Its Not What It Used To Be (Lost Activities)

Last night, I was chatting to a Staff Cadet who was on their last parade night before ageing out. I’ve known this cadet for the 7 years they have been with us, so it was a very relaxed ‘pull up a sandbag’ style chat about their time in the cadets, and the activities they have been lucky enough to do.
We did find ourselves repeatedly saying, “you can’t do that anymore!”, so it got me wondering.

What activities/opportunities/events/facilities has the Air Cadets lost in the space of one generation (7 years).

Since the cadet and I are both aviation SME’s, our list comes mainly from that, but feel free to add others.

  • Parachuting
  • Motor Gliders
  • Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Training Scheme
  • Air Cadet AEF Course
  • Air Operations Acquaintance Center
  • AEF progression through sorties 1-6
  • Regional Aerospace Courses
  • BTEC in Aerospace Studies (may come back in another guise)
  • Sir Michael Knight pilot scholarship (may return if funding becomes available)
  • Crab football :laughing:

Paragliding seems to have gone too.

I did a course as a cadet in 2016 which was great.


The LSW and its associated equipment


Outdoors drone flying :frowning_face:


Opportunity flights…

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-Nitex/fieldcraft on a parade night at local country park.

  • target rifle shooting and the weird fun comps such as the country life landscape shoots and clay disc such as in the punch trophy. Great fun practising for them.

-aero-modelling and the need to learn project management & budgeting in a practical way.

-aircraft recognition but this might be more due to the RAF not having that many types of aircraft anymore :rofl:


You could do this with a EUF, or an SMS activity. The bar is higher though.

Still possible, I believe, just requires quals.

Also possible still.


Nitex wise there isn’t the qualified staff in the county let alone the sqn. It’s just no longer viable on a parade night.

Shooting wise I think due to how restricted CTR is these days, landscape targets & clay discs (the chalk ones that pop in a cloud of smoke when you shoot them with a .22LR) are no longer permitted shoots.

Not many ATC Sqns did the country life as it was so I don’t think many were even aware what a landscape target (& how to shoot at one)

Ah, right you are. I misread as clay pigeon shooting, which is still okay with NGB quals I believe.

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It was epic fun with cadets.

5 clay discs in 5 bull pattern. 10 round issued.

Bolt open, butt on the floor, round in the hand but not touching the breach.

Then “load” followed 5 seconds later by “fire”

First to shoot all five clays through to next round.

Really great fun.

So whilst we reminiscing - did anyone fire on Landscape targets?

A fantastic experience for cadets. One cadet as a spotter with four firers, shot at 25yards.

So imagine an A2 or A1 poster of a country scene often with a bridge or church or such like.

In the target were aiming marks in the form of circles the size of a 2 pence piece.

The spotter would using a scope then describe the location of the aiming mark, with the firers responding with “seen’ when they understood (or thought they understood) what the spotter was taking about.

“In the centre of the target is a bridge”
“Right of the bridge is a grey blob that is a church”
“2oclock of the church, there is a green blob which is a tree meeting a blue blob that is a lake “seen”
“The centre of Your aiming mark is where the tree meets the lake”

The firers would then all fire at the same target as a “ripple fire” I.e. one after the other with no further command. The spotter would mark the fall of shot on a separate bit of paper for individual scores but otherwise team scored collectively.

Always amusing when you had a really good shot with a nice tight group no where near the aiming mark as they had aimed at the wrong thing.

A really fun shoot that got cadets to think & communicate & not always rely on the staff telling them what to do.

I fear that as this wasn’t particularly common in the ATC, it is a knowledge & skill that is effectively extinct.

Really wish we could return to this sort of shoot.


I loved country life!

Since when/why arent we allowed to do it anymore

opens can of worms


I never did this but heard dits from people who had and always wanted to as a cadet. Would be really good if we could still do it and more squadrons/wings got involved

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I think it’s because it’s not included in the list of approved shoots why we can’t do it anymore (but the people who wrote that list were ATC & never probably cared much less shot the country life).

Anyone know how we could get it reapproved? Or is it dead dead.

(I don’t think rifle clays will come back without a lot of hoop jumping but one can hope)

I remember doing it and our spotter was terrible. My grouping was tight, but nowhere near anything that remotely resembled a target.

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Oh I’m sure it was near a target, just not the one as described. :wink:

The competition is still ran by the CCRS, you just have to enter:

Can’t see why you wouldn’t be allowed to. (Other than local range orders or similar restricting the use of landscape targets)


Never done it or seen it done but we had the full landscape (5x posters making a panoramic scene) around one of the Sqn training classrooms where i was a Cadet so do know exactly the images being discussed

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Our previous dep wing shooting officer used to organise our countrylife shoots and half a dozen sqns took part. We did and it was a nice variation on an already fun activity. I enjoyed it though we were terrible at it!

Then we changed weapon from No 8 to L144 (with the usual year or so pause), changed shooting syllabus, changed Shooting Officer and Deputy, had to submit all shooting events to the RC SW, closed local ranges, converted some of the remaining ones in ARCs to DCCTs, closed all sqn armouries, ran out of ammunition, most staff out of currency.

That’s before we use covid as an excuse too. I won’t go over the additional post-covid hoops. So, hard to pinpoint the exact reason we stopped countrylife!

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Just to swing this thread back on course a little…what other activities etc. have we lost in the last 7 years?