Gliding "paused"


Well that’s slightly better news. So to be clear, those numbers (from defence minister) are people achieving gliding scholarships, not cadets getting airborne?


If they’re are being compared against the 11k awards I would hope the same sort of data is being used. I would say they’re heavily swayed toward blue & bronze level but there are silver and gold happening.

Take into account little riss were the fourth site to be cleared for cadet flying only yesterday to join Topcliffe (cleared March) Syerston (cleared Jun) and Upavon (cleared Oct) so no VGS has had a full year awarding as yet.


But the 11k…is that cadets getting airborne or cadets achieving wings? (I appreciate wings is a loose term, given that the 11k would have been gliding scholarships of some kind and the newer numbers could include blue wings which don’t need any airborne time at all).


11k is the number of GIC GS & AGT from 2013 the sats are all on bader for that year.

The numbers of cadets that have completed gliding courses and been awarded wings in each of the last five years are as follows:

2013 - 11,748
2014 - 1,705
2015 - 53
2016 - 142
2017 - 741

In 2013 and 2014 these courses were across all Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS). In 2015 and 2016 these were with Central Gliding School (CGS) Syerston. In 2017 in addition to CGS, these also include courses with the three VGS that have returned to flight, 637VGS at Little Rissington, 644VGS at Syerston and 635VGS at Topcliffe.

Prior to the gliding pause, which commenced in Apr 2014, there were circa 560 qualified gliding instructors spread over the VGS. Many of these gliding instructors are undertaking ground duties while awaiting completion of their 'return to flying' package. This includes instructing groundschool topics and on the Part Task Trainers which are our ground based simulators.

61 instructors have now completed their 'return to flying' package and regained their gliding instructional qualifications to deliver airborne training to cadets.



Well that has some depressing inaccuracies in it on who’s actually flying.


So is it fake news?


635 disbanded and 637 only cleared for cadets a couple of days ago. The numbers might be right though :thinking:


Yes, I would say so it is like comparing apples with melons. IT is much easier to get wings under the progressive training syllabus (PTS)than it was under the GIC system.

Before, the GIC require 12 launches in a Viking. Blue wings in the PTS is one flight in an aircraft and one in a PTT. When operation get welsh cadets gliding came to St Athan in 2017. All that was on offer was Blue PTS.


That would be three GIC (1,2 &3) awards for 12 launches of course, and the FTP for gliding clearly doesnt recommend just one launch for blue wings.


sorry, I thought it was…
An intro into basic controls via the flight sim followed by a flight in a glider/ tutor to carry out a practical lesson.


Up to 3 flights in a Viking, 20mins vigilant or tutor for blue.

Up to 6 flights in a vikibg, 30mins vigilant or tutor for bronze

Might be some people pushing for lower numbers of flights to get more through but thats not what CFS say who write the course


to be fair it is “one flight” if in a Vigilant although with so few sites (2?) operating them it is silly to believe the message to takeaway is “one flight”


Flew in the Vigilant and gained blue wings today. A step in the right direction for RAFAC aviation one thinks.


Looks like the Vigilant is no more.

Release on Bader

'The 2016 relaunch of Air Cadet Gliding stated we would operate up to 15 Vigilant powered gliders with an Out of Service Date (OSD) of October 2019, 6 having been recovered already. The recovery of remaining 9 Vigilant aircraft relied on an innovative recovery proposal from Grob Aircraft SE. This is no longer an option. The removal of this option, challenging technical support for 2 fleets, and low Vigilant availability mean that continued operation of Vigilant is no longer considered viable. Consequently, we will withdraw the Vigilant glider fleet from service immediately, bringing forward its planned OSD. The Topcliffe VGS will convert to the Viking aircraft earlier than originally planned. This approach will free up engineers and allow the glider engineering enterprise to focus solely on the safe recovery and operation of the Viking fleet.

Comdt 2FTS’


Does this mean 10 AEF is now disbanded?


Why would it mean that? 10 AEF operate the Tutor.

631 operate the Vigilant out of Woodvale.



When they get enough airframes?


Thank you for that, many a happy day at Woodvale. I remember when 635 were at Sealand 631 at Burtonwood and 10 AEF, all with an hour of my squadron by road,


Chipmunk days at woodvale were long but once it was your turn to get suited and booted I know I got excited and couldn’t wait to be flying :slight_smile: And then a weeks gliding course at Sealand and going solo after 4 days has to be up there for me. I have since been to woodvale before they stopped flights for cadets when we had 4 cadets and due to weather only 1 got to get airbourne, but when the cadets were sat around waiting to fly they didn’t seem as excited as it was back in my day…they were all head down playing with their phones or listening to the crap they listen to nowadays :confused: It was a struggle to get those 4 cadets to go, and when ever we mention gliding no one seems interested.