Gliding "paused"


At the moment and for the last 4 years plus, it hasn’t worked for the cadets on our squadron and many others.
The problem lies in the fact that we don’t get anyone fighting the shop floor’s corner. A toothless tiger with 4 broken legs would have more bite than Wing Staff. While I accept that HQAC have no direct influence etc over flying / gliding, why they haven’t been thumping desks to get cadets the experience they deserve and which formed (note past tense) so much of the ATC’s pull, it is shameful and they should all be sacked and escorted from the building, not getting honours and awards. What they’ve done instead is just make it bloody awkward / impossible for people with ridiculously convoluted rules invented and then changed if someone’s found a way to do it, on the spur of the moment.
I know about DDH’s and their incredibly sensitive sphincters, but we have a 1* running the Corps (I think) which out ranks OC 2FTS (don’t know about flying) and if something isn’t being delivered the 1* should be going their boss and saying wtf is going on, we need to be able to do something to get the experience the cadets deserve and whoever is not doing that binned, rather than just cosying up to them. Although this is probably just how the forces operate.

My only vested interest is the cadets on the squadron I am on and don’t think I would put them in harms way, anymore than I would my own children. I’d bet if parents in large swathes of the country were told we’re not getting flying through the RAF, so we are going to ‘local flying school’ to get the cadets into an aircraft, however the RAF/ATC won’t insure it, so it will be insured through the operator, plus there will be a charge, many will go for it, because they will be used to going to and doing all sorts of things, where there is no ‘top cover’.


I know of a GSA site where cadets were doing gliding scholarships during the gliding pause. This was on a very limited basis I believe and was augmented through 2FTS and RGLO. I don’t know how many other sites this happened at?
VGS instructors had limited opportunities at BGA clubs to go gliding during the pause. 6 of my instructors did this.
The RAF GSA released some ASK21’s to 2FTS at Syerston for VGS instructors to opportunity fly during the pause.
With only 10 VGS sites on the cards the gliding opportunities will be limited, unless augmented by BGA sites?


1* or not, she relies upon SQEP individuals to run things for her. She will admit herself she has limited experience in certain areas, so making decisions isn’t always about rank.
If you’re arranging Flying for your cadets in that way I hope nothing goes wrong. If it does I’ll have little sympathy for you or anybody else that feels it’s appropriate.


Nothing to do with experience in the area, it’s rattling cages which any decent manager should do.

I do wonder what experience (outside of social media) can be evidenced.


And I’m sure she does rattle cages, but to a degree she is reliant upon what she’s told. The captain of the ship doesn’t necessarily know how to do all the crews jobs.
Cmdt 2FTS is also accountable to OC 22Gp, a factor that has big influence on what decisions are made. Delivery is very much driven by the Royal Air Force.


Experience in the relevant area - must check the RAF’s OOB - can’t seem to find the glider sqns there… :wink:


Aviation Studies
Without wishing to add fuel to the fire did anyone else see this on the 2FTS Nov 17 Newsletter:

There are two planned studies looking to the future of aviation to be chaired by Commandant Cranwell, Air Cdre Squires. The first is looking into air safety and optimisation of No.’s 2, 3 & 6 FTS. The second study is to look at Aviation for UAS and Air Cadets in the future. Once these have been complete details will be posted.


Translation: Simulators only from henceforth


Wouldn’t it be a good idea if Comdt Air Cadets was a regular serving aircrew role? Oh, wait a sec…


Maybe not, but a good captain would have bloody good idea of what people do and how one bit not working properly affects the whole thing, as they would have had several years in junior roles learning.
Most of our managers at work have been around for years in various roles.
Headmasters and headmistresses in schools would have been bog standard teachers and then had several years of being in different areas of responsibility, before becoming a headmaster/mistress.

The problem with our Commandants (inc Region) is they are parachuted into the job after being in the RAF in any job and they have a less than zero understanding of how the Corps operates. They may have been king pins in their RAF bubble but in the ATC as far as I’m concerned they are no more than new bloke / woman off the street CI, in terms of their actual understanding of the Corps. In the past it wasn’t much of a problem, but the last 2 especially have got too involved and fiddled too much, plus we seem to have spawned jobs/roles that we need less than syphilis.


The captain needs to have a good understanding of what and whom he/she is in charge of. It’s clear that that is not the case in many areas of the ATC, especially with regards to gliding.

Whenever I read about “Optimisation”, “Studies in to the future” and other related buzzwords/phrases, I feel a shudder, because inevitably its going to be enforcing some form of unwelcome and unwanted change that will see everyone lose out. Perhaps an admission that with respect to flying activity things have been completely and utterly screwed up beyond any repair and the best our kids can look forward to is a couple of sessions flying a flight sim every year and the very occasional trip in a real aeroplane for 20 minutes?

I hate being so cynical.


The buzz phrases are what some people get up in the morning for. I work about 10 yards from 3 people who live life in a fug buzz phrases.

In my experience of work, any meeting where something containing “reorganisation” , “optimisation”, “study” etc in the title, etc are never ever positive unless you are well above it’s sphere of influence.

We’ve had too many of these in the Corps over the years and they have produced absolutely zip in terms of positivity for the cadets and volunteers.


Well, the UAS’ have seen a massive push towards the ‘force protection’ type of activity in recent years, so they can do away with flying without much drama. That’ll save some cash. They can go play in the mud with the OTCs instead. Or they’ll do away with individual service clubs and just follow the DTUS trend. Purple units.

With no UAS’ flying they’ll be, by default, no aviation units for the air cadets, so tough excrement!

However, and this will be a comment that will cause a reaction… So what? I didn’t particularly enjoy flying as a cadet. I’d avoid it if I could. I was never going to fly professionally (bad eyes, hayfever, etc) so didn’t want to waste my time. So I did other things.

Didn’t hurt me. Still joined the UAS. Still joined the RAF.

Flying isn’t the be all and end all. We can’t keep presenting the air cadets as a “we fly!!!” organisation, then squabbles like this won’t rile as many people.



If we don’t promote flying (ATC’s USP - why we exist) we are as well giving up.

Are you high up in 2FTS/HQAC by any chance?


Air power is all about the employment of air systems for military effect - everything else is in support of that aim. Appreciating and experiencing the air environment and building air mindedness from day one is the vital difference about an Air Force - IMHO we will never step away from light aircraft flying in the foreseeable future for that. The UASs are well above their recruitment targets and with the current drive to recognise / promote Modular training I think the UAS position is stronger than ever before. That is a good news story for cadet aviation!


There’s a difference between promoting it and suggesting that’s the only thing that makes us good.

And, as this thread has pointed out on multiple occasions, we’re not doing much of it already…

It’s not the too distant future when aircraft in the RAF won’t have pilots on board, so is actually having time flying ‘for real’ going to be that important?..


[quote=“Teflon, post:1528, topic:1152, full:true”] Based on that cost point and say 40000 cadets you could give each cadet a 30 minute flight for £3.4 million, no on costs for maintenance etc,

I’m sure even someone would end up paying a little bit more for the extra 20000 hours, and the maintenance required, on the GA fleet around the country. How often does a GA aircraft need checks and servicing? Even across 20 locations that’s a fair bit of extra work even on far fewer numbers.


Not strictly true for the current incumbent as she is also ex VRT (albeit briefly) as is RC SNI.


All through my time in the organisation, over 40 years, we have always had a good number come in from “scouting” and some come across from the ACF and this is changing. I’ve had Scouts come along to intakes in recent years and keep a foot in both camps and then leave the ATC, as we are no different to Scouts, bar the rules we play by, which are no real attraction.

So we need real flying to give us something to make us distinct from Scouts and ACF and not continue as some chimera.


What we need and what we’ll get are two different concepts.