My AEF got cancelled what now?

I was meant to be going flying at 7 AEF (RAF Cranwell) on the First of may, but the flight was cancelled the day before due to bad weather (clouds) . This confuses me, as I was talking to a corporal and he said he had been flying in worse weather. I think it might have something to do with a Grob Tutor flight the day before, because I saw a Grob Tutor Perfect T1 squawk 7700 shortly after take off. Does that have anything to do with it? I’m just worried that I wont have another opportunity to fly.

Hi @x_firescs,

Having a brief look at the weather for tomorrow - id agree with the decision to cancel (at least the morning flights, it might improve in the mid afternoon) due to weather… forecast to have low cloud 300-500’ above the airfield. I doubt the corporal you spoke to went flying in weather like that.

Its not suitable for an AEF flight, i’m certainly delaying my flights with my PPL students til the afternoon.

I’m quite sure its not a fleetwide technical issue - so please don’t worry about that.

Whilst flying spots are rare(r) to be allocated nowadays - dont be dishesrted, keep putting 100% effort into what you do at the squadron and im sure that will be recognised by staff when flights are allocated to your squadron.

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Unfortunately a frequent occurrence. The last three allocations I’ve been slated to take. Asher’s have been cancelled, usually for low cloud but once for the airspace over the AEF being restricted. Seems they only found out about the Queen’s jubilee the day before😒

Also the Grob Tutor that University air sqns operate, and used by AEFs, are different to the Grob Prefects used for elementary flight training at RAF Cranwell. So one having a squawk shouldn’t affect the other type.

It’s very hard to estimate how high clouds are, even for a trained weather observer: if the clouds were 1500ft above Cranwell, you’d be able to fly (though not do aerobatics) but if they were 1000ft you wouldn’t. So your corporal probably looked at it and thought ‘looks the same as when I went’ but really it was a lot lower.

If you think about it, low clouds mean a. increased risk of hitting something tall (CHOM at Cranwell itself!) and b. less time to react if something goes wrong (rare, but possible). So there are quite strict limits on the cloudbase for cadet flying.

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PS something I always do for my cadets if there is a weather cancellation, and I’d recommend others to do if they can, is to send the cadets the actual weather forecast for the station in question and explain it. In our case that’s Benson so I’ll send them the Benson TAF and point out the issue (low cloud, or poor visibility, or strong winds). If you know how to read a TAF then it’s interesting for cadets to see both the ‘raw’ version and the ‘translation’: hopefully they learn something and feel less upset about the cancellation.

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Could be worse, your AEF could have been cancelled because of a lack of pilots,

There is a different tolerance for flying cadets… especially for wind and cloud base

That’s aviation.

When there’s cloud in the skies, wipe those tears from your eyes, that’s aviation.

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I drove through the area this morning. It wasn’t low cloud, it was fog.

There was no way anything was getting airborne that requires VFR.

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