Gliding "paused"


What are 645 converting onto? given this was their hangar at the weekend.


That’s probably 32 more than the year before?


Grob Viking Mk3a
It’s an all new airframe with stealth features


most years 32 cadets get to live fire a 105mm Light Gun - would you say that Artillery is a core cadet activity in the ACO?


I think we have to bear in mind that gliding is still recovering. It’s only when it’s recovered will we understand the full impact of what we’re dealing with?

Putting aside what you think about the pause and how it was dealt with, I think we can assume there’ll be fewer gliding opportunities than there were before, so I’m not sure what people’s expectations are?

At least the VGS squadrons that are operating are doing all they can to get cadets airborne in a glider. As more VGS recover, it will get better but nothing like it was before.


it has been pretty clear for several years that if/when gliding, and the AEF’s, recover, their contribution to the average cadet experience will be between peripheral and zero.

more cadets from my Sqn have gone skiiing, or winter mountaineering, or commanded a live fire mission by 105mm LG’s than have been flying (in any guise) this year (or last year, or the year before, or the year before that).

it says something - and nothing good - that the Twitter Queen has had more flights than any cadet in the last 3 years.

we are no longer the Air Cadets - i wouldn’t suggest that we are now the Royal Air Force Artillery Cadets, or the Royal Air Force Mountain Warfare Cadets, but we are closer to be either of those than we are to being the Air Cadets…


That’s just not true. Total exaggeration!

Thousands of Air Cadets, Air Scouts and GVC cadets fly at AEFs every year.

I do appreciate that some squadrons may have travel issues etc, but it’s not the same for everybody.


put simply
1x flight/year/Cadet

this was advertised in the days of Diane Louise Jordan that each Cadet got the opportunity to fly once a year. At the time and until fairly recently/before the pause this was stated in documents as the aim of HQAC

0.02-0.04% of a Wing population doesn’t come close to expectation


I could live with 50% of my Cadets getting a flight (either AEF or Gliding) each year. The reality is that less than 20% of my Cadets have ever flown and none of them have been gliding.


Assuming your figures are accurate that’s not good. Where do those percentages come from?

Other wings are getting plenty of flying and some gliding. This is probably a geographical issue for you???

My aim is to win the lottery, but I limit my expectations as to whether that’s going to happen…!


Gliding - B&C Wg - only what we managed “privately” under ACTO35 - until that option got curtailed.

It really is derisory - as soon as the difficulties from the “pause” became known (i.e. within a few months of it all going being halted), money / effort should have been directed at the BGA facilities.


Or RAF Regiment Cadets!


And if it had, would we be in a better position?
Directing money away from air cadet gliding would’ve potentially meant it’s complete demise?

Personally, I’m not convinced it’s out f the water yet and it’s future could be shaky?

If air cadet gliding failed, would all the money be directed towards providing gliding from an alternate source? You can bet probably not? Would you really get more gliding than you’re going to get when air cadet gliding is fully recovered?


The “pause” has been handled with all the professionalism and expediency I would expect from the public sector, ie not at all professionally and with all the pace of a snail with a broken foot, avoiding all ways to either speed it up or finding an alternative as they didn’t realise they were flogging a dead horse.

When it does actually “recover” and we are a long, long, long way from that point, the experience the cadets will get will be nothing like it should be. This of course ignores the thousands of badly let down young people who joined since mid 2013. As for flying we are(n’t) serviced by 5AEF and this has been the case since 2014.

The geographical element is going to become a real sticking point as people have to travel further ergo longer for less. OK in the summer months but between November and March not so. The other aspect is the MOD selling off estate to fill their financial black hole. Would they hold onto several thousands of acres of airfield for a few gliders or whatever light aircraft is used for AEF, when they can get a few quid from housing developers? Sell off a gliding location and unless your in Lincolnshire, Salisbury area and parts of the midlands, there won’t be too many options for relocating and that wouldn’t be straightforward.

I and others have said it before we should ditch the military flying non experience. Ask yourself a question would you drive for say 3 hours to get something that you can get by driving for max 45-60 minutes? This is in our neck of the woods is what powered flying could look like and another 30 minutes giding. Far more acceptable, except for the RAF to sanction this would be in the turkey’s voting for Christmas and losing people.


If it’s not going back to where it was, can we please stop calling it a recovery?


Undoubtedly yes. Cadets would have continued to glide, VGS instructors would have retained currency.

The money situation is a red herring - the costs would have been minimal - no equipment to operate, just hiring into the BGA. The benefits far outweighed any potential penalties - & then there were ridiculous situations such as a contract award (Southern Sailpanes??) to repair grounded gliders. Ah, no hangar / workshop facilities to undertake this, & planning permission was refused for their additional capacity. Doh. Only in the military.


I can understand HQAC not wanting to spend money on BGA gliding, however I can’t see why privately-funded gliding seems to be such anathema to them.


It could be that if things were done differently, there would’ve been benefits?

The problem is, we have what we’ve got!

More would be nice, but where in the military or public sector do you see more of anything. We all know how bad our public funded organisations are at making decisions and spending money badly. That’s nothing new and will
probaby continue beyond our lifespans?

What makes you think the money would be spent any more wisely on the alternatives? Are the decision makers suddenly going to make what you might think are more sensible decisions?? Nah.

It might be time to accept it might improve a little beyond what we have now, but not a great deal? Some won’t like this, others will accept it and get on with it/ make the most of it?

Cadets/new staff joining don’t know any different.


Stop flying and you lose in the words of Lord Sugar ‘the USP’ of your ‘product’, which now makes the RAFAC indistinguishable from the ACF.


Can’t disagree with that…!

We should fight to keep what we’ve got?