Gliding "paused"


The nay sayers on here are closing their eyes to the fact that a lot more than a couple of percentage points of cadets are flying.

During the gliding pause and this year thousands of cadets have flown at least once and some have flown in gliders. As the VGS RTF programme continues that will improve, but will be nothing like what it was pre pause.

Geography will be and always was an issue for some. You may have to travel longer distances. Some will continue to whinge about this and others will just get on with it and make the effort. There’s always been a degree of this in the organisation…!

You either accept it for what it is or move on…!


The thing is the geography issue isn’t what it once was, we get that highland Wing are going to have to travel huge distances that’s the demographics. But most of us aren’t in remote areas, we are in densely packed Wings which used to have 2 VGS within a reasonable commute and no don’t have 1 at all so haven’t seen a single glider flight since the pause and with no change in sight, that’s a totally different geography issue.


The guys & girls from 7O/S having been making the trip from Jersey for years and never moaned about it :hushed:


Geography is not the issue for me, we have to travel for AEF so travelling for AEG will mean the same arrangements.
I might sound repetitive, but my unit has had no gliding for 5 years and no notifications for future allocations. To hear that Cadet gliding is increasing is heartening and does dispel some of the bad rumours, but you must understand my frustration when the cadets on my unit do not get the opportunities that others are getting.


But that is their normal cadet experience. If there was a VGS on the Channel Islands and then is shut and they had to make the trip, they wouldn’t be so understanding. Not sure where they go, but I imagine they don’t just come up for the day and go home after 4/5 hours.
Hence why many are so flamin’ brassed off with the condescending attitude displayed, because of the lax and down right reprehensible way the lack of gliding has been handled and not felt to be morally wrong by the RAF, OC 2 FTS and HQAC. This and a line in CAC’s Christmas message about the CAS etc being pleased that cadets made the RAF look good over the last year, that just about sums up how the cadets and CFAV are viewed by the RAF. About time they put their bloody hands in their pockets and started giving these youngsters something back, rather than put lacklustre people in charge and spinning out the same old lines and just expecting them to turn up in “light blue” whenever the RAF can’t be bothered.


We’ve always had to travel, but as the MOD sell off estate, these distances will become longer as the number of locations reduces and geography does become more of a problem.
For us the drive for AEF is just about on what I would set as a personal limit for going out to somewhere and not staying overnight and our AEG is now beyond that. 5 AEFs saving grace is being on a proper main road and not the backside of nowehere. If it moved to one of the number of old airfields nearby it would become more of a problem.


And, when you get beyond that, it becomes far more onerous and in particular in terms of time and family impact. when you dodrive extended distances does risk not increase as tirdness rises. Then there is the thoughts of cadets parents in particular as they grow older and exams start to become far more of an issue.


On one hand some are complaining there’s not enough or no flying/gliding?

Now it appears it’s too far to go when you do get some?

Why not just ask your wing F&G officer to allocate your slots to a squadron that can get there?


I’ll take them.

Edit : The slots, not your cadets


Hold on, there has to be a practical / legal / safe limit for how long a sqn person can drive for / be on duty.

If you look at the GB “domestic hrs” requirements, then daily duty limit working for a company is 11 hrs.

Say, 30 mins each way from home to sqn & back = one hr. That allows 10 hrs of remaining “duty” - now work on a sliding scale as to how long 4 cadets would take at a VGS for the day’s programme (PTT + flight each) = say 5 hrs?? That leaves 5 hrs of driving time = 2.5 hrs each way = maybe 100-120 miles depending on the various factors (distance, location of VGS, traffic conditions, etc).

I wonder what the duty limits are for VGS staff who now have to drive further to their point of duty? That should also be a significant factor.

If you were driving an MT-provided vehicle, then you would have to adhere to the limits. The standing orders for our parent unit state a maximum daily duty limit of 13 hrs (including all breaks),


The balance between distance and practicality seems to have been lost. Most people when looking at jobs take into account all sorts of factors including how far they travel.
We don’t have that ability, we are told this is where you have to go and live with it or don’t do it, in a we don’t really care fog.
I have done numerous business trips and the firm arrange hotels etc. Will HQAC arrange for and pay for hotels / motels for staff and cadets?
How would a VGS take to staff with more than a hour’s drive saying see yah at say 1pm during the winter, so they aren’t doing too much driving in darkness and potentially poor/hazardous weather? Given that VGS rely on cadets cleaning gliders etc.


You’d think that right?

Back in my day as a Cadet my SET was at 6AEF RAF Benson.
As a FS with several flights in my 3822 I was at the bottom of the list and missed out because Jersey Sqn arrived after a commercial flight into Heathrow and then coach trip to Benson. I missed out to give them chance to get their coach load through before they completed the return journey.

They had nothing else lined up for the weekend. They may have had an overnight stay but their time on the mainland was solely for 20 minutes flights for their cadets


Ha! We all know the answer to this one.Can anyone really see HQAC doing that.My company books hotels for me when Im on business and on one occasion it was booked and authorised inside 15 mins and the voucher was in my inbox.Can anyone see HQAC managing to achieve that sort of performance.It takes them at least 6 weeks to manage to auth a F1771 or FI 80.Then of course they ll want a pile of paper for RAs and third party liability insurance for the hotel etc etc .


Nobody is suggesting you driving whilst tired. If the weather is that bad, contact the VGS/AEF and tell them you’re unable to make it?

How many staff are there to share the driving burden?

You’re a volunteer, it’s not your job, so as I say, if it’s too much to go, tell your wing F&G officer and others can have the places. If you decide to go, it’s up to you to manage your duty time.


With all the palaver over mini-bus licences /legality (& ages for insurance) = not enough!

Treating the symptom, not the cause.


Has anyone actually tried this route, using the hours issue as the rationale. The MOD use HRG to book every thing from hire vehicle, train, flights and rooms; so why not RAFAC.


Rather than having to try it, it should be written in the “rules”, ie you’re going here or there and this will be booked. No dicking around.
I must admit something like a Premier Inn with a buffet breakfast would be appealing.

Our company has a 70 mile rule, ie more than 70 road miles one way and it’s an overnighter. The Air Cadets should do the same. This works quite nicely as we tend to drive up the day before, pleasant evening, meeting and then drive home. This has been challenged but the company feels that in order for people to get to a meeting or course, getting up early to drive there and then having to worry about the drive back, means they might not be at their best.


Staffing that will surely be a problem needing both male and female staff where appropriate not forgetting parents thoughts in particular as when it comes up to exam season.

Also it would appear that this person’s idea is, if you ain’t going to drive for hours on end to attend, then tough.


So, hypothetically, you have a flying slot on 28 Jan 19, can you say now the names of staff and cadets attending and guarantee it won’t change; doubt it very much.

With warrants, etc, Wing HQs can supply within a week of the event; giving you three weeks to sort before contacting HQ for tickets, etc.

As for MOD vs Company argument; your company will only have to pay for you and answer to its shareholders, the MOD has to answer to HMG for expenditure, and the cost will be much more than your company due to the size of the party concerned.


Not just shareholders but the constraints of criminal and civil law as laid down by the HSE and various Road Traffic Acts.