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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 8th May 2014, 21:01
  #121 (permalink)  
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Just met up with a couple of the old crowd for a few beers and feel for them. I was thinking about going back as a CI but sounds like these days people are flying all day from about 8am until sunset then stuck doing paperwork and ground training for hours after and midweek evenings as well, and you have to do at least one day a weekend doing that. Can't see how it can go on with volunteers to be honest. The lads say people are walking in droves as sick of being treated like full timers and they are having to give stars to B cats now as no A2s around. Best of luck to everyone in getting over this hump and getting cadets back up the winch again!
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Old 9th May 2014, 05:16
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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JJ

That's sad to hear. Surely the workload is a function of:

1. The number of serviceable airframes.
2. The number of instructors and flight staff cadets.
3. The number of flyable days/hours.
4. The amount of paperwork required.

That will determine how many cadets you can fly, which should be tuned to meet the expected workload of the volunteer staff?

I know there will be pressure from Wing HQs to keep sending cadets, but its up to the OC/CFI/Adj to say 'no' when the workload gets too much. For example if you have an expectation of 500 cadets a year, but in reality you can only manage 350 due to issues 1-4 above - well guess what, 350 it is?

I would suggest that burning the candle at both ends, as you describe, is a recipe for disaster!

One last question, if I may? Without being too specific, is the VGS at a remote site or on a station/camp? If the workload is too high and you're on a camp, then why doesn't the OC ask the stn cdr or camp col for some help? They may be able to find help with paperwork and assurance work by seeking out volunteers from the stn/camp's permanent staff as a secondary duty. Personally, I would far rather help on a VGS than be a Mess Sec or OIC Barrack Block!

Just my two-penneth that might, or might not, improve things.

LJ
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:43
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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CTF

Thank you for that good news, it would seem as I suspected my "informant" was incorrect.

Having maintained and flown aircraft fitted MT propellers I have never seen such defects even on unlimited aerobatic aircraft such at the Extra 300 and in my opinion fitting MT props was the right decision.
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Old 12th May 2014, 10:27
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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So, are the Air Cadets gliding/motor gliding again?
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Old 12th May 2014, 10:41
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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No gliding/motor gliding until 1st June is latest update, subject to change of course.
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Old 12th May 2014, 21:28
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Workload

LJ


If only that was the way the tasking was set. when in reality it is just done on numbers of aircraft each squadron "should" have. Not taking into account how many aircraft there actually are, how many staff, number of days you're booted off your airfield, how versatile the airfield is or any other factors.


The workload JJ refers to no doubt is the Sqn Execs running around all week trying to get MT fixed and transported back to site, finding accommodation for their staff, finding aircraft, filling out a million and one forms, rebuilding their offices, safety meetings, first aid training, courses, conferences, returns then doing exactly the same again for each of their staff.
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Old 13th May 2014, 21:44
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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If only that was the way the tasking was set. when in reality it is just done on numbers of aircraft each squadron "should" have. Not taking into account how many aircraft there actually are, how many staff, number of days you're booted off your airfield, how versatile the airfield is or any other factors.
Tingger - it is that simple. If you can't do it safely - eg. within resource - then don't do it!



There are plenty of Squadron Commanders that have told their HQs that they can't do the task due to a lack of capacity or support - including a rather famous one with 2 tin legs! One thing, though, you have to have your facts straight if you make the call.

The B Word
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Old 13th May 2014, 22:03
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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No one ever does do it, doesn't stop the head shed asking for it year after year.
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Old 21st May 2014, 14:55
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Latest rumour is that the pause will last through most of the summer until the autumn. Must have been some serious holes in the paperwork! Or have they found other stuff?

The B Word
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Old 21st May 2014, 14:57
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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How have we reached this sorry state? Air Cadets without the "Air" seems a bit of a road to nowhere................

Last edited by Wander00; 21st May 2014 at 15:01. Reason: Later thought
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Old 21st May 2014, 21:21
  #131 (permalink)  
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B Word - that's awful news what a terrible thing to happen to all the cadets and volunteer staff. Really worry that a lot of people won't go back after all this time away it will be like starting the schools from fresh.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 23:40
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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That's the best case scenario to be able to do some training in September and it definitely won't be full capability, depends very much on how easy each airframe is to rectify.
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Old 24th May 2014, 00:23
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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I have been gliding for over 50 years. I started as a staff cadet back in 1962 and went through every rank on a VGS.

A Viking glider is not a special glider it is a bog standard Grob 103 Acro. One of the problems is that the TCH no longer exists but it is still a glider and like all gliders all over the world is simple to maintain.
My experience of the engineering, that is the work done on the aircraft by the enginers at Syerston is first rate and exceeds the standard set by the TCH.
As far as many of the other comments made, I still fly gliders dressed in whatever I happen to be wearing at the time. I do a daily inspection and sign for it (once). I fly cross country and regularly take all sorts of gliders apart and put them back together.

I would be the first to agree that grounding an aircraft that has not been properly maintained is sensible. Grounding the whole fleet because a new organisation does not like the way the paperwork has been done is complete nonsense. How long would it take to visit each squadron, check each glider for serviceability and sign it up take? Days probably not, weeks certainly but months, I don't think so.

They are GRP gliders, not complicated aircraft at all. Enough of a rant, off to bed, hoping to get some gliding in tommorrow.
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:15
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Just being the "Air Cadets -then and now " thread. Simples - then they flew, now thy don't! Sad really
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:29
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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That's the best case scenario to be able to do some training in September and it definitely won't be full capability, depends very much on how easy each airframe is to rectify.
Probably will not be too many staff left to train by then...but maybe that is the desired outcome...
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:36
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone know what the problem really is - cannot be a State secret - I mean, would knowing what is "wrong" with Air Cadet gliding bring the black Omegas round. Just seems a great shame that the whole summer looks like it is going to waste for the cadets and volunteer staff
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:43
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know they can be quite resilient, one VGS had no hangar for 4 years, one has been off their airfield for over a year due to it not being maintained and flooding all the time, anotherwas shut for 10 months while they changed aircraft and moved location, another is displaced from its catchment area by hundreds of miles and one had no winch for months before this "pause" they put up with quite alot and still keep going
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:46
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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ACW

Grounding the whole fleet because a new organisation does not like the way the paperwork has been done is complete nonsense.
I believe that this is not what has happened. As I understand it there have been other problems with some of the spares/repairs and their processes.

The other thing that you seem to be unsympathetic to is that VGSs are set up to fly children (which is wholly different to your comparison of the average BGA Club that has a majority of beardy 40+ somethings that drink real ale). If your reason d'etre is to fly children, under a military registered aircraft airworthiness system that is underwritten by the Secretary of State (who is risk averse to bad news for their political party) and you are part of an organisation that has taken recent criticism from Coroners/media on the safety of their aircraft - what would you do? The actions ongoing are exactly the right thing to do. I would far rather see a 6 month pause in flying than be the representing officer at an Air Cadet's funeral.

Whenever I've been involved in events flying youths/children, such as the LAA's Young Eagles/Aviators events, the extra checks and balances required were significant. For example, some insisted that a 50hr check be done before the event and oversigned by an Inspector. You cannot compare normal gliding club operations with an operation that is purely for flying kids - the appetite for risk is completely different!

Finally, have a thought for the staff involved in this (MAA, CAMO/CAE, 22 Gp, 2FTS and the contractor). From what I understand they have been working flat out (some nights and weekends as well) to get this sorted out. Regular updates have been sent up to the very top of the RAF on the latest situation. This is being taken very seriously; and in my opinion, rightly so, and from the rumours that surround it, it was long overdue.

CPL Clott

Last edited by Corporal Clott; 24th May 2014 at 08:12.
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Old 24th May 2014, 08:01
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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The trouble is - if the real reason(s) for the 'pause' are kept secret - then people will speculate -
Also I would like to add that the Gliding movement in general has good airworthiness standards - inc for 2 seaters where any age of pax/pupil is catered for.
Perhaps ATC gliding is now too 'military',some enlightened ATC squadrons already have agreements with the 'beardy' civvy clubs - perhaps that is the way forward !
I have flown both 'military' and 'civvy' gliders and I cannot recall any airfield for either that had a particularly dangerous atmosphere !

rgds LR
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Old 24th May 2014, 08:21
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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LR

I agree with you mostly. I also know that many BGA clubs fly kids and even let them fly solo before they're old enough to drive (and I add that there is nothing wrong with this in my opinion). However, there are a number of fatalities each year at BGA clubs and if you were 100% training children/youths then this number of child fatalities would be unacceptable. I'm not saying BGA flying is unsafe, reckless or shoddy - it isn't. But if it were a 100% youth organisation then I suggest that there would be increases in supervision and mitigation to ensure that the safety record reflects that of the VGS (1 fatal accident in 19 years).

CPL Clott
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