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.