During the current pause in VGS Gliding, OC 2 FTS arranged for VGS staff to fly in the Grob Tutor with the Air Experience Flights (AEF). The slots have been arranged on days where no ATC Cadets have been available, so as not to reduce the opportunities provided to cadets. The sessions at 3 AEF are split between gliding instructors from 621 VGS Hullavington and from 624 VGS at Chivenor.
Commencing in November 2014, 3 AEF have been able to arrange to provide 2-one day sessions each month, each with 8 half hour flying slots for VGS staff with 4 flying in the morning and the second 4 in the afternoon. The ninth such day session took place on 4 February 2015, in bright sunshine, with a mix of 7 instructors from 621 and 1 from 624. After so long without gliding it was really enjoyable for VGS staff to take part in 3 AEF’s activities in such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
It was interesting to see how the AEF operations differed from VGS operations where the morning briefing is communal for all staff, whereas at AEF each pilot self-briefs in Operations. Interesting too is the way each Tutor pilot is allocated a designated area to fly in. Equipped with a transponder, each Tutor is monitored by Bristol Radar and receives warnings of other traffic that may affect its flight. The radio workload seemed quite high after the relative tranquillity of a glider cockpit!
On behalf of all 621 VGS staff it is timely to give our warm thanks to the members of 2 FTS and to 3 AEF for enlivening our gliding pause in such a positive way.