Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1838659
I was not in the Air Cadets, was too far away from where we lived out in the sticks...! My first flight, aged 9 was with good old Brymon Airways, BN Islander, Plymouth to Cherbourg, approx 1977. Me and my Dad were the only pax on board and we sat right behind the (single) pilot who was very friendly and informative. That trip was entirely responsible for a lifelong passion that has lasted to date.
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#1838696
mpk wrote:
In 84 at Halton went up in a Venture ZA633, don't know where that one ended up. So looks like they had gliders but no Chipmunks at Halton?


Yes there were at least 2; one had a glider towing hook (613 GS occasionally used it to position gliders to/from Bovingdon when we did the occasional detachment there) but they were established as a 'station flight' mainly for currency of any GD pilots on station and to provide air experience to the brats.
Once 613 GS switched to SLMGs I dare say they were dis-established and the brats were flown in Ventures and Vigilants instead usually by the said GD aircrew who had to do 10 hours solo on type before taking passengers.
#1838724
Best thing about being slammed up in boarding school was CCF RAF activities:

Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.




Chipmunk AEFs at Hamble - The smell : Metal, oil and ....err...puke.

Alouette and Wessex rides - From the cricket green during 'CCF day'. The Commando kids were beside themselves with jealousy at that point ('Yeah, go paddle your canoes why don't you, us 'Space Cadets' are going up in this sucker!' etc )

VC10 rides out of Brize - Endless touch and go's and, as it was configured with only a few seats, a gang of Cadets rolling up and down the cabin on take-off and landing was standard ops. I distinctly remember standing in the cockpit doorway for the crosswind landings and gaining a real sense of yaw corrections on approach !

Cadet Camp at RAF Wyton- Drill practice with a real Flight Sergeant who was apoplectic at the standard of our capabilities :shock: I think he said something about ballet dancers. 'Helping' change the undercarriage on Canberras and having the run of the airfield from Friday 4pm onwards when the RAF closed!

Gliding Course at Kenley : Just the best thing, Sedburghs and Mk3s of course. A two week course , went solo in 4 days , thought that was clever .....and had to hang around for the remaining 10 days to 'help out'. Fool. We helped dig around the buried Spitfires in between duties of holding glider wing tips and making tea.

Great fun , but I wonder if just a fraction of these things are possible or even allowed these days??
I haven't even mentioned the liberal use of Thunderflash grenade things on night exercises (ever seen how high a steel helmet goes when places over one of those !?), the 13 yr olds with access to an armory and rifle range and blasting at radio controlled aircraft with shotguns! (With prior arrangement and suitably Swastika'd models, of course.) I seem to remember we also had a Bren Gun... surely it wasn't live? I think the Bren Group just ran around on exercises and parade days looking meaningful, hope so anyway!

This wasn't that long ago, just saying.
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#1838759
Mike Tango wrote:
ADIRU777 wrote:First ever flights for me were as a spotty ATC Cadet (1571 Squadron - Tottenham Grammar School) flying from White Waltham in AEF Chipmunks in 1966/7. The enjoyment of that time hardened my resolve to become a pilot.

Trained at Hamble and retired from professional flying in 2008. I now have a share in an aircraft at Waltham. Interesting how things have gone full circle.

I don't have any records of those flights and would be really interested if anyone has any details of the particular 'Chippies' that were in service at WW at that time.


I don’t think the aircraft were shuffled between AEFs very frequently, so an educated guess might possibly be one or more of WB550, WD331, WK609 and WZ856 as they were with 6 AEF, by then at Benson, at the point the Chipmunk was withdrawn from AEF service.


Thanks very much for that very useful info 'Mike Tango' :thumright:
#1838772
Steve C64 wrote:Best thing about being slammed up in boarding school was CCF RAF activities:

Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.


You weren’t at Churchers in Petersfield where you, I know they had one and would have done Chippie at Hamble?
#1838790
foxmoth wrote:
Steve C64 wrote:Best thing about being slammed up in boarding school was CCF RAF activities:

Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.


You weren’t at Churchers in Petersfield where you, I know they had one and would have done Chippie at Hamble?


This was late 70 and early 80s at Ardingly in Sussex and the Chippy flights were at Hurn if I remember correctly. 40 years later I'm still trying to keep my lunch down ;-)
#1838822
School CCF/RAF 1956, first flights Chipmunk and Anson at RAF Hawarden ( opposite side of field to de Havs ). Gliding course 1957 at Cosford (633 GS). Flying course of 10 hrs in Chipmunks at Leuchars in 1958.Flights in Vampire T11, Valleta,and Hastings.Last flight as a cadet in USAF VC118 from Northolt to Leuchars. Joined BGGC at Nympsfield in 1976 and 634 VGS at St Athan later the same year. Left 634 as C.O. in96 . Started PPL on Piper J3 and Tomahawk in 85 , PPL in 86. Final flight Dec 2017.
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#1838870
Steve C64 wrote:
VC10 rides out of Brize - Endless touch and go's and, as it was configured with only a few seats, a gang of Cadets rolling up and down the cabin on take-off and landing was standard ops. I distinctly remember standing in the cockpit doorway for the crosswind landings and gaining a real sense of yaw corrections on approach !


You’ve not stood in the cockpit of an aircraft bashing the circuit unless you’ve stood in the cockpit of Concorde whilst it’s bashing the circuit :wink:
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#1838882
Steve C64 wrote:
foxmoth wrote:
Steve C64 wrote:Best thing about being slammed up in boarding school was CCF RAF activities:

Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.


You weren’t at Churchers in Petersfield where you, I know they had one and would have done Chippie at Hamble?


This was late 70 and early 80s at Ardingly in Sussex and the Chippy flights were at Hurn if I remember correctly. 40 years later I'm still trying to keep my lunch down ;-)


AFAIK Chippies were still at Hamble until the airfield closed in (IIRC) 1982, you may have flown from Hurn after that.
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#1838948
Steve C64 wrote:Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.


We had one of those. The very last time it ever came out, a boy who had just been on a gliding course and gone solo was at the controls. Because he was so experienced, the spoilers were taken off the wings and the teacher in charge encouraged the bungee-pulling team to give it their all. The pilot had just learnt how to do winch launches, so he pulled back hard on the stick and soared up to at least 50ft - where everything stopped. Fortunately he pushed forward as hard as he had pulled, and somehow avoided stalling. He then turned and landed on a rugby pitch, narrowly avoiding several boys.

The RAF came and took the glider away after that. I can't think why!
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#1839021
Adrian wrote:
Steve C64 wrote:Our own T38 Grasshopper - Didn't come out too often, unsurprisingly.


We had one of those. The very last time it ever came out, a boy who had just been on a gliding course and gone solo was at the controls. Because he was so experienced, the spoilers were taken off the wings and the teacher in charge encouraged the bungee-pulling team to give it their all. The pilot had just learnt how to do winch launches, so he pulled back hard on the stick and soared up to at least 50ft - where everything stopped. Fortunately he pushed forward as hard as he had pulled, and somehow avoided stalling. He then turned and landed on a rugby pitch, narrowly avoiding several boys.

The RAF came and took the glider away after that. I can't think why!



My school was rumoured to have one stashed away in a loft somewhere. No one ever found it, searches were not comprehensive. Did the RAF collect them all?
#1839068
rogerb wrote:..
Steve C64 wrote:Our own T38 Grasshopper - ..


..


My school was rumoured to have one stashed away in a loft somewhere. No one ever found it, searches were not comprehensive. Did the RAF collect them all?


Each CCF/RAF unit used to have (may still have) a designated RAF 'Liaison' SNCO, who was responsible for a number of CCFs. These were to be regularly visited. Because many boarding schools with CCFs used to have Grasshoppers, one of the things the SNCO was meant to check on was the condition of the Grasshopper if held. For this reason, the SNCOs were usually drawn from the airframe engineer trades. For those trades, such posts were favourites among those nearing the end of their contract years: relatively static, physically undemanding, and with generous miliage allowances :) So, in theory, all the Grasshoppers should have been traced and removed for disposal when the other wooden VGS gliders (Cadets and Sedberghs) were, which was when the mainteance team at St Athan was finally disbanded.

It caused some resentment among the airframe trades when other trades were allowed to apply for these 'cushy' posts :wink:
#1839113
kanga wrote: So, in theory, all the Grasshoppers should have been traced and removed for disposal when the other wooden VGS gliders (Cadets and Sedberghs) were, which was when the maintenance team at St Athan was finally disbanded.

They were.
There was a hangar (canvas of course) full of them at Halton in about '75 I think; my ATC Squadron Commander (about 10 miles from Halton) heard about this and asked 'can we have one' and one was delivered!!
rogerb liked this
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