When it comes to flying, even the Brownies are ahead of the ACO


Same for any activity not formally arranged by a sqn…

I believe that there is something pending to allow better GSA involvement but the wheels are turning very slowly. The project needs to move quickly in order to plan ahead for availability, etc.


Do these phrases reside in their lexicon?

It’s never going to move quickly if it’s not something that is regarded as required in their opinions.


So is this an ACO instruction and if so, is it to presere empires and allow flying as such to be removed from the ATC/CCF by the back door. By removing flying there is more of a budget to pay for more VSOs on FTRS salaries.

All this goes to further remove the USP and those in command don’t actually have to think or worse work to resolve the matter, more social media less flying.

The last two CACs have been, as a friend of mine who was ex Regiment put it ‘penguins, all flap no flight’. The CAC previously was both a pilot and navigator and understood the raison d’etre of the RAF and by default the ACO is to fly, that is the primay task.


The last 2 CAC have been administrators and have thought the best way to do things is with administration such that tie us up with forms and paperwork and we can’t actually do anything and when it looks like we might get round it, ref ACTO 35, take it away. The majority of previous CACs have IRRC all been fliers in one way or another.
If anyone remembers the reported view of Cooper was make everything orders, as the volunteers can’t follow instructions, hence ACTI became ACTOs. We’d had instructions for years and used these as a guide, which is what they should be for and somehow the Corps worked well, with minimal interference. Over the last few years the interference has increased with no sign of things being or getting better or easier.
There have been several stabs at admin reduction and only now is this getting anywhere, not to help us directly, but because there have been reductions to HQ staffing. I would put money on the fact if HQs were fully staffed, none of the changes would even be considered.


The fact is that all cadet Flying is regulated by the RAF.
The risks associated with flying young Air Cadets falls squarely into the hands of AOC 22Gp, 6FTS and 2FTS. Anybody who takes on that risk will be very twitchy about anything that falls outside the box that they have limited control over. The modern way of dealing with that is to stop it happening or insist on lots of control measures before it happens.
I don’t believe it’s necessarily senior officers protecting their empire? They would view it as protecting cadets from exposure to risk.


Fixed that for you!


So is that not the same risk when service people and their families are flown by commercial operators, are they not just as valuable.


Heard that line so many times and it doesn’t make any sense at all. I’ve even explained the lack of flying in those terms to parents, who are completely bemused and would be willing to sign a consent form like they do for everything else.

It is ironic that cadet camps where flights are involved use ordinary airlines and not the ever so safe RAF fleet. So why are those mentioned willing to completely overlook the risk there We used to have opportunity flights on commercial carriers, which again all fully approved by the CoC and risks accepted. A crash involving cadets getting injured or worse is still a crash and would attract the same publicity. At this point the argument put forward for not using commercial/public companies loses all validity.

It seems to suggest that the RAF does everything wrt flying so much better than civilian authorities, which overlooks the RAF operates in a small garden container compared to the polo field that civilian authorities do.

It is all about protecting empires. The RAF is on very unsure ground when you take into account how much it has contracted over the last few years and the people on nice salaries and pensions need to ensure they and their mates stay as such. It might not be much, but the ripple effect of losing one or more senior officers somewhere then means those that report to them are under threat.

I was speaking to the nephew of a friend who was a cadet but did a PPL outside as he was never going to get a sniff at a FS. I asked if he saw much difference between the instructors he had at his flying school and the ones he flew with in the cadets and he said none and in fact thought his instructors were better, which begs the question what are the people mentioned so worried about. All of the potential clubs and so on we can tap into would need to be insured, pilots able and aircraft maintained to the appropriate standard. These have a greater imperative than the AEF flying clubs, as if they don’t meet the criteria they lose money, whereas the AEFs have nothing to lose.


Not really, given that there are only 14 Voyagers.

And sending kids off to camp on Hercs - while fun for the cdts - would cost the RAF tens of thousands. It also wouldn’t really save anything because for the majority of the country there’s no local RAF station for them to go from and the cost of landing Crown a/c at airports is astronomical.

As ever, the consideration is £££s.


Fixed that for you.


I know it’s done on a cost / location basis, but the argument that we can’t use local flying/gliding clubs because all of their aircraft are rickety old heaps that will crash if a cadet gets in them and the potential pilots haven’t got a clue, loses all validity, because using commercial airlines is done on such flippant grounds.

Surely the last line is with parents. If the parents are willing to sign the consent form, then why would some senior officer’s opinion matter one jot. Let’s face it the accidents we’ve had have been with the ultra professional pilots at the ‘helm’ and yet we still use these people.


Considering when there Germany/Gibralter/Cyprus camps, cadets used to be flown on contracted Britannia Airways aircraft usually from Luton.


Nope. All “Air Cadet” flying lies at their door. The ACF require County Commandant sign off (with info from TSA). The ACF are merrily making strong links with clubs and doing gliding. Even the CCF can do it easier than we can!!!


Yeh. That’s what I meant to say. Doesn’t really concern me what the ACF do though.


So your not concerned that the ACO is selling a false premise ie: flying to future cadets, the whole raison d’etre for the organisation. The ACO USP is dying or dead.

The Penguins have truly taken over.


Didn’t say I wasn’t concerned about the future. How the ACF source their Flying is up to them. I’m not sure we’re being sold a false premise? I think we have to be realistic about what can be achieved.


What could be achieved would be a great deal more if we weren’t shackled to the RAF’s bubble view of what is and isn’t safe.


Careful now - I may start ranting about the “safe system of training”


You may be happy but would new cadets be happy being sold it in particular when they see the ACF going flying.

Realistic is for HQACO to dedigitate and sort this out.


I agree there is a balance to be had. One of the key factors is history. The risks must be ALARP to minimise RTL. Any DDH has to be concerned with an activity that has killed cadets in the past. Do you really think they’re going to relax their thinking on this overnight? It will take time and a positive track record for things to change?