Gliding "paused"


This has been discussed to death and will more than likely never happen.


Ohhhh, you dangerous radical you. Maybe each Wing or Region is given a budget and uses a list of companies and clubs in their area and the WAvO or RAvO ring them up or better still go and see them to negioate a price. All the clubs and companies have CAA/BGA licences and as you say they have the ability to teach ‘joe public’ to fly and the ACO use civil companies for flying training already.

This is just keeping FRTS people in a sinecure rather than a job.


Can we trust that the person who signed this announcement will now do the honourable thing and resign after this shambles.I wont hold my breath.


Another severe blow to cadet aviation.

The Vigilants at least provided some ‘powered’ flying experience for cadets. I wonder what will happen to cadets on courses at Topcliffe currently and the slots currently allocated to units?

We are now in the situation where the only cadet flying in the north of England in the AEF at Leeming thanks to this and the lack of action at Woodvale re runway repairs. That can’t be sustainable - as an organisation we now need to ‘think outside the box’ and if the RAF cannot provide a solution then HQAC need to be looking at some kind of tie up with civvie flying and gliding schools.


It would appear that Aunty Dawn is too busy gettin’ down wiv de kids on social media to get a grip of Cmdt 2FTS balls.


Doesn’t mean you don’t reopen the debate.
The problem lies with the RAF/RAFAC not being willing to look at it and preventing progression and just happy with the crap service for cadets and just coming up with opportunities.

That would work, very easily.

Isn’t that what all of the FTRS in the ATC are in at best anyway?


Won’t happen mate - firstly notice how the script implicitly blames Grob and not said oxygen thief, and secondly, if she were to grip said oxygen thief for not doing his job for the last billion years, the question ‘and what exactly have you been doing while this abortion has been unraveling…?’ might be asked of the Great Communicator.

I genuinely can’t write what I think of these people on the internet for fear of the conversation it would cause with the Security Service…


That would mean being honourable and man enough to admit you’ve made a complete dog’s dinner of the gliding from day one and completely beyond your level of competence to deliver.
As you say don’t hold your breath.

So it woukld seem another swathe of the UK with no real cadet flying opportunity.
If something had been done this badly in govt, there would be ministerial resignations and it it’s bad enough the PM, especially if money like has been just thrown away as it has been wrt gliding.

How many thousands of cadets have been let down and not had a real flying experience in the last 4 years, as people hiding behind rank and position have been allowed to blunder along.


Two points, one, the great communicator as you put it should be gripped by AOC 22 Group at their annual report and two, does the OC 2 FTS come under direct control of OC 22 Group or the ‘great commincator’ or does he fall between two masters?

From wiki:

Headquarters No. 2 FTS was heavily criticised for not communicating the plans to withdraw the Vigilant T1 from service and the restructuring resulting in closure of many volunteer gliding squadrons.[9] Criticism was also voiced with respect to its retention policy of volunteer personnel, management of its contracted maintenance organization, failure to achieve continued airworthiness management organisation approval during two years of non-flying[10], limited recovery of aircraft, and the approach for acquiring Part Task Trainers with grants from the RAF Charitable Trust

You really have to ask questions?


He’s got his OBE and his pension so why doesn’t he just ride off into the sunshine?

Just what do these guys have to do to get the sack?


If he rode off into the sunset, would you find somebody else to take over this shambles,not anybody with a ounce of sense.


I say we open a book on how long it takes to update the first class training logbook.

I reckon this time next year it will still have reference to the Vigilant.


More like 10-15 based on the 1968 Spaceflight book, that stated “one day man will land on the moon” and was still in use until the early 80s.

I don’t know why basic cadet books still mention flying and gliding in relation to small aircraft tbph. They could put a hiatus on this until such time as cadets are doing it regularly across the UK again. It’s embarrassing doing this with cadets knowing they’d have more chance winning the Euro and National lotteries in the same two days, (if they are old enough) than getting into either of these.


The loss of Vigilant is going to make the detachments to St Athan interesting…

Guess we’re back to square one with no VGS in Wales! :tada:


Well the Acft Knowledge still references the Tornado F3 so I definetly wouldnt expect any changes.


I wonder if the cockpits of the Vigilants would make good cold frames? Maybe they would make a good basis for a flight sim. Not sure if the engines would be any good for powering grass cutters or mobile saw mills though. However, in the real world i expect they will just get landfilled at vast expense and any metal parts sold for peanuts.


The comments here are positively restrained compared to some on


Oh I can’t wait for the FOI asking for the comms that involve OC 2FTS and this utter farce.
AOC 22 should be getting rid of him now, his posting is a joke too far.

Kudos to 635 and the other VGS bods for trying to stay positive in the last few years…


Out here in the real world, if someone in OC 2FTS’ position had performed that badly the minimum would be some sort of competency process (about 3 years ago) if not a “I think you will be better off working somewhere else”. Probably the latter as I’ve never heard of senior management being put through competency.

If you did take this on part of the interview would be “I’m going to outsource gliding to the private sector and the facilities we’ve built can be used by cadets for camps etc”. If this wasn’t acceptable, you’d walk away.


The Vigilant was never a great training aircraft (a poor powered aeroplane and an even worse glider), but it did allow flying (both Air Experience and training to solo) from within the ACO, staffed and run by CIs, VR(T) officers and best of all STAFF CADETS; all gone now.

The administration of the whole"Pause" has been appalling. If that is the standard of management from the RAF I hope we never have to fight a war. I speak as an ex cadet who went solo in 1966 and has spent my life in aviation including three years as the paid Assistant CFI of a civilian club, 25 years as an active gliding instructor and in excess of 21,000 hours flying. This lot even make BA look quite well run.

AEF is a joke. Cadets spend a day in a windowless room to be taken one at a time (by paid civilian staff) and loaded into a Tutor for a short passenger flight. There is no cadet involvement in any part of the aircraft operation and the pilots rarely bother to even come and talk to the cadets. The last four AEF visits that I have been involved it have all been cancelled (only two because of weather) and one I only discovered was cancelled the day before when I phoned up to ask and was told every one was away on holiday!

The result is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to interest cadets in going.

The ATC is rapidly becoming an organisation of boot stamping and saluting and has very little to do with aviation. The Powerpoint based training is full of major errors and goes in all sorts of bizarre directions that I for one don’t understand.

So why am I writing all this? Finally it has got to me and I am retiring as a CI. I see no future in gliding until the RAF hands it back to the ACO to run, or whatever it is called this month.

The Commandant should be ashamed that gliding has effectively disappeared on her watch without a fight and in return we have a lot of new names and badges and a minor TV celebrity dressed in a Group Captain’s uniform.

I wish the ATC well, but I fear the decline is terminal.