Gliding "paused"


I’m confused as to why it has to be so far in advance? Or is this civil service BS?


Because, if it was a ticket, they would have to get to you before the day. The rest could be emailed; saying that HRG (MOD) is all done online.


Well, once you highlight it as an issue to your wing and they can’t offer an alternate form of transport or overnight stay you’re pretty much backed into a corner?

The ‘super VGS’ eg Little Rissington has overnight accommodation. This assumes you have staff that are willing to give up a weekend and not just a day?

Once all the VGS are up and running, some ATC squadrons may well be in a position that makes it too difficult for them to attend, based on what some are saying on here?

As a result, some ATC squadrons may only get flying or gliding for their cadets when they’re on camp?

Maybe that’s just the reality of what the future holds? Some, of course will benefit as a result.


200 mile plus journey to Rissy, for my Wings journey. Don’t you think CFAVs actually have a life outside the ACO??? Many if not the vast majority have to balance family life and the ACO, little things like other chidren and wives and parters or is that beyond your comprehension? CFAVs work on the goodwill of their families and in particular their partners.

Nearest VGS is Ternhill two and a half hours journey on a bad day, particularly if it’s summer or the M6 is closed or restricted by an RTC or road works if not longer.

Your attitude in my opinion Sir, stinks.


Most of our unit pilots live 1hr plus away from the unit (if the traffic cooperates) and do that drive a day a week to do a full 0800-1700 day flying cadets. Some live even further and have to stay in the mess the night before. One commutes from Channel Islands. We all do our bit.


Personally I feel too many assumptions have been made about this, such as, as you say the overnight accommodation, unless it comes with a fully staffed kitchen to feed staff and cadets, the appeal falls away, as you are then getting into a whole different game.
There seems to be an assumption that we don’t do anything other than wait for a gliding or AEF slot. In the busy times of the year you can be doing something nearly every weekend and call me old fashioned, but it’s nice to spend some of your two days off a week with your family. Even those of us with grown up families.


I have all that as well Bob. I just look at things from a different perspective to you.

All I’m saying is that as far as gliding/ flying is concerned, the future isn’t that good for some ATC squadrons. As you point out, the travelling distances are prohibitive for some. That’s reality without an alternative.

As we know, HQRAFAC don’t seem keen to explore alternatives at the moment. I believe this is because all effort is being directed into the recovery of gliding. Even when fully recovered, some squadrons will be no better off than they are now?


Oh, so true!

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it will not always be practical for cadets to attend a weekend away - weekend jobs & parental influence for schoolcoursework, etc. Staff issues too - male / female ratios for cadet supervision overnight.

I don’t think anyone on high did the “join the dots” when considering all the ramifications of “super-VGS.”


Please stop using this language. It’s basically a lie.

It’ll never be fully recovered.

From what I’ve read, the Vigilant’s OSD was 2019? Where were the plans 5+ years ago for it’s replacement?
If there were plans, why can’t they be inacted now?
If there were no plans, why not?


Does this ever happen with anything?
How many times have “on high” done something and left it for us to work out how to make it work.
It’s always a case of “on high” knowing best when as they haven’t ever been CFAV. Again though the infernal tinkering has only really been in the last 13/14 years, I have no idea how we managed before.


Ah happy days and so much easier.You could even go to the sqn and do the things you planned to do and give the cadets your full attention.


Spot on




Which question is that the answer to?


The plans were to refurb/re engine!


FYI @OldNewbie take a look at the link for more information

specifically pages 12-17

interestingly those of us discussing using BGA sites take a look at para 25 of the link (page 10)

Discussions have taken place in the past with the BGA the findings were the BGA does not have the capacity to meet the launch and flying hour’s requirements of our GIC and our GS.
In addition is was recorded that there would challenges regarding accreditation of gliding schools and on-going oversight requirement of commercial gliding organisation, accommodation and duty of care supervision of minors…As a result the review believes that there may be some scope for working more closely with BGA associated gliding schools in a limited context [ I guess this is the few (6?) BGA sites that 2FTS was happy to approve?]
A lack of overnight accommodation will probably preclude delivery of GS courses at BGA airfields, however delivery of GIC flying appears to be a realistic option in areas where gliding is currently difficult to provide. or where ideal facilities exist for advance glider training.
The BGA has provided an indicative cost of £50 for an 8 winch launch GIC option and has offered to run a trial at two approved locations should the ACO decide to explore the option further.
[key message time]
The review team has confirmed that the BGA has neither the capacity nor the appetite to link formally with the ACO to deliver all or significant part of the ACO gliding output.


Having just looked back at the 2008 Strategy document wich took up to 2018, one of the key reasons for setting up our RAC’s was supposed to be as a option for cadets who’s flying was cancelled. . . did this ever really happen?

Regional Activity Centres (RAC)

The RACs provide a single location which combines guaranteed cadet accommodation with on-site access to a wide range of fun and challenging activities. The activities include Flying, Aerospace Centres, Military Skills Training, Adventure Training, Shooting, Simulators, e-Learning, Field-craft and Leadership Exercises. The benefits of RACs are:

:diamonds: Maximise involvement in fun activities for cadets in a single visit, either at weekends or school holidays.

:diamonds: Eliminate airfield waiting time and wasted journeys often associated with travel to single activity events e.g. long road journeys to flying activities that are cancelled due to poor weather.


yes and is discussed in this thread in a bit of detail

to offer my experience.

the two closest RACs to us (almost equidistant) have AEF or had VGS gliding but are not our closest flying and gliding locations

So although they offer contingency or concurrent activities to flying/gliding these would be at sites we’re not eligible to fly/glide from!


ahhh, cheers. So we didn’t quite manage this then!


It would be a bit much to expect that AEFs and VGS each had a RAC, regardless of how sensible it may have been.