Cadets undertaking flying/gliding training with civilian organisation

I have a cadet who is currently undertaking gliding training with a civi club in our local area.

Now in my opinion, when he reaches the required standard and is sent solo he should be eligible for the silver wings. Now I know that technically he cannot be awarded silvr wings as he has not completed an air cadet GS but given that our nearest VGS is over 1 1/2 hours away and residential courses are few and far between then he will struggle to be able to complete one of these.

I know that on a similar thread concerns wee raised about the standard of training civi glider pilots receive but having spent most of my teens flying with a civi gliding club I don’t believe that standards are lower in civi gliding than in than the military system the VGSs are under. The syllabus to go solo in a winch launched glider in both cases covers the same ground (see below).

http://www.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/instructors/documents/BGAGLIDINGSYLLABUS.pdf

I do recall that in my old wing a cadet was undertaking training for his PPL (no ACO involvement) and on completion of his first solo he wing applied for him to be awarded FS wings which was duly approved somwhere up the chain.

What are peoples thoughts on the above and does anybody elae know of examples where cadets have been awarded air cadet wings following flying training with a civi club (powered of gliding).

Sorry, I can’t recall in my 20 year career in the ACO anyone getting GS wings privately. I don’t hold much sympathy as our GS is a similar distance yet and has one of the busiest taskings yet we still get cadets through the system in an acceptable timeframe - mostly.

I am of the opinion that if they complete an equivalent (or perhaps a slightly enhanced) course in gliding at a civilian club then they ought to be eligible for at least the blue gliding wings.

The precedent for such a crossover has already been set with the aforementioned PPL/ACPS link as per ACTO 34 para 9; mind you, that says that cadets holding CAA/JAA PPLs, not just having reached solo standard, are eligible to wear the ACPS badge. That seems a bit unbalanced since the skill level at the end of a PPL far outstrips that of a mere ACPS.

I see similar problems with GS in my wing; though the distance to the VGS does not trouble me, the fact that they barely fly and struggle to provide GS does!

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We have a cadet who soloed at a civvy gliding club and was awarded Silver GS Wings on our RGLO’s approval. Just needed a signed copy of his log book.

MB

The reason I consider the distance to be an issue is that unless the cadet is qualified to drive then their parents will have to take them to the airfeild every weekend for a period which could be up to 12 weeks. In our case that is at least a 3 hour round trip and thats assuming that the parents can just hang about in the area all day waiting to take them home again. Then there is the financial outlay in terms of fuel to consider. It costs nearly £20 for a round trip at current prices which is an expense that I know some of my cadet’s parents cannot afford. This means that in general my cadets only real chance of completing a GS is to get on a resi course which for obvious reasons are much sought after.

When I did my GS it was a 70 mile train ride with a taxi to the VGS from the station. I was given a rail warrant to cover the cost.

MB

[quote=“Mike Bravo” post=14980]We have a cadet who soloed at a civvy gliding club and was awarded Silver GS Wings on our RGLO’s approval. Just needed a signed copy of his log book.

MB[/quote]

Shame the RGLO isn’t an award authority for GS wings

I don’t know the ins and outs of it, he may have obtained permission from a higher authority. Wing Commander (Gliding) has authorised it, and that is good enough for me. At the end of the day the cadet has received recognition from the ATC for the substantial effort they have put in to their civvy training (IMOH more so than attending a GS course). If this is against the current regulations then perhaps the regulations need to be reviewed and updated.

MB

There hasn’t been a Wg Cdr gliding for 5 years the only award authorities are OCCGS (who doesn’t do it very often since they stopped GS at CGS) or OC of a VGS.

Having seen someone from a civilian gliding back ground come on a GS expecting them to complete rapidly as they had gone solo many times in a private capacity they took much longer to grasp basics and were very close to not completing the course to the standard.

Well our RGLO is now a Wing Commander, new appointment this year. I suppose this very much depends on the student. The cadet in question has done much more with the civvy club than he would on a GS course - Soaring/x-country etc.

MB

Aware RGLOs are now ranked at Wg Cdr, doesn’t make them wing commander gliding as they aren’t in the operational chain of command like the old Wg Cdr Gliding was until he retired in about 09 and was never replaced. This wouldn’t be RGLO SW would it?

Yes it would very much depend on the individual this one had done both x country and plenty of soaring. Couldn’t look out or land very well though.

I guess thats why the FS cross over relies on them having a ppl as it is a standard test level. Where as doing some solos maybe to someones individual view of a level of competence is very much more subjective.

even RAF qualified fj pilots have to under go training at a VGS, reading across from one stream to another doesn’t always work.

[quote=“Mike Bravo” post=14985]When I did my GS it was a 70 mile train ride with a taxi to the VGS from the station. I was given a rail warrant to cover the cost.

MB[/quote]

Then I admire your dedication.

However where we are located trains would be hopelessly inpractical due to the weekend timetables not allowing an early enough depature to ensure arrival in time.

[quote=“tingger” post=15029]
I guess thats why the FS cross over relies on them having a ppl as it is a standard test level. Where as doing some solos maybe to someones individual view of a level of competence is very much more subjective.

even RAF qualified fj pilots have to under go training at a VGS, reading across from one stream to another doesn’t always work.[/quote]

Hear hear. Using this logic, my 4 years flying an airliner around for Her Majesty should lead to me receiving an ATPL. It doesn’t.

As a cadet I didn’t get gliding wings either - mainly as my VGS was far too far away to do any gliding until I could drive, by which time was far too late in my cadet career (but I concentrated on getting an FS instead, and some years down the line, my RAF wings). Much as not getting a cadet gliding badge may be disappointing for an individual, maybe it is an important life experience for the cadet have - they aren’t really losing out on anything without them either.

[quote=“born middle aged” post=15083][quote=“Mike Bravo” post=14985]When I did my GS it was a 70 mile train ride with a taxi to the VGS from the station. I was given a rail warrant to cover the cost.

MB[/quote]

Then I admire your dedication.

However where we are located trains would be hopelessly inpractical due to the weekend timetables not allowing an early enough depature to ensure arrival in time.[/quote]

Suggest you have a quiet word with your WGLO and try and get your cadets on some continuous courses.

incubus, the ACTO is inconsistent - can’t be bothered to dig out the link but there is a contradiction between different sections of that ACTO and it is now the case that ACPS badge is awarded for solo at a civilian organisation, not a complete PPL. One para was missed when it was updated. We had an ACPS badge approved by Wg Cdr CCF on the basis of solo flight (signed logbook entry from the civilian FTO) so it’s definitely kosher.

you suggest that but there is evidence of the ACF using civilian gliders…
if we fell under the same CoC we could utilize that same freedom and I am certain by the end of the month there would be one Squadron in each Wing who have taken advantage of it, or at the very least having spoken to their local BGA club have a date lined up.

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If that happens 2FTS would be looking for new jobs and be melting down.

Thanks, that is something I wasn’t aware of.

I started a little research and found Cadets (people aged under 21) are exempt from the BGA fee from the The Yorkshire Gliding club (imagine this is country wide), they offer a full years Gliding membership for £90 per cadet then its £115 pp per flight in groups of 6 between April and October with potential for out of season rate too.

If hypothetically it was possible for Squadron’s to have a members rate where they could move swap memberships between the squadron. Each squadron could have say 4-6 memberships (£360-£540 per year) then either using their own full allocation or splitting with other squadrons the full price for 6 cadets would £690 each time 6 go. This would have to be weighed up with the outlay of VGS/the upkeep of VGS Squadrons and the MOD sites etc. Most are on old sites which might have an Army Reserve allocation keeping the site open but not much else.

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That is the price for a ‘first experience’ flight, so the cost for a non-member to come and have a go. It would be considerably less if you were a paying member looking for a couple of launches with an instructor.

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…which (unless instigated by 2FTS) would be direct sqn involvement in coordination of flts in non-Service aircraft = a big NO. :frowning:

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