common sence of their own.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 12:28
  #992 (permalink)  
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and the endgame is no-one does anything as they have institutional paralysis.
.................and societal paralysis

Which is where we are now.

The losers of course, being society and the institutions.................

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Old 18th Nov 2015, 13:33
  #993 (permalink)  
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Glimmer of hope

Royal Aeronautical Society | Ercall Wood

I accept the points made in the previous posts. All the more disappointing is that a self build programme is underway at Ercallwood with the RAeS funded by Boeing.

The MOD and cadet forces could try something similar and Cosford the obvious place to start while Cranwell perhaps another possibility but as has been said it would require numerous committees to sit and consider and they would conclude it was "too risky".
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 13:47
  #994 (permalink)  
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I think that risk is fairly low down the list, after all schools manage to run the programme so it shouldn't be a problem for the ACO.

However I don't believe it could be run as a programme similar to AEF, rather it would have to be like the Aerospace Instructors or Junior Leaders courses. Cadets could be selected from around the Corps and attend one weekend a month over a year with possibly a week camp at the end to 'finish things off'. You could restrict the age range so that you can control your risk further (assuming a 17/18 year old is less dangerous than a 13 year old!). Running it this way would reduce the strain in the volunteer staffing resource (regular or ACO). Let's call the course Air Cadets Junior Engineers! We can even have a lanyard like the other courses - hi-vis orange and reflective white like a warning flag.

If you wanted to have some engineering 'hands on time', there is always plenty of time sitting around at AEFs waiting to fly and there are only so many times that you can watch Top Gun and Memphis Belle! Exercises could be provided to either be run by the supervising staff or perhaps something more in depth could be provided if suitable engineering support was available.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 16:08
  #995 (permalink)  
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Reinventing the wheel

We already have a proven (until APL 2014) system that had worked well for decades and managed to keep up with changes in legislation.
The system started off with staff 'Volunteer and paid' that worked well together and always had the CADETS interests at heart.
BUT ! The system also had sound leadership and the Gliding Centres knocked out Cadet A&B during the week.
The amount of SCT was minimal and so were the issues in the actual performance of the schools/squadrons.
The system was not 'broken' and only needed some 'fine tuning' as the equipment changed. Even those schools that went slmg did so without a major hiccup which was not surprising as if adding a VW engine to a glider was not that groundbreaking technology and gliding clubs had been there and were still doing it.
I think the centres lost sight of the increasing paperwork scenario and therefore were too slow to input a suggestion that required a staffing increase/ improvement (poss non flying) as per normal RAF practice,and should have backed up the VGS feedback that the system needed to be kept simple and/or be staffed to cope.
The next bit is what i find difficult to understand. The ATC had/has a full time staffed Gliding Centre that also was/is the hub for equipment and training.
How could anyone in charge of that operation not have the knowledge that 'flagged up' deficiencies in the basic airworthiness situation that went back years. RECOVERY from where we are is again hampered by a total lack of leadership and tech ability where it counts (at the top). If the ATC has to go back to a total winch launch operation for a speedy recovery so be it,The Vig's will sell like hot cakes and they can then decide what/if there is a requirement for a future SLMG. Long term a VIG+ operation for AE would be fine and anyway the 'Aero's' bit is overstated for initial flights,so can be handled by the current AE G115 fleet.
I look at the pictures of Syerston and see a typical Head Office situation where the reason for the whole operation (Cadets) has been lost in an empire building scenario backed up with mega increases in websites and PR exercises that have FAILED to deliver the goods and also failed to back up the Schools that were so good at getting the job done.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 17:06
  #996 (permalink)  
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It seems as though the flying side was watertight and that those that ran the organisation were doing a good job. After all, the transition to MAA regs etc appears to have been straightforward.

The issue with engineering seems to have set in following contractorisation when the engineering was taken out of the hands of those who run the organisation. They say that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee" in other words complex organisations can get things wrong. I am not sure how many moving parts there are in the engineering organisation but as a starter for 10, I reckon: the MAA, the RAF, the contractor, the PT, HQ ACO and the design organisations. All of these can drop the ball but with so many it is difficult to tell when and where it has been dropped. I wouldn't mind betting that part of the recovery solution has been to chuck even more engineers and organisations at the problem - each with their own agendas. Just because there are so many engineers attacking the problem I looked up on Google the collective noun for a bunch of engineers - it came up with an "Awkward of Engineers".

I feel for them actually. Having declared the aircraft as not airworthy they're going to have to make damn sure that they are, and they can prove it, before they put them back in the sky.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 18:05
  #997 (permalink)  
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Going to an aluminium tube and fabric three-axis microlight instead of a the composite construction of the current fleet, would certainly make inspections easier. This current debacle would probably have been sorted out months ago if the airframes had almost no composite parts.

In 1985, three-axis microlights were only just getting to grips with 'Section S' and very, very few had four stroke engines, so it would have been inappropriate to use them for Air Cadet flying. These days things are very different, and a proven design which could be assembled by cadets under the supervision of experienced engineers, as happens in the LAA's School 'Build a Plane' Project could result in cadets with a far better understanding of the aircraft in which they fly. An aluminium tube and fabric airframe would also be easier to adapt to an airframe parachute, which is appropriate both for the way the aircraft is used and who is being carried.

Even allowing for all the contractors, its probably fair to say that there are still more engineers & technicians than pilots in the RAF. At present the Air Cadets seem to focus solely on the flying and not the skills required to keep their aircraft airworthy.

Last edited by Mechta; 19th Nov 2015 at 12:07.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 18:43
  #998 (permalink)  
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Wider Scope than just flying.

Agreed, I am an AEF pilot and I feel we are missing something by just offering cadets an infrequent chance to fly at a VGS or AEF. A self build project at a few bases would encourage teenagers to get a more inclusive view of how aircraft work and even help build one during weekends and holidays.

The MOD offer limited flying scholarships why not widen that to offering teenagers an engineering scholarship based around a self build project and pull them into places like Cosford to learn some aerospace engineering skills?

Boeing are funding the schools scheme because among other reasons it offers good PR. I suspect that Airbus and others might well be interested in supporting a cadet self build programme if it was properly supervised.

I should add i am not trying to usurp the role of the AEFs, VGS or service gliding and flying clubs but rather to expand it to include a self build programme.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 18:58
  #999 (permalink)  
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Can you just imagine the bureaucracy of trying to get self-built aircraft used by the ACO. They would take a relatively simple and proven system that is used already and make it so difficult that it wouldn't be worth it. Who would accept the risk? Who would sign it off? Who would be qualified to inspect it (not the LAA inspectors etc cause they're not as qualified as RAF Engineer Officers you know).

That would really be putting the fox in the chicken coop.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 21:26
  #1000 (permalink)  
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If it is true that Hullavington airfield is to be sold off - I have come to the reluctant conclusion that either by accident and/or design then perhaps a few agendas will become clear.
My subconscious/cynical initial thoughts about the grounding were that Muddleton had been put in post for a reason (and I could not think of any good reasons !) I am now fairly convinced that things are proceeding to 'plan'

rgds LR
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