Gliding "paused"


MELIN is a nice easy one - Multi-Engine Lead-IN.

In lay persons’ terms it is/has been anything between about a 15-30hr (depending on date!) preparation course before students go to the King Air on 45® Sqn. It introduces things in a slower and cheaper aircraft such as multi-crew cockpit procedures and more “advanced” instrument flying such as holds and the ILS, which aren’t covered at EFT (Elementary Flying Trg!).

EAs? EA Tutor. Enhanced Avionics. A few years ago the RAF (contractor) procured another batch of Tutors. The steam driven engine instrumentation was replaced by a gucci digital display (and a couple of other digital readouts) and the VHF Radio and Nav 2 box was replaced by a nice shiny Garmin unit. In addition it had another VHF radio, just in case there wasn’t enough choice already.

120TP - Grob 120TP, the replacement in EFT for the Tutor.

^They’re my ones!

EASA - European Aviation Safety Agency: like the CAA but probably with more arguments and ridiculous attempts at standardisation! :slight_smile:


PLATO was that clever bugger who made the quotes about preparing for war… no idea about the rest.


Not to be confused with PLUTO, which was a big hose.


I thought he was a dog?


Technically correct.

If it was a genuine question from Gunner:

EFATO - engine failure after take off. Well practised in the Tutor!

LAPL - Light Aircraft Pilots License, ie PPL or N(ational)PPL

AME - various. Aviation Medical Examiner? :slight_smile:


Thanks for the explanation of the acronyms, Chaz!

It was a genuine statement as opposed to a genuine question. Those ‘in the know’ in their respective worlds tend to fall back on the various acronyms that are familiar to them - we all do it. I could introduce a number of acronyms from the soldiering sphere into a conversation that may not immediately be understood by the vast majority of people who frequent these boards, who, for example, are predominantly ‘air-minded’.

As a suggestion to all contributors, shouldn’t we all try to avoid using the abbreviations wherever possible? It may make topics easier to follow especially for those who are new to the ACO as well as those of us who don’t necessarily understand what our air-mindedness colleagues are on about! :grinning:


FISH and CHIPS anyone?


My grandfather worked on PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) during WW2.


Fighting In Someone’s House


Creating Havoc In People’s Streets.



Not just EAs apparently (as suggested earlier), but a mix of both types.


I see from Twitter that Kirknewton have just run the First of the new Blue Badge Courses.


Are these the ‘new style’ badges, where they are rated blue to gold?


Yep apparently so …


Yes, had some of my lot on it. They managed to get two launches in the Viking. Badges are similar to the old GS (non solo) badge but seem larger and have G in the centre instead of GS.



Is there anything on what the requirements are to go on these courses (once they become available )?


From Commandant 2 FTS

Proposed Aviation Training Package

The proposed courses are as follows:

a. Cadet Aviation Familiarisation Course (FAM).

b. Blue Wings Aviation Training Package (Blue ATP).

c. Bronze Wings Aviation Training Package (Bronze ATP).

d. Silver Wings Gliding Scholarship (SGS).

e. Gold Wings Gliding Training (GWGT)

Cadet Aviation Familiarisation (FAM) Course. This course is aimed at ab-initio cadets, expected to be aged from 12 years to 13 years and 3 months. The training would be based on the fundamental principles of airmanship with practical exposure to the principles on the PTT. On completion of the course, the cadets would receive a ‘FAM Course Completion Certificate’.

Blue Wings Aviation Training Package (Blue ATP). The Blue course would develop the principles learnt on the FAM course. Cadets would receive practical training in the effects of controls (roll, pitch, and yaw) in the PTT and then experience a glider or AEF flight to consolidate training.(It should be noted that the PTT footprint is currently under review by HQ 2FTS. It is expected that final PTT locations will help to address issues raised by geographic disadvantage of some cadet units to their nearest VGS/AEF.) Upon completion of this package cadets will be awarded Blue Wings.

Bronze Wings Aviation Training Package (Bronze ATP). The aim of the Bronze Wings ATP is to introduce more complex flying techniques which help assess the individuals training capacity and their suitability for further training. The course will contain practical exercises in the PTT and flights in either the Vigilant or Viking. The current minimum age for a cadet to fly solo is 16 years. The recommended start date for a cadet on the Bronze ATP is 15 years. (due to potential skill fade)

Silver Wings Gliding Scholarship (SGS). Longer term, the completion of the Bronze ATP will be a pre-requisite for the SGS. The Silver GS will follow the format of the current Gliding Scholarship (GS).

Gold Wings Gliding Training. Completion of a solo glider flight is a pre-requisite for the GWGT. The Gold Wings Course will follow the current Advanced Glider Training course (AGT).

The use of VGS, AEF and PTT facilities will enable each cadet to receive ground school training synthetic flying, gliding and light aircraft experience to a structured syllabus. The progressive nature of the package will introduce the cadet to a wider spectrum of aviation subjects than currently exposed. Work is also on going to develop a training package for those volunteers who would like to deliver the FAM and Blue wings package on the PTT. The “Blue to Gold” award mirrors the future ACO aspirations with regards to other cadet progressive training. More detailed information will be promulgated as these training packages mature.


Where or how do these fit in with the classification system? It seems to a good deal of doubling up especially in the first two levels.


Regrettably due to the terms and conditions of this website I cannot express my true feelings on the new direction of the ACO in regards to Flying and Gliding training.
Needless to say it is not positive and contains many many curse words.


sounds like there is a clear syllabus and progressive which is a nice change as there never seem to be much connection between GIC1,2,3 and GS.

Some getting all three GIC, some none but getting GS and some in between.

i guess the real reason so did and other didn’t get courses was places.

this proposed scheme for pilot training/flying experience will only be valid if it has the places to match 75+% of demand.

too often I hear of Sqns receiving 15-20 flying slots a year, for a Squadron of 35-40 is a failing on the ACOs own aim for one flight per year and that is before places get cancelled due to pilots, aircraft or weather restrictions halt play.

i am happy to support the scheme providing it can deliver what it aims to do…which has to be delivering the places for each and every Cadet who wants the opportunity, else it is little improvement of what we have seen the last 3 years during the pause and dare i say it, what we saw prior…


I want to see it happening nationally first and as I said clarity around the classification subject cross-overs. As suggested above it’s all about delivery and not promises that we will find out as it goes along can’t be met. What is the time expectation in terms of weekend commitments for staff and cadets? It is broadly expected that gliding for many will become a weekend away with the chance to play a computer game and if you’re lucky get in a glider.

Why is it every single time a new thing comes out you aren’t filled with hope and expectation … may be because when you live through so many, it all becomes a sense of here we go again. Where is the money for this coming from, or will it be done on a shoestring?

If we do something in the classroom and the cadets pass the subject will that suffice? Or will they have to do it all again?