Gliding "paused"


I remember the days when I got enough gliding to be able to fly one on my own!!!


I recall turning up at the VGS with half-a-dozen cadets from my Sqn at 8am, each getting 5 or 6 flights, spending the whole day on the flight line, shoving corned beef sandwiches down my throat while hooking the tow line onto the gliders, sitting on the grass with the OC planning the sorties, getting massively sunburned and knowing that not one of the kids in my class had ever, or would ever, do anything like this in their lives.

I’d get home at 9pm and fall asleep while babbling to my parents about what a fantastic day we’d all had.

There wasn’t a cadet on my sqn who didn’t spend 3 days a year at a VGS. A Sqn of 40+.

Dawn and John: what a massively impressive contribution to the cadet experience they’ve made.


From an AEF perspective and most probably the VGS as well, the most frustrating aspect is when cadets just don’t turn up. Either because staff are unavailable or can’t be bothered to turn up or that Sqns can’t fill their slots.

It would make it much easier if Sqns who can’t fill slots pass them back to their Wings to distribute elsewhere.

Also the lack of completed paperwork is silly. I’ve lost count how many pregnant male cadets we’ve had attend. Paperwork is supposed to be checked before cadets attend… or maybe not.


I fully sympathise with you on the point you’re making but suspect that it’s partly due to the fact most staff have dozens of other things they need to do of a parade night and things slip through the cracks.

The AvMed forms being totally different (why is that?) probably doesn’t help either as people don’t have the same experience checking over them as the TG forms.

I appreciate these are not amazing excuses but we’re all fallible and mistakes happen.


The AvMed forms are an overkill and right PITA for us to deal with, only having a 3 month life doesn’t help, of course there are ways round it. The reason for some odd answers is because whoever designed the form did it ■■■■ about face. Who puts NO before YES? I have to double take as it doesn’t follow convention.

I think there needs to be lot more honesty from AEF about what they can do. I would sooner get a no fly notification by Thursday so staff, cadets and their parents can plan to do something, rather Friday or phoning up on the day only to try and let cadets know it’s not happening. I’ve also had too many times where a ½ way phone call has revealed no flying, even more fun if it’s an AM slot, which means a 0445 start, so up at no later than 0400.

AEF staff need to realise that last minute call offs are no fun and when it comes to the next time, it’s bloody hard work to fill the slots and staff to think about giving up a day, so it’s not all the squadron’s fault that places don’t get filled, the AEFs need to take some responsibility for a lack of interest. It was only in the last year or so of 5AEFat Wyton, I would put a note on the letter to parents that it could get called off before we’d got ½ way, so they didn’t go out, thinking little John or Jane was out for the day. IMO, especially Nov to Mar I wouldn’t bother with PM slots at all. These might be OK for squadrons a shorter distance away <30 minutes bringing 2-4 cadets.


I understand your frustration but believe it or not, AEFs can not control the weather and, as we all know, this can change in a matter of hours.

I’m sure you’d be royally miffed if you were cancelled on a Thursday due to the forecast to wake up on the Saturday to find the sun shining and glorious blue skies.

We have a tendency not to call off flying until cadets get to us unless it’s going to be a dead certainty the weather will be bad.

Unfortunately the AvMed form is a requirement. I have the email address of the chap that wrote it if you’d like to send him your thoughts. The 3 month life span allows for any changes in the cadets medical history over that period. The form is pretty straight forward if parents take the time to read it rather than just ticking what they think is correct.


yet it was never required by a VGS/gliding - go figure???

boil down the two experiences of a 20 minutes AEF and GIC experience and the “dangers” in the cockpit are equal.
A qualified, trained and competent pilot in the RHS seat next to an unknown child in the LHS seat they take off and twenty minutes later (if Vigilant and Tutor) anyway return…


It was and is a requirement for gliding and came about as a direct result of an incident in a glider.


Flying in a Viking has different risks to flying in a Tutor.

Not sure what your point is about the Avmed form? It’s simply a requirement that it’s completed correctly, otherwise that cadet may not fly.

AEF staff sometimes have to spend time trying to resolve admin issues with cadet paperwork that can and does have a detrimental effect on individual cadets or squadrons visit.


46 posts were split to a new topic: AEF Contingency and Concurrent Activity


It never reached us in that case - certainly when the AvMed Form1 was first released

As soon as it came out all it (announcement) stated was for AEF flying and nothing was mentioned about gliding…

I remember questioning it at the time

if something has since come out saying it applies across the board i haven’t seen it but accept your correction


that I don’t deny, but the health of that child is no more or less likely to cause an issue in a Viking than a Tutor
getting airborne is getting airborne.

Ok so 20-25 minutes of AEF versus a 10 minute winch launch circuit and land there is a reduced time exposure but if someone is unfit to fly (which is what the AvMed Form1 tries to determine) then they are unfit to fly.

The form doesn’t indicate which is more risk to the passenger (the Cadet) it determines how much risk there is for the Child to be a passenger….


2 things

Firstly please keep this civil. No party is perfect and we’re all volunteers. Please express your opinions more constructively and let’s not all jump on the offended bandwagon.

Secondly, this thread is about gliding being paused. If you want to continue talking about AEF provision please make a new one.


Like I’ve said back on topic or I’ll just delete posts that aren’t relevant.


I agree with you whole heartedly.

The point I’m trying to make is that some AEFs and VGS’ do try and make the effort to ensure cadets don’t sit around doing nothing and I agree with the low ropes issue. Admittedly it was a bit tongue in cheek but its there to use should there happen to be a member of escorting staff low ropes qualified.

Hopefully, the ranges at Woodvale will be up and running early 2019 after a refurb so, again, these should be available.

I would ask that if folk on here have an issue with their local AEF then they should grow a set and speak to the AEF OC to discuss but dont be part of the problem, be part of the solution and offer up some ideas.

My door is always open (I’m not an AEF OC btw) for CFAVs to discuss how we can improve the way we work. Some things we can change but some we can’t. Its all well and good being a keyboard warrior but if you feel so strongly about it you should have a proper grown up conversation and express your concerns.


hopefully when the runway is repaired 10 AEF and 631 AGS will be working more closely together to maximise the cadet output for both A and G wings.


Thread split to here -


Do we have a rough idea on the timeframe for that?


Unfortunately I can’t disclose anything until a formal announcement has been made by the station


Some maths on the chances of flying a glider…

…our wing has over 1500 cadets. For the next quarter, we have been allocated 8 places at Syerston, which has pretty much been a average recently. That’s 32 cadet places over a year.

If the wing want to give every cadet a glider flight, it will take…48 years and 4 months! Shame they age out at 20!