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  1. #1

    Official Discussion thread for the proposed cuts to the Air Cadet flying program

    It's said that the only thing that travels faster than the speed of light is a rumour. We're starting this thread to address a rumour that hit the internet on Friday that's caused a fair amount of concern in the Air Cadet universe.

    The three cadet organizations are supported by the Department of National Defence who, like every government department, needs to find ways to lower their level of spending to help the federal government reduce the deficit. For the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, one of the largest single area of expenditure is the flying and gliding program. A number of proposals were put forward at the national level as part of a series of discussion trying to find the most efficient way to deliver flight training and familiarizaton flights to air cadets.

    One of those proposals, ending the Air Cadet Gliding Program (ACGP) in favour of an expanded flying program, hit the internet on Friday. While this particular communication said it was a done deal and air cadet gliding was going to end on 1 September 2013, subsequent messages have stressed that this is only one of several proposals put forward and that no, I say again, NO final decision has been made.

    Please feel free to use this thread to ask questions (which we will answer as we have more information) and for you to express what the Air Cadet Gliding Program means to you.

    Please do NOT use this thread to spread rumours or post links to other groups or sites. It is important that cadets and staff conduct themselves in a professional manner and not run off in a mad panic based on incomplete information.

    However - Given that this information has already been widely distributed (unfortunately extremely prematurely, thus instilling wide spread viral panic) We WILL support allowing discussion on it here - It IS okay to discuss your concerns here - This is what CW is here for.

    Should you hear a rumour, a subject matter expert will be along as soon as possible to dispel/confirm/discuss your post.

    We WILL keep you as informed as possible, but we will ONLY publish approved communication that has been approved for the widest distribution.

    Should you have a specific concern - Please address it to me personally.

    Sylena Urbanoski
    Every person is in some way, my superior.- Emerson


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  3. #2
    Is this thread open to the public? I am just curious as some of the things we say on here could get "interesting" and we don't want the media to use it our of context.
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  5. #3
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  6. #4
    Thanks for putting this thread up, keep the updates posted. The future looks interesting to say the least...
    CI Balasch
    "Good leadership is like flying by the seat of your pants, you only realise how much you enjoyed it once you've flown out of the clouds..." -Ex WOI 862 Lambeth Lightning

  7. #5
    I say why not make program, an specialized course, open it up to 3-5 cadets, others can use the simulator or something. Make the cadets earn it, or cut back on the Power.
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  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2597 View Post
    I say why not make program, an specialized course, open it up to 3-5 cadets, others can use the simulator or something. Make the cadets earn it, or cut back on the Power.
    Explain this idea further...
    CI Balasch
    "Good leadership is like flying by the seat of your pants, you only realise how much you enjoyed it once you've flown out of the clouds..." -Ex WOI 862 Lambeth Lightning

  9. #7
    Neoupa2002 is on a distinguished road Neoupa2002's Avatar
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    You can by FSX, a joystick and a computer at your local computer store anytime.

    Cadets want to be actual stick and rudder pilots, not sim pilots.

    If they manage to shut down the flying program, it might be a long time until we see the program stood up again.

    If they do shut it down, there's going to be less glider and private pilot licenses issued...less pilots.

    Can you really accommodate the existing cadet flying needs via contracting out to different places? For Power scholarships it is, seeing there's almost a flight school/club in every regional airport and it already is contracted out. But how about for Glider scholarships?
    Leung, J gliderwingspowerwings
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  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2597 View Post
    I say why not make program, an specialized course, open it up to 3-5 cadets, others can use the simulator or something. Make the cadets earn it, or cut back on the Power.
    What a fantastic use for this thread - Proposals for how to see cuts in the program done for the benefit of the whole.

    I'm proud of you guys!

    What other ideas can we talk about?

    Sea Cadets - What if the first cut was to your racing program? Army Cadets - What if it was to the adventure/excursion program?

    Can you relate to how the air cadets feel by drawing a comparison?

    Sylena Urbanoski
    Every person is in some way, my superior.- Emerson


  11. #9
    I posted this as a reply to an earlier topic:

    I haven't weighed in on this thread yet, but one of the more radical ideas I floated in the past was scrapping the gliding program entirely in favour of this. I don't think we can have it both ways, unless the League wins the Lotto Max jackpot or something...

    There are several advantages to doing so: First, it can be run year-round, and not just on weekends either. It can be done during evenings also. Second, it requires less staff - you basically need the fam pilot, and don't require tow pilots, winch operators, retrieve drivers, etc. And third, for squadrons in more remote areas, you can bring the plane to them, instead of subjecting the whole squadron to a long bus ride.

    Of course, in terms of actually getting cadets up in the air, gliding still represents the best bang for the League's buck, especially when using winch or auto tow. The 2-33A is much, much cheaper to maintain, and nearly all of its maintenance (and that of our Scouts) is done in-house.
    Sure, it's going to be a shock to the system, but life will go on. The Royal Canadian Air Cadet program existed and thrived without the gliding program between 1941 and 1965 and will do so again if that's what is decided.

    That said, I wish the "Save the Gliding Program" group well in their endeavour. I think everyone would much rather see the flying programs maintained at their current levels.
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  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Neoupa2002 View Post
    You can by FSX, a joystick and a computer at your local computer store anytime.

    If they do shut it down, there's going to be less glider and private pilot licenses issued...less pilots.
    What exactly is your point?

    "Figures received on a regular basis from Transport Canada and the Canadian Airline Pilots Association reveal that one out of every five Private Pilots in Canada at the present time are ex-Air Cadets and 63 percent of the Commercial Airline Pilots flying today got their start in Air Cadets."

    These are the numbers: 20% of the 60 000+ PPL licencees in Canada are ex-Air cadets. That's roughly 12,000.

    More than half of the commercial pilots in Canada are ex-Air Cadets. It would be interesting to see how many of them earned their wings through Cadets. I feel this figure could be a deal breaker.

    It does not say anywhere if these ex-Air cadets got their licences with the program etc. Even less if they took the gliding licence before completing their PPL. Only 320 candidates graduate from Glider every year. For an organization with 23,000 cadets, I would say that the program does not seem to be available or be profitable to a large portion of the possible candidates.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200606222...laneur/3_e.asp

    The power scholarship has a similar problem: only 260 candidates graduate.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200612070...se/intro_e.asp

    "No statistics are available as to how many Air Cadets join the Canadian Forces, however, it is estimated that 28 percent of the flying, technical and administrative members serving in the "Air Force" today had some form of Air Cadet training. Even more important, the wastage rate among ex-Air Cadets joining the service is almost nil."

    This paragraph is confusing and maybe a little misleading. Make your own interpretation of it.

    http://www.aircadetleague.com/en/supportingaircadets/

    F.R. Bosse, BA(Hons.), G.Dip, rmc

  13. #11
    Do most ACGP pilots go on to do Power, or is that usually a seperate stream?

    I really hope any DND cuts are minimal for impact upon the CCO.

    There are some similarities between the Canadian and UK gliding programmes, but two major differences are sponsors (AC League versus RAF 22 Group), and maybe glider launch mechanisms?

    I take it you folks are mainly (all?) tow launch? Our Volunteer Gliding Squadrons are either winch-launch Vikings or self-launch motorised Vigilants.

    Unsure of the economics (but I have a feeling ours will be as cost-effective as possible) or the comparative fleet scales (will check this out when I can).

    Let's hope the RCAirC GP is maintained as far as possible, and it's just a cold wind on the costs horizon, not a storm.

    wilf_san
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  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by wilf_san View Post
    Do most ACGP pilots go on to do Power, or is that usually a seperate stream?
    While Glider isn't officially a prerequisite for Power, they're generally seen as being in the same stream of summer courses. Cadets can go on the Glider course at age 16, compared to age 17 for the Power course, so if the cadet is successful in the scholarship application process for both years, they can complete the courses in back-to-back summers. All of the Glider course graduates that I know applied, at least, for Power, with the sole exception of one who couldn't really participate in cadets in the year after Glider, due to university.
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  15. #13
    Neoupa2002 is on a distinguished road Neoupa2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC 24409 View Post
    What exactly is your point?

    "Figures received on a regular basis from Transport Canada and the Canadian Airline Pilots Association reveal that one out of every five Private Pilots in Canada at the present time are ex-Air Cadets and 63 percent of the Commercial Airline Pilots flying today got their start in Air Cadets."

    These are the numbers: 20% of the 60 000+ PPL licencees in Canada are ex-Air cadets. That's roughly 12,000.

    More than half of the commercial pilots in Canada are ex-Air Cadets. It would be interesting to see how many of them earned their wings through Cadets. I feel this figure could be a deal breaker.

    It does not say anywhere if these ex-Air cadets got their licences with the program etc. Even less if they took the gliding licence before completing their PPL. Only 320 candidates graduate from Glider every year. For an organization with 23,000 cadets, I would say that the program does not seem to be available or be profitable to a large portion of the possible candidates.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200606222...laneur/3_e.asp

    The power scholarship has a similar problem: only 260 candidates graduate.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200612070...se/intro_e.asp

    "No statistics are available as to how many Air Cadets join the Canadian Forces, however, it is estimated that 28 percent of the flying, technical and administrative members serving in the "Air Force" today had some form of Air Cadet training. Even more important, the wastage rate among ex-Air Cadets joining the service is almost nil."

    This paragraph is confusing and maybe a little misleading. Make your own interpretation of it.

    http://www.aircadetleague.com/en/supportingaircadets/
    I forgot to quote PO O'Rourke's post, it was in relation to that. I wholeheartedly support in not doing away with the flying program.

    I know that many commercial pilots in Canada were former Air Cadets, thus the disappearance of the program would be generating fewer commercial pilots.

    My point was that if you convert the flying to simulators as posted before, then what makes the flying so special in Air Cadets when you can buy your own copy of FSX and your own loadout for your computer to fly a flight simulator?
    Leung, J gliderwingspowerwings
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  16. #14
    lmckeown is on a distinguished road lmckeown's Avatar
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    Alright, I know there are huge problems with my suggestion, but I'd like to bounce it off you guys and see what happens.

    So a while back, a buddy of mine got an email from Lycoming, the engine manufacturer of most Cessna's. They mentioned an new mixture of fuel that has been approved by Lycoming that will offset the cost of fuel from about 85$ / hour to 35 - 45 $ per hour. And as an added bonus, you can get an additional 1-2 hours , give or take , extra endurance on one tank. The Mixture differs from engine to engine, but there is an official list per engine. It is a concoction of 50:50. 50% AVGAS ( Current Fuel ) and 50% 94 Octane unleaded fuel from certain gas stations ( like Petrol Canada) . You first start with 75:25 in one tank and slowly ween onto 50 / 50, then do it for the other tank
    .

    I am not aware if its certified by Cessna, but the Engine Manufacturer gives the Green light.

    The ACGP uses quite a lot of AVGAS in Air Ops, perhaps looking into this might help with the cost.

    Also there are a few conners that could be cut. For instance. Funding for lunches, I know I loved getting them, but 2 hamburgers for about 7-14 people, 2 days a week for X amount of weeks, times X amount of flying sites, does add up.

    And this is just throwing a bone, but anyone consider sponsorship? Air Canada Pilot's Association, Westjet, CAE ? With sponsors that could differ the cost, and secure a steady pool of potential candidates for certain companies.

    Anyways those are my thoughts,
    gliderwingsaircsm1powerwings
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  17. #15
    Lt Ferreira is on a distinguished road Lt Ferreira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmckeown View Post
    And this is just throwing a bone, but anyone consider sponsorship? Air Canada Pilot's Association, Westjet, CAE ? With sponsors that could differ the cost, and secure a steady pool of potential candidates for certain companies.
    I don't think corporate sponsors will work. They already sponsor the league most likely helping to purchase the aircraft initially as well as sponsoring individual squadrons.

    I somewhat agree that looking into the fulltime staff and laying some off during the off season should be taken into consideration. Do we really need RCAOPS fully staffed when gliding operations are stood down for the winter months?
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  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by 2Lt Ferreira View Post
    I don't think corporate sponsors will work. They already sponsor the league most likely helping to purchase the aircraft initially as well as sponsoring individual squadrons.
    I have always wondered what ex-cadets provide to the program later on.

    To use some of RMC's info


    Quote Originally Posted by RMC 24409 View Post
    63 percent of the Commercial Airline Pilots flying today got their start in Air Cadets.
    In 1999, there were 24,000 non-private Canadian Pilots. If 63% of those pilots (15,120) donated $1 per week, that would add $786,240 per year into the Air Cadet League's coffers.

    Could that help support the flying program?

    I know that a large portion of ex-cadets do give back to the program, however sometimes financial support has a larger impact over moral support.

  19. #17
    lmckeown is on a distinguished road lmckeown's Avatar
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    I was given a figure: $15 Million CAN, per year, as being the Operating cost of the ACGP.

    If that amount is correct , I'd like to be honest by saying its not as much as I thought it would be.

    I mean, I've seen where some of the funding goes and there could be a few cuts we could live with.

    It would seem that a lot of people seem to take this move to be negative, but has anyone looked at the positive? Perhaps this is a step in evolving the program to suit the needs of Present and Future Cadets better than the old ACGP could.

    Although I support the Gliding program and was proud to be apart of it, maybe an expanded Power program would benefit the cause more.

    Possibly having Options we saw with Advanced Power.

    Isn't the goal of many cadets to achieve their Pilot Licence?

    Again, in complete honesty, a Glider Licence proves useless unless planning to stay in the program, or flying gliders at a civilian club, where as a Private Pilot Licence can be used for Recreational or Professional flying at any airport with aircraft.

    And just to make it clear, I'm not saying the gliding program should be closed. I fully support it.
    I just brought this up as a possible solution to further the flying program.
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  20. #18
    lmckeown is on a distinguished road lmckeown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilf_san View Post
    I take it you folks are mainly (all?) tow launch? Our Volunteer Gliding Squadrons are either winch-launch Vikings or self-launch motorised Vigilants.
    wilf_san
    We have 3 Methods to launching the SGS-2-33A Glider across the country.

    Aero-Tow: The most expensive and widly used form involving our gliders towed by either;
    Cessna L-19 BirdDogs (In Eastern Region they are modded to be Super Dogs)
    Cessna 182 SkyHawks (Pacific Region) and
    Ballanca 8GCBC Scout ( Used by mostly Central Region )

    Winch-Tow : Roman's Design Winch used to tow the Gliders. Less Expensive than Aero tow, and Used less as much

    Auto-Tow: The Least common form is by attaching a tow rope to a vehicle with sufficient torque and having it pull the aircraft for takeoff.
    gliderwingsaircsm1powerwings
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  21. #19
    Can someone explain how running a power flying program with planes that require fuel and engine maintenance would be less expensive to run than the ACGP? Where the ACGP is so dependant on weather, it results in a shorter season and a greater risk for days that are not suitable for flying. Less flying days on a plane with no engine = less cost, no? Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by lmckeown View Post
    We have 3 Methods to launching the SGS-2-33A Glider across the country.

    Aero-Tow: The most expensive and widly used form involving our gliders towed by either;
    Cessna L-19 BirdDogs (In Eastern Region they are modded to be Super Dogs)
    Cessna 182 SkyHawks (Pacific Region) and
    Ballanca 8GCBC Scout ( Used by mostly Central Region )

    Winch-Tow : Roman's Design Winch used to tow the Gliders. Less Expensive than Aero tow, and Used less as much

    Auto-Tow: The Least common form is by attaching a tow rope to a vehicle with sufficient torque and having it pull the aircraft for takeoff.
    In the ten years I have been gliding (as a passenger) at RGS(A), I have flown both aero-tow and winch-tow only once. Every other time has been auto-tow.
    Last edited by J.Gillis; 29th April 2013 at 04:16.
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  22. #20
    dhillon will become famous soon enough dhillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Gillis View Post
    Can someone explain how running a power flying program with planes that require fuel and engine maintenance would be less expensive to run than the ACGP? Where the ACGP is so dependant on weather, it results in a shorter season and a greater risk for days that are not suitable for flying. Less flying days on a plane with no engine = less cost, no? Am I missing something?



    In the ten years I have been gliding (as a passenger) at RGS(A), I have flown both aero-tow and winch-tow only once. Every other time has been auto-tow.
    In my time as an air cadet in PAC Region I've never seen auto tow but rather air tow was the norm from 2001 to 2005, I believe.

    In Central Region, I believe it's also been Air tow in my experience talking with Air officers.


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