Gliding "paused"


I quite agree that those who solo at 14 should be congratulated and celebrated; I don’t think anyone’s saying they shouldn’t. The responsibilities I’m on about aren’t that of flying and airmanship, but being able to deal with the consequences. Say for example two 14 yo cadets, for whatever reason, have a mid air (unlikely, I know); one lives, one doesn’t. Or they misjudge a landing and seriously damage a glider or person who shouldn’t have been there etc etc. How can they be expected to mentally deal with that? I hope we never find out.

I don’t think it can change. Any organisation will be just as legally liable for any activity it undertakes, particularly where minors are involved. The often mentioned answer “to take it civvy” would change nothing either in this respect, at least not in the long term.


Age has nothing to do with dealing with things I worked with a bloke (in his 40s) who hit a small child in his car when the kid did the ‘just run out between two cars’, he never drove again. The child was suffered broken limbs but was otherwise OK, but learned a hard lesson.

In think there is accepting liability and then there is what we seem to have become. Much of the training seems to be for the sake of it just to devolve accountability and because it looks good in blurb, it doesn’t change anything in terms of what people do.

I find it amusing that I did a BELA when it was first required, but I didn’t and haven’t changed anything in how I do things, but now I have a bit of paper to say I can do it. I’m waiting for a DofE Supervisor course, one of our DofE ‘crew’ did one and said it was more pointless than a factory of broken pencils, but now he can ‘officially’ supervise expeditions, doing exactly what he, we and others have done for many years.


So if a 14 year old was involved in an incident where death or serious injury were involved and where they were found, or probably found, to be culpable, you’re saying they’d probably be ok with that and able to cope with that responsibility? You say the bloke you worked with never drove again? Transfer that responsibility onto a child. That’s what a 14 year old is.


It was 2011 when announced and implemented through to 2015 - so a couple of years ago.

My Bold - its not about having a Crystal Ball - its about the service and return on investment we should get as Tax Payers. We pay a lot of money for a lot of people - at very senior level - to come up with the like of SDSR 2010 and Future Force 2020 which brought about these changes.

To go from a position of laying off new Pilots to then go to a position of not having enough within a timeframe of less than 5 years is unforgivable. With this calibre of planning being rife within the MoD, the shortsightedness of the VRT changes could ‘almost’ be forgiven.


Not really when you consider what was removed from the 2010 SDSR. A third of the fast jet force (Harrier), the Nimrod, Merlin going to the Navy etc. In recruitment terms the number made redundant was equivalent to about a year’s intake, spread across 3 to 4 years of a training system so, apart from the personal tragedy of the shattered dreams of some, the headline figure didn’t necessarily give the full picture. What the SDSR didn’t necessarily predict is how many would vote with their feet and leave the service in the 2012-2017 bracket to be hoovered up by the airlines, along with new platforms identified in 2015.


One of those pilots who was cut in 2011 was one of my ex cadets who was in the fast jet stream.What a waste of public money and training he now flies for Easyjet!


On the face of it yes, although those numbers were relatively small and may have been offset by the saving in not paying salaries, pensions etc etc, bearing in mind a lot of those made redundant were fairly early in the pipeline. The flip side is that even they hadn’t made people redundant across the whole system, rather than just “closing the door” to new entrants, they’d eventually create a big problem down the line where suddenly you have a vacuum where people leave at the end of their service.

As you’ve seen though, the airlines hoovered a large majority of them up. Rigorously pre selected candidates!


In the face of other flying opportunities in terms of careers, what is the attraction to join the RAF as a pilot and stay?
This is the question that the Air Force board needs to answer.


Fast jet obviously. and the fact you don’t need to stump up £100,000 to train


In all of this pause of gliding the sad fact is there is only one member of my sqn who has flown in a glider. Me.

All of the cadets on my unit have never flown in a glider. This is what the corps has come to.


This is not really a surprise is it. We all knew what was going to happen and the powers that be were pretty blunt about it. The thing is, your cadets don’t know and difference do they


Someone senior said that to me and I wasn’t happy with that ill thought comment and said so…

Yes they don’t know what they are missing out on as they haven’t done it, HOWEVER they know they are missing out as it’s on all the air cadet flyers, posters and websites that we do it!


You’ve contradicted yourself there. Do they or don’t they?


I’ve not contradicted myself if you fully understand my post…
They don’t know the fun and experience of gliding as they haven’t done it first hand
They do know they are missing out on something as it’s been advertised as another fun, enjoyable activity the cadets do


So they are unconsciously aware of the fun of gliding or has someone been filling them in on what they are missing out on making them consciously aware of it?


If the organisation puts flying at the forefront of its publicity, showing smiling cadets in or near aircraft they are selling a promise of fun and excitement. If we subsequently fail to deliver that fun and excitement in good quantity we are being dishonest and should take care not to give false hopes.


Stop being obtuse, you know what he means.


Correct. They might not know the experience they are missing as they haven’t done it, but they know they are missing the experience as it is something they are supposed to do.


Our corporate publicity focusses on flying as a major activity which implies quite categorically that those joining will be offered the chance to train in air related things and the smiling youngsters in and around aircraft would to the average viewer suggest that this would mean getting into an aircraft and actually getting off the ground. I must admit the idea I’ve heard that flight sims will be the way forward to fill the gap in real flying fills me with dread. It will be like thinking you will be the next Michael Schumacher because you can successfully negotiate virtual GP circuits while sitting in your bedroom.

If you look today at main air cadets website under the what we do, Gliding and all of the opportunities available through to AGT are still there, now if this isn’t blatant lying and misrepresentation or contravention of trades description I’m not quite sure what is. If this was challenged by a parent who saw it thought that’d be brilliant for my son/daughter as they dead keen on flying only to find the reality, I think the Corps has been extremely lucky that it hasn’t been challenged in the courts. If this was challenged under a false representation claim forget the few VRT complaining supposedly complaining to HM The Queen, this would have the potential to damage the Corps’ image irreversibly in the eyes of the public. At the moment the ATC is bit like one of those tacky ‘Winter Wonderland’ themed experiences that hit the news ever as once people have paid their money, what they get is a long, long, long way short of the advertising.

We can’t be the only sqn to have lost cadets, especially in the first two of “the pause”, as they had been looking forward to getting on a GS. The problem will be that when gliding does re-emerge, unless they have been secretly getting copious amounts of old instructors up to spec, there is going to be a hell of a long time before cadets see the world a few hundred feet up, from inside a glider cockpit.


That was a serious question so butt out thank you please.