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RAF Slingsby T.31 Cadet Mk III Last Flights 22 June 1985

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RAF Slingsby T.31 Cadet Mk III Last Flights 22 June 1985

Old 6th Apr 2021, 16:44
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RAF Slingsby T.31 Cadet Mk III Last Flights 22 June 1985

Taken by Eoin MacDonald of 661 VGS RAF Kirknewton.


...and yes, the final turn was ALWAYS made at 150 feet....!!!

I guess there will be a lot of ex ATC cadets who will remember this.

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Old 6th Apr 2021, 17:38
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Supposedly over the downwind boundary of the airfield.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 17:55
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No, not always...

Didn't bother me then, as I was only 16 and ruled the world, but looking back on it after 40 years of gliding (on and off), I think it was bordering on the dangerous....
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 18:12
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Originally Posted by uuoret View Post
I guess there will be a lot of ex ATC cadets who will remember this.
I do indeed, though I was CCF rather than ATC, and my course was a bit farther north (Arbroath, 662 VGS).

HMS Condor (as was) had several other advantages over Kirknewton - a bar that would serve 16-year-olds , and hangars stuffed with assorted Seahawks, Scimitars, Hunters and Westland's finest, reflecting Condor's FAA engineering role.

Bit I also knew the area around Kirknewton and Ratho well, as I lived only a few miles away - the quiet roads around there were a favourite spot for bike rides and, later, for driving lessons
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 06:19
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Happiest days of my life, apart from family of course. Staff Cadet on 613 at Halton. It was nice to see the winch driving shots. I loved winching. It became a matter of pride to be good at it. Had a whole month of it after being grounded for a flying misdemeanor. [beyond the base boundary.] Ah, 16 was so long ago!.
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 16:51
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Burtonwood for me. Release the cable and head to the motorway services then climb in the thermal above the service station kitchen. Once the thermal starts to thin out you should have enough height for a nice long downwind leg. That was 45 years ago !!!!!
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 17:20
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It was Kirknewton for me with 661 GS as it was then.

Went solo in Mk III WT906 after 29 launches and 1 hour 42 minutes on 20 October 1974, aged 16. Kept on a a staff cadet until 1977.
Flew into lift at the top of a launch a couple of months later (I had NO idea what was happening!!) and got my "C" for soaring.....
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 22:14
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The Best Basic World Class Training System EVER

You could drag those machines out TODAY and the system would still work, all with a minimum of paperwork and such like.
On a weeks course solo's popping off at 19+ launches and everyone doing something and enjoying it.
I still remember my first MK3 ride age 13 with that 'rocket like' climb (apart from the speed) and the fantastic view from that egg crate like cockpit with arms resting on the edge.
If one was lucky enough to get 'employed' as a staff cadet then life was amazing, and probably a life changing experience with decision making and self development. The World has changed dramatically since those days, but I struggle to find a compatible operation that allowed so much freedom and gave so much real experience.
One of the Corps Gliding best attributes were Cadets arriving at a 'school' (as was) to find it being run by other cadets; this was a great boost to the system as it self generated the operation in a very seamless manner.
Anyway get the fretwork fighters back again, dope them in training silver with a yellow trim, throw away the silly goggles** and headsets, and hey ho we could have another
WORLD CLASS BASIC TRAINING TO SOLO SYSTEM again. ** Mk 8's excepted. VERY BEST WISHES TO ALL THAT MADE IT WORK Pobjoy (PC) 615 GS We need a post covid reunion at Kenley for those still around from the 70's before we pop our clogs.
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 23:14
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Agree with you POBJOY.
I was still short of my 18th birthday and still at school when the CFI, after doing 5 launches with me in very rough weather, told me that as from that moment I was a P2 grade pilot and 'here is your first air experience cadet.'
On that day also, there was a Scout Jamboree on part of the airfield (Halton) and several scouts who were pupils at the same school as I were amazed to see me taking a leading role.
To look back and know that I flew several hundred more cadets on AEG flights, many of those having their first ever flight in anything, makes me proud of the system which we operated in those days.
Years later I went on to fly a few cadets on their 'first ever' flights in microlights (which were only about 5 - 10 kts faster than a Mk3) at Halton and I'm proud of that too; pity that although HQAC funded microlight Flying Scholarships they wouldn't fund AEF in spite of the fact AOC Air Cadets at that time (1991) came down from Newton and flew one (Cyclone AX3s initially) and pronounced himself very happy with them.

Last edited by chevvron; 8th Apr 2021 at 09:25.
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 23:18
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I never wore goggles for any of my 254 launches / 24 hours (Total Time) in Mk 3 and Barges, although I can remember wiping the ice build-up off my eye brows after one particular very cold Mk 3 flight.
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 23:21
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Originally Posted by VX275 View Post
I never wore goggles for any of my 254 launches / 24 hours (Total Time) in Mk 3 and Barges, although I can remember wiping the ice build-up off my eye brows after one particular very cold Mk 3 flight.
I was issued with goggles but only ever used them on my motorbike.
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Old 7th Apr 2021, 23:47
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I recognise many faces, the hangar was condemned and locked shut shortly after this was filmed, as it was lined with asbestos.
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Old 8th Apr 2021, 08:20
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Wonderful film. Brings back memories of my week at Hawkinge in 1958 flying WT918 and XA282, with up to 11 launches in a day. A Cert on the third day after 19 duel with Flt Lt Matthews and Ladley, and Fl Off Mares and Whittenbury. B cert same day. Finally a couple of passenger flights in WT915 with J/T Hewitt. I can't remember why we did those last two. I was bitten by the gliding virus, as I went on flying them for a number of years after.

Laurence
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Old 8th Apr 2021, 10:45
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Leading from the front

Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Agree with you POBJOY.
I was still short of my 18th birthday and still at school when the CFI, after doing 5 launches with me in very rough weather, told me that as from that moment I was a P2 grade pilot and 'here is your first air experience cadet.'
On that day also, there was a Scout Jamboree on part of the airfield (Halton) and several scouts who were pupils at the same school as I were amazed to see me taking a leading role.
To look back and know that I flew several hundred more cadets on AEG flights, many of those having their first ever flight in anything, makes me proud of the system which we operated in those days.
Years later I went on to fly a few cadets on their 'first ever' flights in microlights (which were only about 5 - 10 kts faster than a Mk3) at Halton and I'm proud of that too; pity that although HQAC funded microlight Flying Scholarships they wouldn't fund AEF in spite of the fact AOC Air Cadets at that time (1991) came down from Newton and flew one (Cyclone AX3s initially) and pronounced himself very happy with them.
An important comment re AOC coming along and actually FLYING the machine. He did not come along to give them a brief on Twitter or Faceless book but could FLY a machine. The only way to head up an organisation and we know what happens when that does not happen. Venture Adventure, the message is still the same now if they could get themselves sorted.
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Old 8th Apr 2021, 12:17
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Blimey did I actually trust my life to one of those ?. 635 Squadron at Burtonwood in early / cold 1969. Had to get my dad to take me there because I was too young to drive.

Long before the M62 and Burtonwood services.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 02:22
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
An important comment re AOC coming along and actually FLYING the machine. He did not come along to give them a brief on Twitter or Faceless book but could FLY a machine. The only way to head up an organisation and we know what happens when that does not happen. Venture Adventure, the message is still the same now if they could get themselves sorted.
AOC Air Cadets (or whatever they're called nowadays) often isn't even aircrew now let alone a pilot.
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