AEF Instructor


Tech fail! :stuck_out_tongue:

Click on the screen name of the person concerned - you will get a pop-up window which shows the message option.


The powers that be in this case have no influence of gliding… Wrong FTS…

Even with the split of 6FTS from 3FTS, I’m sure there are more pressing issues than what wings do a non-QSP/QMP AEF pilot wears. Such as a complete re-write of TGOs perhaps, as a small example of the trivia they (all half a dozen or so of them) have to deal with.:slight_smile:


Hi Chaz - “more pressing issues to attend to” - sorting out the vanity of the non QSP (or in my case QSP then had them removed but that is another story for another bar!) with regards to wings is, quite rightly, a low agenda item, but the overall AEF situation is not. It was made very clear to me on the Induction that keeping Cadets flying in these hard times is THE priority, and now that they have made the start in getting professional non QSP pilots we are getting more done.
But I do look back to my time as a cadet (39 years ago!!!) and our Sqn CO who had been a Stirling Bomber Pilot in the War and afterwards and did have Wings. It was the respect that I had for him, as our CO and as a pilot, that guided me into the RAF. I think that, in these times of very limited flying of any form, someone with a set of wings (of any genre) is needed in a Sqn to help those who interested in entering this very difficult to get into side of aviation.
Also I am just a posy gitt…


Aren’t we all?!:grinning:

I agree entirely. However sometimes I think (some of) the wider community don’t realise the effort and priority that has been given to get safe, sustainable AEF flying back in place - at the expense of other tasks at times.:slight_smile:


As far as I can tell the powers that be are too busy trying to tick boxes to look good rather than solve staffing problems.

Our wing staffing level is at 35%, the AEF allocations are cut every weekend as pilots are out of hours or unavailable. I am sure we are not alone in this
But don’t worry this can’t be a major issue as cranwell are setting up a special working group to solely look to recruit staff with disabilities so that we can be seen to be an equal opportunity organisation… regardless of my personal thoughts on that idea can we do something maybe a working group to get staff in any fit and competant staff will do!!!


I think people get a little confused with who does what. The administration AEF pilot staffing and retention has very little to do with HQAC. Wing Staffing levels and “disability working groups” have little to do with those that provide the flying.

If those providing the flying are “tick boxing” it probably is because they legally have to.


What you describe explains why the organisation is in such a mess and not delivering what it should, as all the little bits can sit in their own little bit and say not my problem. Which seems to be what happened with gliding … hived off from HQAC to produce a number of jobs and totally unaccountable to the people they are supposed to be delivering to … the cadets.

You could say in a manufacturing company that production and transport and buyers and sellers have little to do with each other, but if one doesn’t do their bit soon no company. I know a little bit about this as I spent many years working in a company and seen what happens when one part didn’t do their bit.

Ergo HQAC sit there saying AEF manning has nothing to do with us and they don’t apply pressure to resolve the problem, which means (as we have found ourselves) little, none or a very much reduced flying experience for the cadets.

When I was a CO, I had to keep all the balls in the air all the time regardless of the sqn staffing and support from the top or else get wing bitching, but it seems HQAC (full of people getting paid a salary) can ‘drop balls’ and take no responsibility or be held to account by us, and likewise the AEF fraternity no responsibility and unaccountable as they have no one exerting pressure to deliver, sit their thinking they’re doing a good job.

Where is the corporate accountability? Where does the buck stop and what happens to those who fail? Promoted? Given a gong? Both? We must have some in HQAC, 2FTS and the AEF circles all due a gong as the public sector seems to honour those who fail.

When are we going to get someone who has some clout? The last one we had with any drive was Gordon Moulds, but he was a little bit too radical for the others and ranks were closed. Having had two career admin types as CAC, the Corps has just become a morass of what they know and love. They must love being able to impose admin processes and being untouchable. It seems to be a conjectured and jokey discussion when people get together, but given the lacklustre management we’ve had over the last couple of years, you have to wonder how long the ATC has left. Squadron staff put in many many hours of their time and money into the Corps to get cadets in and then keep them, but you get a sense that without the bread and butter ‘flying’ opportunities you have to wonder if we’re not wasting our time. The flying never was and never has been a massive aspect in terms of time, but it was there as the thing that set us apart. Now we are like a theme park who have closed their top rides and expect people to come along just for the mundane everyday rides that can be experienced elsewhere.


You make me laugh. Trying to compare running a squadron like running the corps. Like your skill set is the same as the commandants. Get real.

Gliding got hives off because the MOD demanded it placed a duty holder over it as there was no corporate responsibility. Shame it happened to be who ended up with the job.

I think the commandant we have has been doing the best she can. What with a desk full of service complaints, royal petitions and the ACF doing their best to shaft our commissions (they have won, but not to the extent they actually wanted).


Please elaborate, if you wouldn’t mind.


Sounds pretty much like my day to day experience of being a squadron commander, increasingly so over the last few years. You have to keep telling yourself it’s worth it.

It is incredible that the people we expect to be fighting the cadets corner at the top of the heap, ensuring the experience is the best it could be, get away with doing so little to enhance it. Whether or not it’s in their direct remit they should be putting the point that if the associated depts ignore the problems they could be doing themselves out of a job in the long term. The RAF likes the notion of the corporatised Air Cadets and being part of the RAF family and somewhere to dump their oldies for a second career, but is seemingly unable to provide the one area that it should be good at … flying. Well not unless the RAF take no or have no influence on flying in the ATC. Currently we are seemingly the branch of the family that gets ignored at the family do’s.

We don’t need a working group to recruit disabled staff or more admin processes, we need a working group to look at flying and gliding delivery.


Make that person Prime Minster! :wink:

Flying & gliding delivery should be of paramount importance. First line in this box on the Royal Air Force Air cadets webpage:

Expand your horizons
If you’re a fan of aviation…

The “See what we’re doing near you” box shows what might be a Vigilant - Advertising Standards Agency anyone??

The first aim of the ACO is:

Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people

So, make with the gliding (& more AEF) please… Had 2FTS (even temporarily) given the annual budget to the GSA, we might have had hundreds (thousands?) of cadets who would have had gliding experience.


The irony is that over the last few and next few weeks a lot of squadrons will be getting new cadets come along for intake events.

We’ve got ours next week and it’s the 4th or 5th talk I’ve had to conduct without gliding and the 3rd without any meaningful flying (ie via 5 AEF). We are expecting around a dozen mostly Yr8s and I’ve got to effectively avoid speaking about flying opportunities and talk about and sell the organisation just based on things they could to all intents do in the ACF, Scouts or through one of the local youth centres.

I wonder what one of the glory hunters at HQAC would talk about and how they would sell it.

We’ve been leaking older cadets over the last 18 months and now our average age is about 14, compared to just over 15 a couple of years ago.