Gliding "paused"


For civil aviation, yes they do. Fire category is very specific. THIS is a typical outline of category levels.

Also, if some / all of the fire trucks are attending an incident, airport operations might have to stop temporarily or the number of aircraft movements minimised. Had this a few years ago when a pax terminal had to be evacuated at Leeds after a fire alarm; we had to hold overhead for about 30 mins until the fire services were no longer required to attend that incident. It actually made it quite interesting as the Air Traffic tower adjoins the terminal, so they had to evacuate too!

As an aircraft commander, it is something I have to be very aware about - although I do have the dispensation to operate (once in flight) with lesser than normal category if I consider it safer than diverting.


Nail, head. Fire equipment is a red herring. If I have an accident on or near the airfield with someone’s son or daughter next to me, I want dedicated, properly trained and competent, well equipped people on hand to deal with it (and it’s not just about fire). The CAA requirement for a licensed airfield for flying training was dropped a few years ago but flying training operations still have to demonstrate adequate fire and emergency and emergency cover provision relevant to the size of operation and movements.


OK, let’s start with me saying that as an aircraft commander and an AOC holder I also am aware of the rules as they apply to airliners. A Tutor is not an airliner, it is a light aircraft. You also use the word “Airport” in your post, which is not relevant to a Tutor operation from an RAF airfield.

The dispensation of which you speak refers to a statement made some years ago containing the words “A reduction in fire category does not, in itself, make a flight more dangerous”. I too have landed legally after fire cover has reduced below that required for the operation when the reduction has occurred after take off.

The Civil rules that apply to light aircraft operations (including light aircraft operating public transport flights to an AOC) do certainly allow a suitably equipped Land Rover to be the fire cover.

It has been a mystery to me for some time how the RAF manage to operate civil registered aircraft (Tutor) on what are almost certainly public transport flights (as not all (any?) of the aircraft commanders hold civil instructor’s ratings), without an AOC or civil professional licences. What the RAF do with a military aircraft is up to them, what they do with a civil aircraft surely comes under the CAA rules?


Incorrect, diversion would not be necessary. The airfield would then become an unlicensed airfield and a light aircraft can use an unlicensed airfield. The restriction would be that on a public transport flight the aircraft cannot plan to take off and land at the same unlicensed airfield, but in this case the airfield was licensed at the time of take off.

The Tutor is a civil registered aircraft.


Again, incorrect.

All AEF pilots MUST be licensed in some way, either with a minimum of CPL or PPL.


Many AEF pilots do not hold a civil licence and there is no requirement whatsoever for them to do so, it is a military operated (albeit civil registered) aircraft on a military task / the pilot is acting in the course of his/her military duty.


Incorrect. There would no crash category and therefore as a military airfield operating within GASOs the aircraft would be diverting…

Unless someone submitted a risk assessment and has it approved within the sortie time (that wouldn’t happen).


As fascinating as this is, can we focus on the gliding pause and not the minute details of fire engines? Thanks


Very difficult to concentrate on gliding as there isn’t any!


The shambles of the destruction of the VGS system, the loss of core direction of the Corps and the RAF/MoD’s shocking inability to properly maintain a fleet of gliders and TMGs and even more shocking failure to recover them to service is one thing, however I think that its a bit much to start flaming AEFs for not flying because of a fault with a fire appliance. This is a completely unforseen circumstance and not flying is the correct thing to do IMO. More to the point, regardless of what I or others think and the semantics, the rules say no fire appliance = no fire cover = no flying.

Anyway, back on topic. What did everyone think of the House Of Lords statement on the ATC flying?


Indeed. If we didn’t talk/argue about something else it’d be very quiet in here!


Er no

Unless you are a serving military pilot you must have a ppl or CPL.

All of our pilots are licensed professional pilots bar 4. 1 has a ppl the others are serving


You could be an ex Vigilant A cat or B1 instructor without a CPL or PPL…!


Sorry but not the case. There are plenty of retired pilots, now VRT, with no civil licences at all. And ex VGS with no civil licences.


But all his holders of an RAF (or similar services’) Pilots’ brevet (or VGS equivalent) in accordance with whatever QR it is on their “wings” certificate.


Woop, everyone get their party hats out, our local fully operational VGS has issued our Wing with the 2018 Q1 allocation…

We got 16 places for our wing of circa 1000 cadets…

If only the definition of a fully operation VGS could match fully operational battle station … Grand Moff Tarkin for OC2FTS


HTF are they going to be dished out?

If I was on that Wing I’d arrange a mass email form all account holders, asking if they missed a zero off the end as a joke.

They could hold a raffle, charge a pound a strip and put the money to buying more gliders!!

Winners get to go along spend x hours getting there, spend an hour playing on a sim and then come home as the winch is broken, or, weather’s crap, or, none of the instructors are current, or, the winch is working but no one can operate it!!


Maybe your wings not the primary for that quarter?


Led to believe that this is going to be the regular allocation size moving forwards…

If only the new system was explained and the allocation process clear


Is that 16 Gliding Scholarships…?