2FTS records preventing Air Cadets Flying in private Flying Clubs with own


Not a lot. Basically they cant prove people outside of the organisation are up to scratch.

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I don’t see this is new. We’ve known this for at least a year.

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Its just another waste of resources FOI request, that simply shows very little we do not already know.

I genuinely think the majority of people that put these in need a reality check. Another £200 of my tax money wasted.


Well, in light of the recent briefing note (BN), it adds some more depth to the issue, especially consideration of the type of pilot licence.


Approval could be granted for RAF Air Cadets to be flown in non-service ac by non-service pilots, pending the issue of 22 Gp policy in Q2/3 2020, so long as requesting organisations could demonstrate compliance with civilian airworthiness and operating standards for regimes that satisfy the duty of care requirements to be met by AOC 22 Gp, as detailed at Annexes A and B to this note.

Now, that is much further down the time-line as outlined in the BN - I hope that the BN quoted Apr 2020 is the maximum deadline, or else we will lose another year of flying in non-service aircraft!

I fail to see why a CAA-approved flying club, or BGA gliding facility would not make their desired “standards” already; cut the admin & get on with it!! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

EDIT - However, it would seem that they already know the standards they’re going to approve, they can’t add anything to those that’s realistically going to add to safety = unacceptable delay. I could use stronger words…


“…you may find it helpful to note that orders have not been issued to prevent ATC Squadrons from using non-public and self-raised funds to offer air experience flights at local Flying Clubs to their Cadets. Rather Air Cadet Training Order 35, which governs the policy and process surrounding flights in Non-Service aircraft, has been withdrawn and is under review. The policy is under review due to a significant increase in demand for Cadets to fly in non-military aircraft, thus highlighting concerns associated to safety assurances.”

Found this bit interesting. It’s not not allowed, it’s just that they won’t say it is allowed :roll_eyes:

And I wonder why the demand has increased…

So by that logic we can do it?

There was a previous missive (Feb 2019 for us) that said (with no possible room for mis-interpretation):

Flights in Non-Service Aircraft of any description will not be authorised for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, I would not see a “statement” in an FoI response as authority to self-pay for local AEF. However, I shall ask our Region Av O for clarification…

Approval could be granted for RAF Air Cadets to be flown in non-service ac by non-service pilots, pending the issue of 22 Gp policy in Q2/3 2020, so long as requesting organisations could demonstrate compliance with civilian airworthiness and operating standards for regimes that satisfy the duty of care requirements to be met by AOC 22 Gp, as detailed at Annexes A and B to this note.

Now as I read that - all that is required is the ability to fly legally, ie an airworthy aircraft (inspected, insured etc) and qualified pilot (current and medically fit etc)
certainly look at Annex A and B all this states is the minimum thus to

“demonstrate compliance with civilian airworthiness and operating standards”

all someone needs to do is be a qualified pilot with an aircraft they are able to fly


The considerable benefit to the ACO of flying at Private Clubs and with Private
Providers was considered. Some of these private providers have shown extensive
experience often including military or airline backgrounds. However, without any
supporting evidence other than their written credentials, it is a difficult task for the
to decide whether these flights would be tolerable and ALARP. The absence
of any oversight or Safety Management would be a concern
. 2 FTS do not have the
resource or SQEP Personnel to visit multiple sites and assess them.

my bold - why???
if the CAA are happy for these people to be flying, what is it that makes the RAF unhappy?

I fail to understand the logic when you remove the words pilot and aircraft and substitute in driver and car - there are many more car incidents and deaths on the UK roads than in aviation in the UK, yet there is no restriction or even guidance on what a CFAV needs to have to be allowed to drive Cadets.

yet a qualified professional in a certified piece of kit is not adequate for the RAF when it comes to flying.

why does there need to be any more “oversight or Saftety managemet” other than proof of these creditials in copy of the Licence held, and aircraft insurance and certificate of airworthiness??

back when ACTO035 was in place and Cadets flew this was all that was required, no one would expect there to be anything more than this. the RAF have checked the paperwork to make the flight legal is in place, after inspection it is lets commit to aviation.

I was right - super-speedy reply. The FoI “quote” is wrong; FTS will be advised accordingly.

My point too. Risk aversion?

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a different definition of ALARP

not because their definition is any safer for the individuals in the air, but safer for their careers should anything go wrong and it is found they are the authorizing signature on the piece of paper


And to keep RAF pilots in jobs, which afaic is the main driver behind this.
Imagine AEFs cut out of the loop as ATC squadrons use local flying schools, they’d just have uni kids to fly.

I thought the majority of pilots at the AEF were volunteers?

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You do get pilots in the training system going to AEFs and UAS in between parts of their flying training. Also, UAS’s have QFIs.

Nope, last time I was at Wyton, preponderance of ex-RAF (currently civvie) pilots, with a couple of serving RAF.

No chance of the AEF “customer base” dropping significantly, even if a new version of ACTO35 is issued, far too expensive to pay for commercial flying - even gliding isn’t so cheap if you are trying to get 10-15 cadets airborne. Likewise, they have the various Pilot/ Nav scholarships to consider.


But HQAC doesn’t pay for non-service flying if it were to take place. It is at the cost of the unit.
So althoughit’s not cheap…it doesn’t affect the budgets.

Yes it then means the cadets pay…but they also go flying. It’s a case of getting what you pay for. We currently pay nothing and get a handful of places every quarter and have to travel an hour away for twenty minutes flight.

Or pay for a service which ~30 minutes away (our unit has 2x flying schools and a BGA centre within 35 minutes drive) and we can turn up more frequently, with more cadets and get longer flight time

Cost isnt the issue.
I simply want the opportunity to say on a nice sunny day, ‘lets go gliding’ take the Sqn pays for each cadet to have a couple of launches.

Not asking for much! Especially if at a BGA club!


Some time ago I asked a very senior HQAC officer if RAFAC saw the CAA’s standards as being less than those of the RAF. The answer was that in the case of ‘flying clubs’ then this was indeed the case, but that ‘flying schools’ may pass muster.

I have since made some enquires that suggests that both fall under the same regulatory regime to offer flying lessons to the public. It sounds like HQAC need to understand the CAA’s regulatory arrangements better than they do.


Why don’t your cadets go as private individuals? If they’re paying for it themselves then why complicate things trying to do it as an air cadet?

It negates the option of the sqn funding such flying / gliding. After 2FTS was persuaded to include gliding in ACTO35, I think we were the first sqn to get cadets gliding under the ACT35 provisions - but we paid for it. We want to do it again (BGA site is quite close to us), but of course, completely stymied by the current situation.

There are 2 types of flight school, either approved training organisations (ATOs) and registered training facilities (RTFs). You can train at either type of flight school. From Apr this year, a Registered Training Facility (RTF) had to be registered as either a Declared Training Organisation (DTO) or Approved Training Organisation (ATO) to be able to train for EASA licences and ratings. Of course, with Brexit, the future EASA options are very much cloudy in the crystal ball!

A flying “club” could be more of a shared aircraft facility where you can rent / operate an aircraft as part of club rules; they may, or may not have a pilot qualified as a flight instructor to revalidate skills testing, conduct PPL trg, etc.

However, a flight instructor rating would be the same at any such flying facility.

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