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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 10th Mar 2016, 16:19
  #1741 (permalink)  
 
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A very sad end

RIP VGS's.

A sad day.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 16:23
  #1742 (permalink)  
 
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If that facility was for the urgent maintenance of the 70 gliders what is the maintenance facility at Syerston for ??
....to store the old Van Gelder winches and the unused, not now needed, (of the 26) new Skylaunch winches
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 16:35
  #1743 (permalink)  
 
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Hmmm

1. Nice to have some spare winches though.............

2. I think some of the old Vigi schools may be Viking re-equipped...........

3. I wonder where the 'Regional Centres' will be ?? - will they be in addition to the named sites ?

4. What happens if it rains all weekend when you've travelled a long way for your gliding slot ?, is that your allocation lost for that 6 months or calendar quarter ??

and finally...............

5. I'm sure some of the closures will release MoD real estate for sale................. I would have thought Kirknewton would have been on the hit list. Mind you it's a Viking school. The others are Vigilant equipped in Scotland that are up for the chop............... bad news for travel if you are in the North of Scotland.............

Arc
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 18:11
  #1744 (permalink)  
 
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Wales sqns

No vgs in Wales. Crazy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-35777707
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:30
  #1745 (permalink)  
 
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Very very sad day for the Air Cadet Organisation

Very very sad news, I had the most fantastic experience on a VGS and would never be where I am today with out meeting the most professional diverse group people I have ever worked with.

I am hoping that the future of air cadet flying does continue as I would like to be part of the new system whatever the new pathway is as I would like to continue to give something back and inspire the current and next generation of youth.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:35
  #1746 (permalink)  
 
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synthetic training ...
I've heard it all now
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:59
  #1747 (permalink)  
 
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Retrain to fly Grob Tutor for the AEF !!!

As the current req for AEF flying is RAF Wings (or poss ATPL) unless your Vig pilot has one of the above how do they suddenly 'retrain' Pilots who are now not even current on the SLMG they used to fly.
As SLMG/Tmg hrs would not normally be 'fully' accepted as counting towards a CPL/ATPL is the RAF now going to rewrite the 'Wings' syllabus specially for the AEF !! Normally powered hours had to be done in a class A machine.
Whilst i accept that the AEF task is hardly onerous the RAF had always required formal qualifications to operate in the system.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 20:07
  #1748 (permalink)  
 
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A very sad day, month and couple of years

The irony of this is that we now can see clearly that the former VGS unpaid volunteers who have so loyally worked to produce some outstanding talent by acting at all times so professionally, have now been completely overshadowed by the paid professionals who have now proven that they were the real amateurs unable to manage the engineering resources to service the totally professional VGS empire !

I now wait with some interest to see the disposal of the 50% fleet assets deemed non-recoverable...........and where and when they fly again elsewhere ! As for "no job losses" and "some moving to Tutor flying AEF units", I wonder if some of these people have been consuming "legal highs" as countless VGS staff will by geographic considerations be "out of work", and 90% + former VGS staff will fail to have the minimum criteria for entry to Tutor flying, even assuming that the Unit Commander would wish to have them in preference to serving Officers. ( And CGI's would not be transferable assets as they are non-uniformed)
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 20:15
  #1749 (permalink)  
 
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A very sad day, but I do wonder, given the extra tasking that the remaining VGS will have to presumably absorb, how long is it going to take to get the instructors current again, convert from one type to another where necessary and where are the next generation of instructors coming from given that the pause will have presumably dried up the normal flow of VGS Staff cadets? As an ex WGLO, it's devastating to see this and I hope it's not a game changer for the ACO in any way...
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 20:24
  #1750 (permalink)  
 
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The Group Captain has no time for VRT people so if he could replace them with proper RAF types more to his liking whilst building up his empire.

Why it requires an ATPL to fly a single-engined light aeroplane is quite beyond me.

Its a win-win situation!
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 20:45
  #1751 (permalink)  
 
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Kirknewton was never going to closed. They've spend a shed load of money on it in last year.
Your point 5. Arbroath is Viking not Vigilant. The only Vigilants are/were the couple at Kinloss



QUOTE=Arclite01;9306254]Hmmm

1. Nice to have some spare winches though.............

2. I think some of the old Vigi schools may be Viking re-equipped...........

3. I wonder where the 'Regional Centres' will be ?? - will they be in addition to the named sites ?

4. What happens if it rains all weekend when you've travelled a long way for your gliding slot ?, is that your allocation lost for that 6 months or calendar quarter ??

and finally...............

5. I'm sure some of the closures will release MoD real estate for sale................. I would have thought Kirknewton would have been on the hit list. Mind you it's a Viking school. The others are Vigilant equipped in Scotland that are up for the chop............... bad news for travel if you are in the North of Scotland.............

Arc[/QUOTE]
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 21:01
  #1752 (permalink)  
 
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Disposal of 'flying' assets

Can someone appraise me what paperwork was available when the wooden fleet was sold off.
Is it likely the surplus Vikings will be sold or kept as a spares source.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 22:03
  #1753 (permalink)  
 
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So was this logo an omen - it was the number of gliders the Air Cadets would end up with:



LJ
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 22:24
  #1754 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by Leon Jabachjabicz View Post
So was this logo an omen - it was the number of gliders the Air Cadets would end up with:



LJ
And the number of volunteers left... and the number of years cadets will wait between flights.....
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 22:49
  #1755 (permalink)  
 
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75th Logo

Ah yes but that 'trail' behind the Viking could be the new 'Sharp Start' model giving 5 years worth of flying experience in one 'Launch'.
If they are going to spend another small fortune on 'recovering' air-frames that are not broken then they may just as well give them a real 'boost'. Count me in for a re-cat if it gets certified, has to be better than a virtual flight for the Guys and Gals in the Squadron creche's.

As for the current situation it is more akin to the most ludicrous soap; i can not believe the great organisation of the Air Cadets has been led in to such a state by so many muppets who are seemingly in charge. (no disrespect to Muppets).
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 23:07
  #1756 (permalink)  
 
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As predicted

This was more or less what I was saying a few months back.

ACW343

An interesting point of view however you have to trust a contractor to a point and the lost paperwork is something that you would expect not to happen in this industry, it is clear that the RAF/MoD took their eye of the ball but the level of failure to do the job when not being looked at is stunning.

FREDA

As you point out planning permission is needed for the hangar in question and this will take time but once it is granted this sort of construction takes only a few weeks and would fit in with the ramping up of glider recovery rate following the change of VGS support contractor.

ARCLITE01

The hangars at Syerston had been built for the maintenance of gliders but the contractor occupying them has proved to not have the skills to carry out the task so following this failure the MoD has had to look for those with the skills to do the work, clearly you can't move a small but highly skilled workforce from one end of the country to the other without considerable expense and the loss of skilled workers who don't want to commute such distances.
The solution to the problem is to put the aircraft in a trailer and move it to the workforce after all gliders are designed to be de-rigged with the minimum of fuss.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 00:06
  #1757 (permalink)  
 
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Allegedly a telephone call similar to this afternoon

Caller: "Hello, is that HQ 2FTS?"

HQ 2FTS: "Yes..."

Caller: "This is former OC XXX Volunteer Gliding Squadron. The documents are on my desk with my MoD90 and I've just dropped off the keys to the Squadron at the Main Guard Room. See ya..."

HQ 2FTS: "Any chance you could conduct an inventory check and tidy up?..."

Telephone Line: Brrrrrrrrrr...
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 00:46
  #1758 (permalink)  
 
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Supplementary Briefing Note

Following on from the ministerial statement yesterday, the following unclassified RAF briefing note was published on line to give more information to those across the ACO:

"Serial No: 23/16
Date: 10 March 16

AIR CADET AVIATION RELAUNCH

KEY POINTS

• Resolution of airworthiness concerns on gliders which forced an ops pause in Apr 14.
• Conventional and powered gliding with cadets has recommenced.
• A comprehensive cadet avn review has restructured activity, including:

o Implementation of ops, safety, fatigue and maintenance enhancements.
o More accessible gliding that is better controlled and with has greater accountability.
o Provision of new winches, new MT and Infra enhancements for remaining VGSs
o An increased number and network of Tutors and flying hours under 6 FTS command.
o Vigilant will go out of service in 2019, some pilots will transfer to Tutor AEF as VR(T).

• Future gliding will be better for cadets, tauter against a task and more sharply controlled.

BACKGROUND

Pause. In Apr 14 substantial airworthiness issues became apparent on both Viking and Vigilant gliders. A fleet check led to a total loss of airworthiness assurance and all glider flying was paused until the scale of the problem could be determined and a recovery plan put into action. As this was being developed more technical failings emerged, which led to a comprehensive overhaul of the whole gliding enterprise; a refresh from origin of every aircraft’s airworthiness certificate and a re-baseline of all maintenance records. A parallel root and branch review of activity led to a redefining of why we glide, how it is organized and controlled, where it happens and how it is managed. This lengthy and unavoidable pause, was acutely felt and resulted in a reduction in cadet numbers and a dispirited adult volunteer cadre.

Recovery. The review is now complete, the proposals have been approved by CAS, contractors are recovering aircraft and cadets are once again flying. Structural adjustments will accompany the resumption in flying. When at steady state we aim to organise around a ‘cadet aviation offer’ of gliding twice and flying once per year. Where practicable aviation will be no more than 2 hrs drive to optimise training availability and minimize the demand on adult volunteers. To manage fatigue and facilitate training for cadets and staff, a large and ongoing infrastructure investment program is upgrading ops and accommodation blocks. Gliding will be delivered at better resourced regional hubs by a renewed Viking network. Powered flying will be centred on 6 FTS Tutor aircraft – more aircraft, more pilots, more locations and more flying hours. The Vigilant will be phased out by 2019, but will continue to deliver gliding in the N Yorks region until then. Vigilant pilots who meet the minimum flying skills and experience will be offered a cross-over to the Tutor, a transfer to VR(T) service and will complete a CFS-approved course.

Basing. A small number of those retained Viking VGSs will be relocated to optimise delivery of the gliding requirement. This element of the plan is closely tied to the rationalization of the defence estate and requires further detailed analysis before implementation therefore cannot be confirmed until the Footprint Strategy reports later in 2016.

Enhancements. Other significant changes to ACO gliding include an increased investment in the VGS and AEF sites which remain. The provision of accommodation for cadets and staff to undertake residential weekends. Better associated force development and ground training opportunities. Updated operations rooms and sharpened operating procedures. An array of RAF Charitable Trust-funded part-task trainers to introduce synthetics to cadets. A new fleet of the latest glider winch launchers. Optimised command and control, especially clarification of the roles and responsibilities between 2 FTS and the regional comdts. A refocused glider liaison network. A renewed fatigue and safety management system. A reinvigorated 1st, 2nd and 3rd party assurance system. A common syllabus for cadet flying. A shift from ‘air experience’ to ‘flying training’ for cadets. And a re-let glider maintenance contract from Apr 17.

Losses. The withdrawal from service of Vigilant by 2019 will result in the closure of 14 x VGS as powered flying effort shifts to Tutor. These VGSs have extended and colourful histories so this will be sorely felt and their OCs will lose their commands. However, redistribution of activity will meet the cadet requirement more completely, but gliding instructors may have to travel further to their units. Vigilant instructors will need to carefully consider an array of options to determine what best suits their interests. A transfer to Tutor will involve a move into uniformed service, an exacting course but the opportunity to continue powered flying. In sum, these losses are significant but 2 FTS and the ACO will do their best, to accommodate individual preferences.

Summary. The pause to flying was essential and unavoidable and has drawn heavily on the adult volunteer cadre’s good will. With the airworthiness issue fully rectified, a positive overhaul of cadet aviation complete and investment in new and improved infrastructure underway, the ACO will be better served in the long term by a world-class gliding community that is second to none."

Last edited by ATFQ; 11th Mar 2016 at 01:05.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 08:29
  #1759 (permalink)  
 
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So bad ?.........really ?

Without doubt the inital pause could have been handled better but with what the MAA discovered within the VGS fleet flying had to be stopped at once.

The assumption that it was just a case of getting the contractors to sort things out was the biggest mistake as was not identifying that these contractors used an intimate knowlage of the paperwork system to hide the fact that they did not have the technical knowlage, skills within the workforce and leadership to carry out the work.

When this became apparent the contractors where advised to consult a specialist glider repair company but they even failed to do this with any success.

Enter Babcock....... They have access to the skilled manpower ( all be it limited by industry size ) to fix the problem but they are held back by the current contractors who supply technical services but see Babock failing to deliver to be in their interest............ So enthusiastic support of the Viking recovery project is not on their agenda.

While firing the current contractors is a very tempting option it will stop the recovery program dead in the water, so far better to let the current contracts run until the end of the year, this will allow Babcock and their partners to get their ducks in a row while not attracting the penalty clauses and legal action that termination of a contract would undoubtedly bring.

In my view the Vigilant was in terms of cadet training poor value for money, I have little enthusiasm for a motor glider that did not ever have the motor turned off and kept one cadet busy while all his/her mates are hanging about in the crewroom. Far better all are working on glider launch and recovery.

This will bring clear division between gliding and powered flight and with more Tutor flying will I hope turn AEF into real flying instruction rather than a joyride.

The unfortunate bit is going to be the timescale, not untill the current contractors move on can ( for reasons outlined above ) speedy progress be made, I would expect the tendering for the new support and type certificate holder support to be announced very shortly and the winners of the contracts to be in post on 01 Jan 17. Until then a slow flow of servicable Vikings will continue and instructors be able to renew their ratings...... Who knows some cadets might get to fly.

Like most of those on this forum I see this whole farce as one of the RAF's darkest moments but from the RAF side it has largely been brought about by a lack of resources in money and manpower forcing people of goodwill to take their eye of the VGS ball while watching two or three front line balls, no doubt thinking "it's only a glider, how can they f^^* it up ?"

With the dent in the prestige of this debacle the RAF is determined to get the air cadet flying program back on track, they now have some very bright people working on the project and will get things on track but it will not happen overnight.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 08:32
  #1760 (permalink)  
 
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Better associated force development and ground training opportunities. Updated operations rooms and sharpened operating procedures. An array of RAF Charitable Trust-funded part-task trainers to introduce synthetics to cadets.
How ever did the Air Cadets manage without all that back in the days of the T21 etc.?

Rather better than today, I would imagine.

Vigilant instructors will need to carefully consider an array of options to determine what best suits their interests. A transfer to Tutor will involve a move into uniformed service, an exacting course but the opportunity to continue powered flying. In sum, these losses are significant but 2 FTS and the ACO will do their best, to accommodate individual preferences.
I'm sure there'll be a huge level of interest in such a transfer.....

A shift from ‘air experience’ to ‘flying training’ for cadets.
It will be interesting to see what level of experience and training is deemed necessary for ex-Vigilant pilots to provide safe and effective 'flying training' to air cadets, given that each cadet is only likely to fly 'once per year'....

Last edited by BEagle; 11th Mar 2016 at 08:44.
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