RAF crew killed in mid-air 14/6.

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It has not been a good week. A Tutor had a mid-air with a glider in Oxfordshire.:( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/oxfordshire/8099551.stm
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Profile picture for user Scott Marlee

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such a shame, another tutor crash, another air cadet too, not a good time at all RIP to both of them
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Gosh its a horrid time lately. :(
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aircraft was from RAF Benson according to a friend
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Not speculating at all as I don't believe it is right to do so. But I do have a question. My own AEF flights with the ATC were in the venerable Chipmunk back in the early to mid 70's and we always, without exception, wore parachutes. Are parachutes worn by AEF pilots and cadets today? Regards, kev35

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Yes cadets and pilots flying in the grob tutor wear parachutes. Cadets are also given a full safety brief before flying.
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Hi kev, as answered before, cadets and pilots do wear Chutes and have a full video brief and in person brief with ground crew for how to operate them too i believe the chutes worn these days are Irvin 85s, could be wrong

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3 cadet fatalities in 5 months, all in M/A collisions. This is likely to lead to a 'something must be done' reaction of putting the brakes on all cadet flying for the forseeable future. Today's accident is a cruel twist of fate, as for many years thousands of cadets flew with no problems whatsoever. I expect by the end of the week they will have a Tutor at Boscombe Down, as they attempt to bolt in some sort of Traffic Proximity Alert system.

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In 40 odd years of RAF Chipmunk operations, I cannot recall there being a mid-air collision. It may be that the visibility from the long, narrow glasshouse is more effective than is the case with side-by-side seating, where a large portion of the sky is blotted out by the bonedome of the passenger. It is not realistic to assume that a cadet can make an effective contribution to look-out.
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I expect by the end of the week they will have a Tutor at Boscombe Down, as they attempt to bolt in some sort of Traffic Proximity Alert system.
Probably, but unlikely to have helped in this case. Not many gliders carry mode C transponders Moggy
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Just in case I didn't make myself clear I wasn't suggesting for a single moment that cadets did not receive appropriate and thorough briefings. I was just curious as to whether or not parachutes were still worn as a matter of course. Unfortunately, they didn't help the crew in the Tutor. It is indeed a tragedy and I suspect the glider pilot is really feeling that today. I sincerely hope that Air Experience Flights are allowed to continue. For myself, they didn't inspire me on to a career in the RAF but have inspired a lifelong interest in aviation history and my life has been enriched by the experience. Now probably isn't the time to look into such things, but as Propstrike implied, there were no accidents for many years and I suspect many thousands of hours of AEF operation introducing new generations to the air. Blame, as always in the culture of today, will have to be apportioned. One final thought. We've come a long, long way. I know it's not an accurate comparison but between August 1914 and November 1918 the RFC/RAF lost over 8,000 cadets, pilots under instruction and instructors during flying training. That's an average of over 5 per day. Cold comfort to those involved yesterday, or their families, but perhaps an indication of just how safe flying is now. Regards, kev35
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In 40 odd years of RAF Chipmunk operations, I cannot recall there being a mid-air collision. It may be that the visibility from the long, narrow glasshouse is more effective than is the case with side-by-side seating, where a large portion of the sky is blotted out by the bonedome of the passenger. It is not realistic to assume that a cadet can make an effective contribution to look-out.
Had a look at the Military Air Accident Summaries for all UAS/AEF/VGS aircraft losses from 1980 to 2007 and the only mid air was 2 Viking gliders (tandam seaters) at Sealand (soaring in the same thermal). I've no idea what the Bulldog and Chippy losses were before that date.

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Grob Tutor incident Kev35. You had little choice than to use a parachute in the Chipmunk as the seat was designed for the use of the 'seat type' chute and you had to sit on something, or you couldn't see over the handlebars. My days' gliding - seem to remember that a lot of gliders were designed for the pilot to wear a 'back type' parachute, but do not know about modern gliders, nor about the Tutor. Sincere condolences to all those affected by the tragic event on Sunday. _______________________ Safety First. Always.

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Cadet Air Experience flying HAS indeed been suspended for the time being.

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Probably, but unlikely to have helped in this case. Not many gliders carry mode C transponders Moggy
An awful lot of gliders are now equipped with a very low cost, low power, self contained collision avoidance system called FLARM......... 12,000 + units sold worldwide, maybe up to 400 in the UK gliding movement. A powered a/c FLARM has recently been introduced to market. The introduction of FLARM in places such as Switzerland has resulted in an order of magnitude reduction Air to Air collision between FLARM user. Controller based Mode C is just too slow to really provide collision avoidance for G/A/glider traffic density and Mode S is going to be obsolete before its roll out.......just look at the Mode S mess in Holland recently. An enhanced ADSB which works on a very similar principle to FLARM has been suggested as an ultimate workable solution. I would respectfully suggest that equipping the whole Tutor fleet with FLARM at approx £500 a unit would probably cost less than a single accident investigation.

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What is the latest trendy colour scheme for max visibility. Clue- look at a Tucano, it is BLACK, as are Hawks. What colour were the glider AND the Tutor? White. In 'the olden days' there were more RAF aerodromes, with more dedicated airspace, and maybe that exclusivity and Radar coverage reduced the collision risk. I flew with the cadets AEF out of Brawdy and Coltishall and apart from higher altitiude fast jets, we seemed to have the sky to ourselves.
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Don't think you can paint composite aircraft black. They disintegrate in the sun if you do. Moggy

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Whilst not wishing to play devil's advocate or apportion blame may I suggest that one or both pilots were not keeping as good a look out as they should in what is a relatively busy patch of sky at weekends, and even busier last weekend as there were gliding championships taking place too whiic always increases aerial activity around this area regardless of where they are being held.
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As a former Air Cadet myself, this is terrible news and my thoughts are with the families concerned. From every AEF detail that I went on (most were from RAF Benson in fact, which makes this story even worse to contemplate!) I can assure everyone that all cadets had a briefing and were made to watch the mandatory safety video every single time before they could go.
I believe the chutes worn these days are Irvin 85s, could be wrong
Yes, this type of parachute rings a bell with me, although I left the Corps just over 4 years now so it may well of changed since this time.
Cadet Air Experience flying HAS indeed been suspended for the time being.
Whilst this is a disappointing outcome, its a somewhat unavoidable decision as to loose any young soul is bad enough, but three in the space of five months is tragic. I am sure other cadets that have not yet had the chance to experience the thrill of flying yet will be disappointed, but should support this decision in light of recent events.

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Don't think you can paint composite aircraft black. They disintegrate in the sun if you do. Moggy
How about red, yellow or blue then (and no I'm not being fascetious) - bands across the wings and around the fuselage like the yellow (or white bands?) on the black Tucanos seen at airshows? Anything to give a contrast to make the Tutors (and white civilian gliders too) more conspicuous angainst a uniform sky background. Or is it paint of any sort that increases degradation of the composites? Paul F