Gliding "paused"


couldn’t possibly let a 14 year old drive the retrieve vehicle to collect the glider they’ve just landed


TBH there are older people I wouldn’t let do it either.


What could possibly go wrong??

I’m sure it’ll be fine??

The BGA must be happy with it??


You know what you can really get a sense of what you might call Air Cadet snobbery.

it is enshrined in the rules of the land that a 14 year old can fly a glider solo and 16 for powered, just because as an organisation we set higher limits, doesn’t make us better.

As long certain criteria are met those under 16 or 17 can drive a motorised vehicle, and again just because in the high and mighty Air Cadets we don’t doesn’t make us better. It is possibly worth noting for the followers of motorsport that the likes of Michael Schumacher were driving motorised vehicles before primary school age. We had a cadet who was banger racing when he was in the 4th year, but he his brother and sisters had been driving for years on the land his uncle owned. We went to watch him race a few times.


Apart from it’s not the Air Cadets, it’s the RAF master driver setting the rules.


Just for information…See page 39 of the latest (xmas edition) of Private Eye.
The information seems to come via Pilot magazine.

There may be life after ‘death’ for the Grob Vigilants yet!!!


There are times when I feel we should have less to do with the RAF, purely on practical grounds. We might just get on and do, without the massive oversight and financial input that seems to be more like Imodium than senna pods.


You do rather seem to ignore the fact that one of the main criteria is whether the driver is insured to operate the vehicle.

As above, I would suggest that it’s very unlikely that the 14 yo in the example was insured - as the club would probably have to pay through the nose to do so. Why should the MoD accept the significantly increased risk for minimal benefit?

Then let’s not forget parental consent. Good luck explaining to a parent how a 14 year old cadet managed to injure himself by rolling a Land Rover.


Your attitude towards managing risk with our young cadets is unbelievable?

One of the biggest risks at any gliding operation is MT and winches. The BGA will tell you this as well…!

We manage our risks robustly to keep our young people out of harms way, balanced with suitable training and reassurances. This allows for a level of fun within the regulations and law.

It’s no wonder the RAF doesn’t want our cadets flying at some BGA clubs?


If you had told my parents when I was 14 that on my Gliding scholarship I’d be learning to drive a land rover they would’ve been delighted. (Instead of it being a minibus on Camp at 15 straight across a parade square).


If have to say @109115 I surprise myself by agreeing with Teflon to some extent.
I can’t say for aviation myself, but through my involvement in Scouting, we in the Air Cadets have a huge overhead in terms of policy which is forced on us by the armed forces without any real benefit to the cadets, safety or otherwise.


I’m not sure that anyone puts anyone in harms way on purpose. I also doubt the BGA let any 14 yo peel up and drive a vehicle or do anything unless they are happy with them doing it. The example(s) cited will invariably be the kids of club members who’ve got in drove around a corner of the field (with dad or someone) and gone from there,

Somehow the RAF have robustly managed the risk out of cadet flying.

Do not try and kid yourself the RAF are bothered about anything more than protecting itself and allowing us to use BGA or local flying clubs would loosen its grip on flying. I don’t hear of loads of accidents at BGA clubs or local flying clubs, given the assertion they have a lax attitude to safety.


Other than the benefit of keeping them out of harms way so that hopefully they don’t get hurt, or inadvertently cause harm to others? Surely that’s a benefit?

It’s also the reputational risk. The RAF would be held accountable if an air cadet were to be killed or seriously injured gliding or flying. That’s why the risk is managed so robustly and restrictions are in place. Arguing that it’s ok to do something, just because somebody else does isn’t a good safety ethos.

Sometimes the benefit isn’t worth the risk.


Why would you? If there was a minor motor accident at a BGA club then it’s hardly going to make the 10 o’clock news.


You can hear about their accidents if you look


Noone here is advocating for no safety. We are all here to give young people experiences that they won’t get in “normal life”.

My point is that some policy from MoD/RAF/HQAC actually hinders activities more than it makes them safe.

An example away from gliding, the army insist that cadets doing DofE walking along public rights of way, have to have informed local brigade hq of the activity with an extra 3 page form. Yet doesn’t add to safety at all.


Some on here are happy to put our cadets in the hands of the BGA for their gliding and scrap the VGS.

Safety culture has changed significantly over the last few years. Quite simply, the RAF will not expose cadets to anything they perceive as a greater risk. Air Cadet gliding has an almost exemplary safety record, but that’s no reason to assume we won’t have an accident. The risks are reduced to ALARP, otherwise it just doesn’t happen…!


What does the R and P stand for?


Is that a genuine question, or are you goading me?