Gliding "paused"


The point being the R and P although valid go far further than civilian life yet we can’t claim the VGS world is safer…

…if we can please explain the pause and the u/s airframe in hangers

The policy we’re tied by stops what doesn’t happen from happening…hardly a valid control measure!


It is a leading question.


I’ll let you decide based on the facts which is ‘safer’.

The reason for the pause was identification of poor engineering practice and therefore lack of reassurance regarding the airframes that are sat in the hangars.

There isn’t the money required to recover those airframes to the required standard.


my point being - which airframes were safer 6 days, 6 weeks or 6 months prior to the pause?

BGA or VGS??

if the VGS/RAF applied ALARP there would never have been a pause…

sounds very “safe” creating a “safer” environment


They were as safe as the practices prior to the pause allowed?

When you investigate how things are done, you will undoubtedly find discrepancies.

It’s because Cmdt 2FTS couldn’t assure himself that the risks were ALARP that he instigated the pause. With what he was presented with at the time he had no other choice. To say there wouldn’t have been a pause if ALARP principles were applied is a nonsensical argument.


TBH I can’t really believe the BGA got away with slipping that reduction of solo age from 16 to 14 in a few years back without any negative coverage.


which is it…
ALARP wasn’t applied which created the pause, or risks are reduced to ALARP?


An MAA inspection highlighted discrepancies in the way the contractor was managing the engineering. Prior to that those discrepancies weren’t known about or the contractor wasn’t complying with the RAs.

Until you know there’s something wrong, you can’t do anything about it…

Once you can’t reassure yourself that something is safe, you have to take action. The action was the pause.

The RAF have been working to reduce the risk during the pause to ALARP so that cadets can fly in gliders. I.e. rectify the discrepancies in the engineering processes, compliance with RAs etc.

The Viking gliders are military registered so the maintenance processes/compliance that the BGA use are different and not as stringent. That of course doesn’t mean that BGA gliders are any less safe.

What is clear is that the BGA have many more serious/fatal accidents than air cadet gliding has.

Air cadet gliding is about getting young people a gliding experience as safely as possible. The BGA provide sport gliding for all age groups, so their culture is different. They can afford to absorb more risk because of the nature of what they do. Air cadet gliding can not afford their risk culture, not financially but in terms of RTL.


That depends on the ratio of the numbers flight ops between the two organistions.

That statement looks to be contradictory, on one reading is that BGA are not as stringent but the second part not that they are ‘less safe.’


If the BGA processes are less stringent but not any less safe, does that mean there could be scope for the MAA rules to be less stringent (and less costly in time and money as a result) and maintain the same level of safety as we currently enjoy?


As times change, things develop so maybe? Who knows?
RAs are amended as things are learnt. Engineering processes develop and change.


And/ or other factors, such as competition flying, field landings/landaways, currency on different types, equipment in a poor state of repair, different levels of supervision, safety culture etc?


Having read through the recent dialogue and the arguments about who is safest, the RAF or the non military aviation world, I would like to throw my humble opinions in.
Cadets at my unit have not seen the inside of a glider in the air for over 5 years. They have had AEF, but a limited amount. If we want to remain an organisation for the aviation minded youth this needs to change. But the reorganisation has closed our local VGS, again limiting the opportunities
I was lucky enough to fly solo in a glider when I was a cadet, something I don’t even mention to the cadets I work with. Mainly because they are more likely to win the lottery than get enough time in a glider to fly it on their own!
No gliding means no risk, the safest possible situation, especially around reputational risk!
I used to be proud to say that the Air Cadets was one of the biggest gliding clubs in the world and that I flew solo before I could drive a car on my own! Can’t say that now, or even in the near future!!
I am not blaming or criticising VGS staff, as safety in the air is paramount, but don’t keep trying to sell us that Gliding will return to more than the lucky few. The view from the coalface is that it isn’t!!


Correct - & from the statistics, how many flights were solo rather than dual / under instruction.

Probably like many on here, I was lucky enough to get a gliding scholarship - which then led to a flying scholarship, which undoubtedly helped me get into the RAF. As a current commercial pilot, it frustrates me intensely that the gliding (& flying) opportunities for cadets have shrunk to next to nothing.

Now? Gliding is, & seems it will be for the long-term future, a shadow of what it used to be. Shameful.


I cannot disagree with you…:frowning:


Which is a massive worry in an “Air” organisation!!


Surely the biggest reputational risk comes from consistently advertising that cadets fly in gliders and powered aircraft and then not delivering as per the advertising. HQAC and the RAF are so, so lucky that this hasn’t been reported to advertising standards, it would change things enormously. But HQAC / RAF are morally bereft and prepared to blatantly lie.
If the BGA was advertising gliding and not gliding, they wouldn’t be in business.


Cadets are flying and gliding. If there were zero cadets flying/gliding then I would agree with your comment.

Some on here think the ASA would take action based on this image?

The some on here that think that would grow some and report it and stop banging on about it…!


But the numbers flying and gliding are a really small percentage. Go back not so many years and ask for a show of hand ot cadets who had flown in either form and it would very nearly all but the most recently joined. Now it might be half a dozen.
As much as you assert that it is happening it is more of a postcode lottery than NHS services.

There should be no need to report anything, I thought that those running the organisation and the parent organisation, would be more honest, after all they are paid up military Officers a group many would regard as being beyond reproach.


Yep 4000+ cadet sortie flown this year at my unit alone. Over 1100 blue wings awarded in LaSER. With 38,000 cadets (CCF + ATC) the capacity is there across the system, the challenge is geography in my opinion.