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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 26th Nov 2015, 10:46
  #1061 (permalink)  
 
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A and C, if the recovery contract is for aircraft on the civilian register which will thus be regulated by the CAA, and if necessary to be investigated by the AAIB, then that is indeed a solution that should provide for an early return of Air Cadets to the skies, I agree.

If they are still to be military registered aircraft the problem remains, and I for one cannot see that happening anytime soon, I'm afraid. It is one thing for RAF aircraft operated by Service crews to remain flying, they clearly have to. It is quite another for civilians, especially teenagers, to be exposed to the dangers of present day UK Military Airworthiness.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:03
  #1062 (permalink)  
 
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The Vikings are on the military register. If they were to be transferred to the civilian register, the paperwork etc. would have to be all in order, so the inspections etc. would still have to be done. It might however be slightly easier to find a contractor to do the work although civilian glider shops are pretty busy most of the year, so I'm not sure it would happen much if at all faster.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:04
  #1063 (permalink)  
 
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Civil registration difficult

As the Viking fleet has no civilian type certificate and the design authority is a company contracted by the MoD moving the type to the civilian register would be problamatical ( but not imposable under Annex 2).

So moving to a civilian registration would inevitably result in further delays when the military system is very close to producing the first servisable aircraft.

As with all these things the hard part is getting the paperwork system agreed and in place, the technical issues are comparatively minor.

As you might expect there are a number of vested interests when it comes to the contract for the Viking fleet recovery and as the MoD has yet to announce the winner of this contract and until this is done all involved are keeping tight lipped for fear of breaking the rules on fairness when it comes to issuing MoD contracts.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:08
  #1064 (permalink)  
 
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Christchurch (Thread creep)

Chug Just for interest what were Airspeed/DH building there at that time,and how long had the hard runway been there.
Interesting bit in a book about the ATA where the 'lady' is waiting to go off but has to let a squadron of bomb laden Thunderbolts depart.
One of the first wave never quite makes it and takes out a bungalow,and then one of the next wave nearly makes it but passes through the hole left by the first one to take out the bungalow behind it!.I think the surface then was grass (poss with psp).Either way the airfield looks to be a bit 'tight' even by wartime standards for a 'loaded' P47.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:13
  #1065 (permalink)  
 
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Cats_five

The problem is bigger than finding a glider shop that can do the work, as this is effectively would be an AoC operation with a military dispensation it requires full EASA145 oversight. Most UK glider shops operate under the BGA's part M sub part F & G approval and this not suitable oversight for the military gliding operation.

This would limit the number of UK glider repair facility's that could do the work.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:15
  #1066 (permalink)  
 
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So the Viking is so far modified from the Grob 103 design that it cannot be intergrated into that types certificate?
I know there are significant technical differences between the Vigilant and the G109, as there were with the Venture and the Motor Falke, yet most of the ex-ATC Ventures are on the civilian register and flying quite happily.

Or maybe not.... All three gliders from the predannack Hangar incident were on the Civil Register after being sold off.

Last edited by Fluffy Bunny; 26th Nov 2015 at 11:31. Reason: Additional info
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:22
  #1067 (permalink)  
 
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I've hesitated to post here - the number of posts show that it's a sensitive subject, and my personal experience only goes as far as having once been an ATC cadet. And being an aircraft engineer for around 30 years, including being the Engineering Authority (TAA in new speak) for a front line combat aircraft. So my contribution will be a little general, but hopefully useful.

Positive suggestions - for a fleet of aircraft like this, the recovery should be fairly straightforward. Honestly, it should.

First. Recover configuration control - what is the actual state of the fleet against the approved and cleared design standard? This fleet should not have had many modifications, but there was a report of an unauthorised mod, so some work to be done in that area, but it can't be a big job.

Second. Align the maintenance records against the material state, with repairs probably being the focus. Again, if records are patchy, it's 'check the airframes' time, but honestly, with aircraft like these, the 'hot spots' will be well known and easily inspected. Not a big issue. If GRP repairs are suspect, cut out and re do. Or inspect and monitor. Or, in extremis, replace assemblies (e.g. wings).

Both of these will require the full involvement of the TAA and the CAMO, plus the aircraft Design Authority. They should have the people to provide this support - the MAA have approved their personnel as competent, right? The aircraft must have a DA, otherwise it can't have been operating on the Military Register - right?
The key to success will be a small team of competent, experienced and hard working engineers. A decent SO2 plus a few Chief Techs, with one or two specialists from the DA would have been my start point.

Thirdly, and probably most 'political' (I hate that word, but probably unavoidable now), get an outside agency to conduct a full investigation into how the fleet got to where it did, and what needs to be done to prevent a reoccurrence. If you don't do this, it will happen again somewhere else.

It's here that I would support Chugalug2 (a bit), because it's hard to see where such a review team would come from. Not the organisations that hosted the old EA, or the one that was running the show for the last few years (22Gp?). The MAA? Problematic if they gave this organisation any sorts of approvals. So who? Answers on a postcard, I guess. (The DES Airworthiness Team? The Deputy Head's a Group Captain, so they should be able to cope with this)

The aim is simply stated - build a known and serviceable aircraft fleet and build an organisation that can properly support, maintain and operate them. These aircraft were designed specifically to be low on maintenance and easy to maintain. This is not a challenging engineering target, honestly it's not. If it's being made complicated, it's being got wrong again.

My main observation is that this scandal (and it is a scandal - serious wads of taxpayer pounds have gone into shiny new facilities, big contracts and lots of senior officer salaries, with absolutely no return for two years and a bigger bill coming along) should be out there in the public domain. This is public money hosed down the drain.

It should be embarrassing for the organisations concerned, and people's salaries and pensions should suffer the consequences, if only through the 'soft' options of early retirement and denial of promotion. Had this happened in a commercial outfit, heads would have rolled long ago.

Best regards as ever to those doing the hard work of sorting through the rubble,

Engines

Last edited by Engines; 26th Nov 2015 at 11:23. Reason: Correction
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 11:51
  #1068 (permalink)  
 
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Iím starting to find this thread boring, yet hilarious, by the comments made by people who were once in the ATC, or to call it by its more modern acronym, the ACO, those remembering the glory days when cadets could feel the fresh air around their gills as they flew in open cockpits.

We are where we are. There are many rumours and conjectures being written here, blaming certain areas for non-compliance, raising this and that as an excuse. The ACO and RAF know exactly where we stand. A strategy to get the fleet back into an airborne condition is being devised by those in the know and will be promulgated to sqns in due course. Whilst it is taking longer than we were originally told, is it affecting what is happening at sqn level? No.

So, how many people on this thread are actually current members of the ACO; I am for one, and proud to be serving in the best uniformed youth organisation out there. Whilst cadets may not frequent this forum, it certainly shows that, if they did, they would see just how people who think they know what is happening in the ACO are happy to whinge about something that is out of their control.

Fine, bang on about the H-C Report and what should be done. But in reality it didnít, thatís why we are in the mess we are. Mods were done to airframes, documents not kept current, etc; that was/is the responsibility of individuals who should be held to account. The individuals who carried out work and/or sign-off work should be held accountable for their action, but as the general populous, we will never know the outcome.

Whilst the Ďpauseí in gliding is not ideal, it is not having a massive affect on sqn numbers or retention; and any OC Sqn saying different needs to look closely at what their sqn is delivering to cadets. Cadets join to Ďhave a goí at many things during their time within the ACO, it just happens that flying and gliding is top of the list of activities as we are parented by the RAF.

As for where we should place the VGSs, etc, they will be placed where agreed. Look at what happened with the AEF reshuffle back in the late 90s, the ACO moved 1 AEF out of Manston to Boscombe Down; outcome was sqns from the south-east had to travel up to Wyton. The RAF agreed with the ACO this was going to happen, and it did. Whilst itís a pain to travel, no one openly whinges, they just get on with it; the same with happen with VGS when/if it happens. I remember doing a camp at Valley, and having to drive cadets to Woodvale for AEF on summer camp. Welcome to the life of a volunteer; we just get on with it for the benefit of the cadets.

Give it a rest and wait for the official response on what is happening; the constant ping-pong of comments is getting tedious.

Rant over.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 13:12
  #1069 (permalink)  
 
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I should perhaps clarify my previous post. Knowing what the CAA now know about Military Airworthiness maintenance, I doubt very much if they would accept an ex-military fleet onto their register anyway. My suggestion for civilian registration was for a civilian fleet, whether new or existing. It sounds as if that is unlikely, so back to square one.

A&C, the serviceability of these aircraft may or may not be in question. I don't know. What is in question is their airworthiness, simply because all UK Military Airworthiness is in question, quite apart from any fleet specific airworthiness issues. In that regard the MAA is part of the problem, as is the Haddon-Cave Report which is its foundation. His "Golden Period" was anything but, because as we see in the letter references in my reply to John Purdey the attack on airworthiness can be dated back to 1987. By not admitting to that it has a foundation laid on sand. Why? Simply to protect those responsible at the cost of future airworthiness.

Engines, with respect (and that is sincerely meant), the review you speak of should be one of UK Military Airworthiness as a whole rather than of just one fleet alone. That needs to be done completely independently, and there is the rub, as you so rightly say. The way these things go (thinking of Chilcot) it would be cheaper to buy a brand new civilian glider fleet for the ACO and job done (if only)! Back to para 1?

POBJOY Many thanks for light relief. I guess it must have been 1957, and very occasionally we had to suspend operations while DH launched (usually a Sea Vixen) on the paved runway (build date unknown). I guess it was because we operated weekends that there were not many such interruptions. The factory was indeed still there, but its days of aircraft manufacture were all but over. It became a wallpaper factory (Shand-Kydd?), before being levelled as part of the housing/industrial estate that now covers the whole area. DeHavilland Way and Airfield Way are but two roads that give hints of previous occupation.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 13:58
  #1070 (permalink)  
 
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RB, let me comment from my end (ATC sqn VR(T) Officer).

The ACO has done extremely well in broadening it's horizons and keeping things interesting for the cadets. One only has to look at the vast number of events, competitions and opportunities that arise. We have everything from adventure training, marching band competitions and sailing (latest trawl for cadets to join RAF ocean sailing exped). We also have pre Gliding Scholarship courses (why?), aviation training days (marshalling Land Rovers), drill courses (yes, cadets can spend a few days being shouted at on the parade square), pastoral weekends (Amport House), sports competitions, fieldcraft exercise and many, many other things. There is lots to do and many cadets remain motivated by the non-aviation related opportunities.

What we don't have is regular, easy access to flying. My sqn has 54 cadets but only three of them have ever been gliding and this is not through want of trying. I personally have faith that 22Gp and the ACO will get the whole issue resolved but feel that, if they don't, we may as well ditch the 'Air' bit of the ACO.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 14:27
  #1071 (permalink)  
 
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Fluffy bunny

The MoD decided to move put the Viking on a military type certificate and pay a well respected UK engineering company to oversee that type certificate, this arrangement has run for years.

Why should Grob take responsibility for aircraft that have been out of there oversight as well as for maintenance practices, repairers and modifications that they have had no input ?

If I was Grob I would take the view that the MoD got themselfs into this mess and those who the MoD paid to administer he type certificate should do what they have being paid for and help get the MoD out of the mess !( but I do have to say that the situation is by and large not the type certificate holders fault ).

Chugalug2

You would do very well to carefully read Engines post he has just about summed up the way forward.

Some on these pages give the impression that nothing is happening, this could not be further from the truth, the engineering oversight process is being delt with and other ways of bringing gliding to cadets is being investigated, very soon I would expect to see Vikings take to the air. Once all the paperwork issues are finally resolved I expect the recovery rate to accelerate with only the capacity of the UK glider industry limiting the flow of serviceable aircraft.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 14:52
  #1072 (permalink)  
 
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The airworthiness system in the RAF is what it is. The VGS fleets were not compliant; they stopped flying. Brave and respectable decision. They are trying to recover the aircraft to an acceptable standard to start flying again and this effort needs full support now. If you want to continue your vendetta against overall MOD airworthiness policy don't try and drag the VGS recovery into it unless you've anything constructive to offer.
The casual acceptance in the first sentence is what was wrong all along. To use the vitriol of the last sentence against anyone advocating safety of minors is . Chug has for many years offered constructive suggestions involving heeding and implementing sensible, mandated regulations. If you or MoD/MAA don't agree that's hardly his fault. And it doesn't mean the regulations they're spending millions on replacing are wrong. In fact, what Engines suggests is, under those regulations, called a minor PDS Task.

But no longer, as the mandated Standard has been cancelled, without replacement, and MoD do not have a copy of either volume. I know Engines of old (operative word) and his suggested approach is absolutely right. The only thing I'd add is that, under the regulations, the Design Authority would have the necessary contractual authority to self task and approve expenditure (within limits) to kick off a safety related task. The onus is then on MoD to use this time to formalise the task and approve further expenditure. This process was finally abandoned in January 1993 when the RAF Chief Engineer ordered "no more safety tasks". That some aircraft remained reasonably airworthy was simply down to some of us ignoring the dolt. But the likes of Chinook and Nimrod? - they slavishly followed the order. A&C's reassurance is pleasing, but those of us who've done this many times know it has taken far too long. The process is now outlandishly prolonged and bogged down by the failure to recognise there even is a mandated solution, never mind having sufficient trained staffs to implement it.

No reply from John Purdey? When you remind yourself of the correspondence Chug mentioned, please say if, in hindsight, you think the policy unwise. I can't recall if, in 1987, AMSO himself (an ACM) would be required to approve a major amendment to AP830 which involved deliberate destruction of hundreds of millions worth of brand new spares, then immediately committing 10 years budget replacing them. But surely someone told him "Boss......this is insane". It's also fraud.

Last edited by tucumseh; 26th Nov 2015 at 14:59. Reason: The order was Jan 93, not 94.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:15
  #1073 (permalink)  
 
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MAFEKING RELIEVED (CAS REPLYS)

Hi All the CAS has replied to my missive of the 26 OCT via Secretariat High Wycombe.

Confirmation that ATC Gliding remains core activity. (Well not at the moment it seems) but recovery has proved to be 'challenging'.

Confirms 'additional' contract has been let to 'second' contractor for Viking fleet recovery.

Confirms 'extra' AEF flying has been afforded on the Tutor fleet and other front line
military aircraft.

States that 'many Cadets' have completed GS (and solo) with civilian clubs,and that the RAF Charitable trust has funded VGS staff motivational flying with civilian clubs that has been popular!.

The last bit is interesting.

THE RAF HAS NOW OVERHAULED THE AIR CADET GLIDER ENTERPRISE TO PROVIDE BETTER FOCUS AND OUTPUT FROM 2FTS AND THE VGS UNITS IN THE FUTURE. IT HAS REBUILT ITS APPROACH TO MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES GOING FORWARD;INTRODUCED LEAN ENGINEERING TECHNIQUES AND SHARPENED OPERATING PROCEDURES.

No doubt those VGS at the sharp end will know what it all means !

The Relief of Mafeking only took 7 months !
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:21
  #1074 (permalink)  
 
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BB

Not me who requires an apology. It is the families of those who died.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:33
  #1075 (permalink)  
 
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Buckley Boy old chap, I hate to point out what might be obvious but PPRuNe is a site where folk post their opinions. None of the posts on here are actually contributing anything to 'sorting the recovery'; they are merely offering thoughts, so telling people that their posts are hindering the recovery to flying is a bit wide of the mark. While I share your frustration with the lack of progress, in-fighting on forums such as this tends to take peoples' eyes off the ball.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 16:20
  #1076 (permalink)  
 
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A & C

Type Certificate and the Predannack three.

If it is so difficult, how then are these three aircraft still flying, on the civil register, with their original name, the Grob 103A Twin II Acro?

Thanks to UK serials and ASN for the info.

ZE525 and ZE612 were sold to the RAF Gliding & Soaring Association at Bicester as R70 and R71.

ZE525 later to BGA3015, to G-DEWR Bristol GGC Nympsfield
ZE612 later to BGA3064, to G-DEYS, to Belgian Air Cadets PL97
ZE634 later to BGA3076, later to G-DEWZ in 2008

I flew ZE525 when it was in it's guise as R70.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 16:28
  #1077 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you, tucumseh
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 16:50
  #1078 (permalink)  
 
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Fluffy Bunny

Just to take one of these aircraft G-DEWR it was sold by the MoD in 1990 and repaired under the BGA airworthiness system pre EASA. The BGA system was considerably more lax back then when it came to paperwork and took a much more practical approach as was the usually the case twenty-five years back.

The fact that these aircraft might form a way of using grandfather rights to get the aircraft onto the civil register could be investigated however regulatory oversight has moved on in twenty-five years ( for that you can read got a lot worse for little or no flight safety advantage ) would make the the task of moving the aircraft to the civil register a difficult task.

The task of moving the aircraft back to a Grob type certificate would require the sort of oversight that the RAF is now performing and the agreement of Grob, ask your self if you were Grob what is in it for you ? Perhaps 80 gliders flooding the market and trashing any chance of new glider sales ?

If I was Mr Grob I would leave well alone.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 17:02
  #1079 (permalink)  
 
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BB;-
What are your recommendations for the recovery of the VGS organisation?
There is no quick fix, BB. I know that answer makes you angry but I can't do anything about that. The VGS fleet is on the UK Military Register. Every aircraft that is on that register is compromised by the UK Military Regulator (aka the MOD, now masquerading as the MAA).

If FB is correct, that the CAA is prepared still to accept ex-military reg'd gliders onto the Civil Register, then perhaps that is the quickest solution. I can't think why they should, unless all the appropriate paperwork is in order, but Catch 22 says if that were the case then what is the problem anyway?

If you want to vent your spleen on someone, then I would direct you to the VSO's who created this mess in the first place, and those who continue to cover it up. Then I would suggest joining the campaign to reform UK Military Airworthiness. How about it?
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 17:21
  #1080 (permalink)  
 
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Chugalug2

This has nothing to do with the CAA as the civil Viking is an EASA annex 1 aircraft.

The UK CAA is now no more than a regional office of EASA that only directly controls a few annex 2 aircraft.
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