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Save UK Air Cadet Gliding Petition

Request for Signatures to the Petition to Prevent Heavy Cuts to Locations and Air Fleet

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Terry Walters16/03/2016 14:15:03
1829 forum posts
1068 photos

On March 10th 2016 it was announced that Gliding for UK Air Cadet Organization was being scaled back with heavy cuts to its locations and fleet. This will mean the opportunities for 12-18 year olds to take control of an aircraft and even to learn to fly solo will be severely curtailed.

Volunteer Gliding Squadrons are a part of the Royal Air Force and provide gliding training to Air Cadet Organisations across the UK. They are highly professional units manned by volunteers who are usually not part of the military. They provide an invaluable opportunity for young individuals from all backgrounds to realise their potential.

Poor management and a lack of leadership has led to these units being axed as a quick solution The Petition asks parliament to reverse these cuts

If you were an ex ATC or CCF Cadet or just an interested party then please sign the Petition. If the signatures exceed 100,000 then the matter will have to be debated in Parliament.

The Petition can be found by clicking Here

More Information here

I am not involved with the Volunteer Gliding schools but many of us on this site owe their interest in aviation and or gliding to the RAF Gliding schools and Air experience flights.


FastFlyer Smyth16/03/2016 14:55:18
309 forum posts
12 photos


Colin Leighfield16/03/2016 15:24:30
5977 forum posts
2498 photos

Signed and shared.

Bob Cotsford16/03/2016 15:32:20
8228 forum posts
454 photos


Phil Brooks16/03/2016 15:51:25
464 forum posts
148 photos


Essjay16/03/2016 19:56:30
578 forum posts
1 photos

Signed. Ex ATC 1113 Squadron. Flew gliders at 613 Squadron RAF Halton in the late 60's early 70's.

Incidentally the link to the petition doesn't appear on my iPad. Had to use my PC.


ChrisB16/03/2016 20:07:50
1220 forum posts
34 photos

Although not full size, should/do clubs invite cadets for training/flying.

alan p16/03/2016 20:25:00
241 forum posts
7 photos

Signed. As ex adult staff, gliding reduction is only the tip of the iceburg. AEF(air experience flight) despite the statement is in decline, with cancellation being more common than flight, Shooting is also struggling. More a case of getting the right sound bite with the bureaucrats.

Eagle 89916/03/2016 20:25:39
186 forum posts
19 photos

Signed and shared (ex 1340 Squadron)

Terry Walters16/03/2016 20:54:27
1829 forum posts
1068 photos

Good chaps - keep it up and share it with those who may be sympathetic.


Peter Android16/03/2016 21:16:24
61 forum posts
2 photos

Signed. Thanks for the Heads - Up Terry , I hope the petition helps and will certainly share this .

Terry Walters17/03/2016 16:14:25
1829 forum posts
1068 photos


flight117/03/2016 18:20:49
653 forum posts
33 photos


I just wish i had had the opportunity

Phil Cooke17/03/2016 18:30:46
2434 forum posts
1678 photos


Ex 1873 Sqn cadet - we used to do our gliding at RAF Ternhill. Some great memories. We can't let this experience flying be axed!

Gavin Livsey17/03/2016 18:49:11
113 forum posts

I too would have loved the opportunity as a teenager but this isn't simply a cost cutting exercise. As stated in tha Parliamentary announcement pretty much all VGS flying ceased in 2014 due to airworthiness issues. It seems that a number of factors meant that the gliders were not deemed to be operating safely. There has been a long exercise undertaken to resolve the issues but in the end the cost of getting the fleet up to scratch makes it poor value for money. Whilst the Vigilant fleet is relatively young the Vikings have been around for a fair old while and would probably have needed replacing in the relative short term. I'm surprised that the VGS's have been pretty much unscathed from budget cuts over the years, although I suppose the cost of keeping a Typhoon in the air for several hours would use the budget that would keep gliders aloft for weeks.

A junior member of my club was part way through his training when the gliders were grounded and has been successful in getting some sort of grant to allow him to progress through the RAFGSA. Maybe there might be other opportunities out there?

Edited By Gavin Livsey on 17/03/2016 18:50:46

Tim Lewton17/03/2016 19:10:55
34 forum posts
13 photos

Signed up. Ex ATC 94f sqn ex RAF.

Cutbacks here and overspending there can't keep up with it, my children now go to an academy and losing my Model club because Hs2 will literally be going straight through it. Ooh don't get me started.

Martyn Johnston22/03/2016 07:58:16
811 forum posts
249 photos


The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Save UK Air Cadet Gliding”.

Government responded:

The MOD has confirmed plans to relaunch Air Cadet Aviation to ensure cadet flying opportunities are available whilst delivering value for money.

Air Cadet Gliding had to be paused in 2014 due to safety concerns with our aircraft. A full inspection programme was initiated with a view to recovering all of the aircraft. However after substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of leading aerospace companies, for most of the Vigilant aircraft and a few of the Vikings it no longer represented sensible value for money to continue their repair.

In order to give Cadets the opportunity to start flying again following an Air Cadet Organisation review there will be at least 73 Vikings, a fleet of up to 15 Vigilant aircraft, combined with an increase of an extra 25 Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs) – a more than 50% increase on previous flights. We are committed to returning as many gliders to the skies as possible while ensuring the safety of cadets and instructors. For the first time this will be backed by a range of realistic simulators provided by the RAF Charitable Trust.

The restructured glider fleet will be operated by fewer, but larger, Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS), which will have a regional focus and be better integrated with synthetic training and increased AEF locations. The RAF is fully committed to Air Cadet flying. Where Cadets will have to travel longer distances, we are increasing investment in VGS and AEF sites to include residential accommodation for cadets and staff. In the future cadet flying will be better associated with force development and ground training opportunities alongside the gliding and flying.

The RAF acknowledges this has been a tough period for cadets and instructors and is grateful for the patience and understanding of the Volunteer Gliding Squadron instructors who continue to provide inspiration and leadership to generations of cadets. Air Cadet flying will be safer and far more resilient in the long run; enabling all cadets across the United Kingdom to have equal access to flying opportunities and which better integrates and allocates cadet flying opportunities between realistic synthetic flight simulation, glider flying and an increase of AEF flights.

Ministry of Defence

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