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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 15th Jan 2016, 18:15
  #1421 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Well said

Further to my post 1434 yesterday with regard to the RAF min hours and the actual massive contribution from VRT / VGS staff, may I absolutely concur with Biggles 111, Chris Gains, and Pobjoy, who have expanded upon my views and stated it so clearly.

This is the very reason why I so thoroughly deprecate the way that this totally loyal and hardworking team have been treated. Competent VGS staff ? Absolutely. One of my own proud moments, amongst many, was the quite unexpected RAF Flight Safety Award presented as the result of an incident.

I do hope that CAS and OC 22 Group start to listen to or at least begin to realise that lots of babies are going out in the bath water !

Keep up the fight chaps !
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Old 15th Jan 2016, 19:49
  #1422 (permalink)  
 
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CAPABILITY FACTOR

If one looks back at the recorded operational suitability of the schools going back decades it will be seen that they have a capability factor of 100%.
This is outstanding in real terms and is why the current(grounding)situation is so deplorable.
The fact that they have continued to offer a safe training facility in increasingly challenging times should be applauded and in fact even used as a role model on how the job can be done.
To be able to take a Cadet from a normal background without any aptitude selection or previous experience and get them off to a BGA A&B certificate standard of 3 solo's in under 1.5 Hrs actual flying says it all. The system worked and had no equal anywhere in the world (with the possible exception of the pre war Luftwaffe).I do not know why they changed the solo requirement down to one,but i bet that idea did not come from the coal face.

Unless there is a change at the top (Capability factor Zero) then how does the system get itself back on track. If the system was being run by the same capability that operates the schools we would not be in this present disgraceful situation . CAS and Cmdt ATC please note you are NOT being well advised on all this.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 10:18
  #1423 (permalink)  
 
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Pobjoy

I can't offer any insight into the operational matters of the VGS apart from an view from the outside this indicates that the lack of accidents points to a tightly run ship.

From a technical point of view the grounding was inevitable, faced with the lack of technical records and the evidence of poorly executed repairs I have no doubt that if the BGA had been the airworthiness authority they would have done the same.

It is the management of the technical recovery that needs to be looked at along with an enquires as to who lost the aircraft records, perhaps Why Oh Why ( a Staunch defender of the incumbent contractor ) would like to illuminate us as to how a company with such wonderful workshop facility's and engineering staff failed to notice the lack of paperwork and poor repairs at a stage in the proceedings that would have enabled the suspect aircraft to have been withdrawn from service without grounding the whole fleet.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 10:37
  #1424 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
<snip>
To be able to take a Cadet from a normal background without any aptitude selection or previous experience and get them off to a BGA A&B certificate standard of 3 solo's in under 1.5 Hrs actual flying says it all.
<snip>
I believe all that is flown is circuits, so if the average circuit is 5 minutes, that equates to 18 circuits. At a BGA club using winch launches even the most talented pilot would be struggling to get solo in that number of flights due to the number of winch launch failures which must be flown.

Even though they are young and therefore pick up flying much faster than the average middle-aged person, I would be surprised if most of them reached the Solo Endorsement (seems to have replaced A & B badges) level in that number of flights, or if they do the syllabus is smaller than the BGA one in which case they can't have achieved a standard equivalent to a BGA badge....

Solo Endorsement
The minimum age to qualify for the Solo Badge is 14.
Requirements
Minimum Experience;
a) Completion of the pre-solo elements of the training syllabus
b) One solo circuit in a glider or motor glider in unpowered flight after
the launch, followed by a satisfactory landing; and
c) An appropriate level of knowledge of rules of the air and local airspace restrictions must be demonstrated to the supervising instructor at the time of the first solo flight
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 13:19
  #1425 (permalink)  
 
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This thread has taken some reading.

I only have really one thing to add. If someone else was to take my daughter flying I would want her in the most overly serviced, reliable, well equipped and piloted aircraft available.

Only a few people are taking the time to support the decision, we won;t ever know if the decision to stop flying saved lives, a little melodramatic I know, but still a possibility.

The recovery time is a whole other matter I'm unable to comment on, so I won;t.

Stay safe Ya'll.

Stan
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 13:55
  #1426 (permalink)  
 
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''Ok, I'll spill the beans on some goings on within VGS over the past couple of years that I've seen (and, no, I won't name the VGS, but they may recognise who they are):

- Flying when the wind is gusting out of limits. (Using hand held anemometer to measure wind without applying the correction)
- Landing an aircraft in an area of rough ground following a rough running engine. Doing a non-engineering qualified inspection on the aircraft to release it for flight following the rough landing and a couple of engine ground runs before flying the aircraft again. (Apparently within the allowable regulation for suspected carb icing)
- Flying in flying suits that have not been accepted by a SE fitter.
- Stitching their own badges on their flying suits with non-approved thread and no inspection by an SE fitter.
- Flying after SS+15 (which is night time in air cadet orders, which is prohibited). (An error in time keeping)
- Breaching the flying order book on opening hours.
- Having out of servicing headsets.
- Anomalies in the parachute paperwork.
- An out of date extinguisher on the fire trailer. (Issue technically belongs to the fire section)
- An out of date fire extinguisher in their caravan. (Likewise above)
- Anomalies in the F700 paperwork.
- Caught speeding in the yellow landrovers on several occasions.''

Hardly breaching the low flying rule by taking a Viking, drunk, under a set of electrical distribution pylons at speed with a screaming cadet in the front, is it?

If those are the worst examples of malpractice that can be trawled up, then I suggest that there was a strong safety culture in place to begin with.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 14:05
  #1427 (permalink)  
 
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'ATTENDANCE ON ATC ACTIVITIES BY RAFVR(T) OFFICERS

7. RAFVR(T) officers are expected to attend for not fewer than 12 hours in any one calendar month on official and semi-official ACO activities. For RAFVR(T) officers on VGSs this is interpreted as at least 2 days in any one calendar month.'


VGS Instructors would be advised to use this time to stay current and proficient by any means. The best way for a pilot to assure flight safety is currency and hours in the air. Whoever was made to draft this little gem of an order must recognise that, as they used the words 'expected to' instead of the word 'shall.'

Tough, as cadets and adult volunteers are being made to decide between flying and the Air Training Corps. You can do either but you can't do both.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 16:14
  #1428 (permalink)  
 
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Pobjoy is right.....

Stan....

I only have really one thing to add. If someone else was to take my daughter flying I would want her in the most overly serviced, reliable, well equipped and piloted aircraft available.
Many, if not most Air Cadet gliding instructors have sons or daughters. None of them would be prepared to take any risks with their own sons or daughters, let alone anybody else's. It was drummed into us that we had a very special responsibility to be able to train youngsters to fly Auntie Bettie's aircraft even before they were able to drive a motor car. My CO was fully aware of his part in all of this and would not allow any potential instructor to carry any cadet passengers until they had carried out at least 100 solo circuits of our airfield.

cats_five.....

The Air Cadet gliding organisation is not about training glider pilots to soar their glider. In my time it was to train the cadet to fly three safe solo circuits of the airfield - a skill boost that they could not obtain anywhere else at age 16. At that time the BGA required three solo circuits (both directions) to qualify for their A and B certificates. Bearing in mind that the average circuit in a Cadet MkIII was three minutes (less for launch failures) Pobjoy is indeed correct - it can be done.

The sequence or instruction was split into two stages.
Stage one - Handling
1 - Familiarisation flight
2 - Primary effect of controls - Normal straight glide
3 - Launch - Further effects of controls - Landing
4 - Turning
5 - Stalling
6 - Stalling in a turn
7 - Spinning and recovery
8 - Recovery from unusual attitudes

Stage two - Circuit Procedure
9 - The normal circuit
10 - The low circuit
11 - The high circuit
12 - (a) Cable break (High)
12 - (b) Cable break (Medium)
12 - (c) Cable break (Low)
13 - Pre- solo check

I went solo on my 21st launch on my second day's flying at Central Gliding School Hawkinge, having covered the above exercises, including three launch failures as above. I was not able to thermal the glider (probably unable to recognise a thermal if I saw one) but I am convinced (as were the CGS instructors) that I could fly my glider safely around the airfield 3 times.

I went on to join a weekend Gliding School and progress such that I could fly accurate 360 turns and even to fly in thermals......and, after some years (and lots more training and check flights with my CO/CFI and annual checks with the Trappers) sent many a cadet solo after having successfully completed their flying syllabus in a very short time period.

Sadly we seem to have thrown the baby out with the water with this current debacle surrounding Syerston and it's operation.

20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, but to maintain some continuity gliding operations should have been curtailed such that cadet flying should have been suspended (seems that is what happened) but instructor continuation flying could have been allowed. There must have been a small number of airframes that they could have made airworthy shortly after the "pause" was announced. Here it is two years later and.........no cadets have flown for two years, ergo no cadet solos, no staff cadets (potential instructors) to take the operations forward. Oh dear, oh dear
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 17:21
  #1429 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Freda Checks View Post
Stan....

<snip>
The sequence or instruction was split into two stages.
Stage one - Handling
1 - Familiarisation flight
2 - Primary effect of controls - Normal straight glide
3 - Launch - Further effects of controls - Landing
4 - Turning
5 - Stalling
6 - Stalling in a turn
7 - Spinning and recovery
8 - Recovery from unusual attitudes

Stage two - Circuit Procedure
9 - The normal circuit
10 - The low circuit
11 - The high circuit
12 - (a) Cable break (High)
12 - (b) Cable break (Medium)
12 - (c) Cable break (Low)
13 - Pre- solo check

<snip>
Astonished and scared that LOOKOUT isn't there. Other items in the BGA syllabus not apparently mentioned trimming, drift track & heading, and it's hard to tell from what you have put if it's simply very economical with words or if it is indeed well short of the BGA pre-solo syllabus.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 17:41
  #1430 (permalink)  
 
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It is the syllabus from the 70s
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 17:59
  #1431 (permalink)  
 
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Standards

Cats,

I think you need to stop reading out of date information. I was both a BGA Full Cat and an Air Cadet A2* at the same time and there was no difference in requirement with the exception of spinning pre solo in the Air Cadets. The aircraft would not spin so I guess CFS felt it was unnecessary.

The list given above is wildly out of date and probably applied when I went solo in 1961. The syllabus pre "the pause" was much more comprehensive and most definitely included Lookout. The mantra Lookout Attitude Instruments was taught and practised ad nauseam to every student. The average to solo was around 50 launches in Vikings.

The entire flying training system was devised by and maintained by the RAF Central Flying School who have almost universal acceptance as the leaders in flying training. Every instructor has to be checked by a CFS examiner once every two years - this is on top of re-categorisation checks with a Central Gliding School examiner which are no more than 13 months apart. The BGA have no similar standardisation regime. As an ex RAF pilot I can confirm that these checks are no different to what an RAF QFI would have to endure (except of course CGS does not apply).

ACW
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 18:00
  #1432 (permalink)  
 
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So it's in the current syllabus?
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 18:19
  #1433 (permalink)  
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Cats

Lookout is included under 'Airmanship' on the CFS five point brief on EVERY sortie. Woe betide any instructor who doesn't maintain a good enough lookout on a CFS/CGS trip!

BBK
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 19:07
  #1434 (permalink)  
 
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Cats

You questioned Pobjoy's posting, I posted......

The Air Cadet gliding organisation is not about training glider pilots to soar their glider. In my time it was to train the cadet to fly three safe solo circuits of the airfield - a skill boost that they could not obtain anywhere else at age 16.
Notice the "In my time" above. As other posters will have noticed, this is old stuff, but it could be done (Oh dear forgot to trim my MkIII )

But, we all acknowledge that things move on, I did instruct for some years on the Viking and things were completely different to the earlier days of Air Cadet gliding.

There is not room here to post the full ACCGS/CFS syllabus (not related directly to this thread) but suffice it to say you should not worry about today's standard of Air Cadet gliding instruction. Remember, it has to be beyond reproach as we are (were) flying somebody's sons or daughters.


Freda
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 19:31
  #1435 (permalink)  
 
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And of course now the BGA minimum solo age is 14, there are plenty of 16yo members at my club and others who have done a huge amount more than 3 circuits. I know more than one who has gone solo on his or her 14th birthday.
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Old 17th Jan 2016, 17:31
  #1436 (permalink)  
 
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Stan....

Quote:
I only have really one thing to add. If someone else was to take my daughter flying I would want her in the most overly serviced, reliable, well equipped and piloted aircraft available.
Many, if not most Air Cadet gliding instructors have sons or daughters. None of them would be prepared to take any risks with their own sons or daughters, let alone anybody else's. It was drummed into us that we had a very special responsibility to be able to train youngsters to fly Auntie Bettie's aircraft even before they were able to drive a motor car. My CO was fully aware of his part in all of this and would not allow any potential instructor to carry any cadet passengers until they had carried out at least 100 solo circuits of our airfield.

Freda.

This was pretty much my point.
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Old 17th Jan 2016, 18:22
  #1437 (permalink)  
 
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Flying Time To Solo

Indeed my 1.5 Hrs suggestion was based on the MK111 3 MIN CIRCUIT.
A Cadet had to be able to be able to do turns in either direction,stall recovery,cable breaks,and get the height bands correct for a circuit.
If a Cadet found himself maintaining height on the base leg he was briefed to repeat the base leg (always turning into the airfield) until the magic 200 ft.
In practice this was only an issue on restricted runs as side slipping was not taught neither was use of spoilers. 19+ 2 checks+3 Solo was fairly common on a continuous course. 'Advanced' courses could be had at Halesland and this would include flying the prefect single seater on mainly ridge soaring, use of spoiler/air brakes and spot landings.Many C certs were obtained at Halesland in the Prefect.This was not exactly a 'large' site but the training seemed to be adequate for the situation at the time although i was surprised we did not have an 'official' land out field at the bottom of the hill.
Our CO at Kenley would not let a Staff Cadet be given a P2 until a min of 100 launches were done; with a substantial number of solo's and most dual flights having a cable break or stalls. On the normal w-end training scenario It was the lack of continuity (weather) that put up the pre solo launch situation combined with instructor changes and different circuits.This situation is no different to any other form of training 'continuity' will always give quicker results.
Anyway with two seasons now lost the 'continuity' factor has been blown away and a new word embedded in ATC Gliding (The M factor).

The good news is that with lots of spare equipment/locations/and staff kicking around the time has come to make a 'blockbuster ATC annniversary film; (Carry On Gliding) I can think of some excellent casting suggestions!!!

Last edited by POBJOY; 17th Jan 2016 at 19:11.
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Old 18th Jan 2016, 20:33
  #1438 (permalink)  
 
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Well, looks like 621 is going to be homeless.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/d...or-development

IIRC, the Plan A for glider recovery intended to use Hullavington as a the Southern hub for bringing Viking personnel back to currency.

Shame, really. I have some fun memories flying Chippies from there as a cadet.
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Old 18th Jan 2016, 20:35
  #1439 (permalink)  
 
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The demise of 621 VGS

Sad to say, the Defence Estates statement today puts the tin lid on RAF Hullavington, and intimates that there may be more disposals listed shortly.

This means that 621 VGS is now the first to get their closure during the world record pause. I only hope that Sqn Ldr Woolcock was informed beforehand.
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Old 18th Jan 2016, 21:16
  #1440 (permalink)  
 
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OC 621 was made aware of the plans to dispose of "H" prior to it becoming public. However there are plans for 621 to relocate to another MOD owned airfield but unfortunately it is currently inappropriate to name that airfield at the present time.
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