Vulcan To The Sky - Forums

XH558 Operations => Engineering => Topic started by: Rick Steer on January 19, 2017, 09:39:12 PM

Title: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Rick Steer on January 19, 2017, 09:39:12 PM
All,

I am keen to see the level of interest within the forum for calling an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Vulcan to The Sky Trust to discuss the predicament we find ourselves in, and the future direction of the trust.

I, along with many of you, now believe Doncaster is unsuitable as a base for the future, and we should look at alternatives that are move accommodating - Bruntingthorpe or Elvington being 2 that spring to mind, but others can / should be considered.

We should negotiate with the owners of those sites we wish to consider to determine if they are willing to accommodate us, including the eventual building of a hanger, and regular fast taxi runs of the Vulcan (the Canberra should be mothballed for the foreseeable future, or sold to raise additional funds). Having secured a new home, we should then put every effort into exploring the possibility of a one-off ferry flight with the CAA. My understanding is that the requirements for a one-off flight are different to a full permit to fly, and can be granted subject to provisions being put in place. Should that not be possible, we may have to consider a move by road, which would almost certainly spell the end of XH558 as a live airframe - although specialists should be consulted to determine if there is a way to retain her structural integrity.

We should then look to start work at the new home, raising funds for a new hanger / visitor centre, although in the short term XH558 may have to be stored outside. We have free use of storage at Doncaster until the end of April - this may be enough time to secure funding for a hanger, so the period outside may be limited (subject to planning permission for construction etc.)

In parallel, the finances of the trust needs urgent review to cut costs to an absolute minimum. The current position where the CEO is paid more than £60,000 is unsustainable, and Dr Pleming should take on a role at no cost to the trust - in line with all other trustees. Savings here can go directly towards the upkeep of XH558 in her new home. If he is unwilling to do so, then we should thank him for his services and bid him farewell - we are a charity, but not for his benefit. we should look to retain engineering expertise if at all possible.

Under the Memorandum & Articles, any member of the charity (and I understand fully paid up members of the Founding Guardian scheme are members) can request such a meeting by writing to the chairman of the trust.

If there is sufficient interest from you all, I am willing to write such a letter to the chairman.

Like many of you, I am in full time employment, and frequently work evenings and weekends, so my time is very limited, but if you are with me, I can start the ball rolling. Much rather that, than sit back and see our girl rot away in the corner of an airfield that cannot or will not support our aims.

I await your comments.....
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: dee on January 20, 2017, 09:03:13 AM
Well investigated and well put together..
Something needs to be done and soon!!
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: brains_mt on January 20, 2017, 09:27:16 AM
I am aware of whats going on and will respond later.

Busy day today but watching closely.

Jane
VTTSC Co-Chair
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: jakspeed on January 20, 2017, 09:59:25 AM
Brilliantly said Rick!
Something needs to be done, we can't just walk away from 558 now.
Any suggestions of what we might be able to do would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PhillyJ on January 20, 2017, 11:05:00 AM
Watching with interest to see what happens, let us know when you can Jane as it's all in our interests I guess.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: sickbag_andy on January 20, 2017, 11:12:56 AM
great post and great effort Rick, I support your effort in writing to the chairman.

One thing that now alarms me is that if there is a current shortage of cash and that situation worsens to the point that the Trust cannot pay it's rent to the airport even if the aircraft is stored outside, would the airport owners then be able to possess / impound the aircraft and attempt to sell it to settle the debt? The risk then (if it is a risk) is would then end up sold abroad (USA?) as mooted in one of the hours of crisis several appeals ago. The rules for flying historic aircraft in the USA are probably quite different to here so it's value might be much higher there which would appeal to the airport if trying to re-coup costs.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: 106500 on January 20, 2017, 12:33:45 PM
As a fully paid up member I do not support this action. We should have faith in VTTS and their decision making which has not let us down to date.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: planenut on January 20, 2017, 12:59:43 PM
Some interesting points in your write up Rick, but again, this, the "appeal" and the move all come a bit late down the road after grounding.

Some of your comments will ruffle a few feathers, which will be sad bearing in mind the commitment that some of those affected have put into the project.

I note that some comments again relate to the myriad of suggestions made prior to the siting XH558 at Doncaster, and the criticisms of the move since.

It is extremely difficult and again the "workforce" are in an unenviable position of deciding where their loyalties lie in relation to the aircraft and their employers.

Hindsight is a great thing, but sadly when it comes to what should have happened, well that's wasted brain cells.

I have not put anywhere near the amount of effort and finance into this project as many others, but honestly, since the last landing, my interest has really dived as within the distance, there are other worthy causes.

There would be nothing lost, if after Jane's later information, it is still necessary to forward the letter suggested by yourself, and I'm sure it can be worded more tactfully and articulately than my postings.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Rick Steer on January 20, 2017, 02:07:15 PM
Thanks to you al for your feedback.

I'll await more information from Jane.

I realise it is a very difficult time - and my frustration is not aimed at those employed - more at the high level decisions that have placed you (and the rest of us) at the point we now find ourselves.

My aim is to find a way to safeguard XH558 and allow us all to see her as a live aircraft, and by implication hopefully that will have a positive impact on those still working with her.

I've been a supporter since she was delivered to Bruntingthorpe all those years ago, so while I realise some of my comments are controversial they are borne out of immense frustration at the latest turn of events...I apologise to anyone I have offended.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Gully on January 20, 2017, 03:22:45 PM
For clarity, we Founding Guardians are not Members of the Trust and so do not have the ability to call an EGM of the Trust. This legal position is clarified within the Annual Accounts of the Trust, where it is expressly stated 'The Trustees are the only Members of the Trust'.

However, that does not stop a letter being sent to the Board of Trustees expressing concerns.

I would also highlight that the CEO role is being reduced to a 'part-time' position going forward as stated in the announcement.

Regards,

Gully
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Rick Steer on January 20, 2017, 03:43:59 PM
Thanks for the clarity Gully.

In that case, I'll get writing in my capacity as a long standing supporter.

I should have realised the trust would have been set up in such a way that the supporters who fund it don't get a say!!
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Sarah Abbott on January 20, 2017, 05:16:13 PM
I agree dialogue with the Trust is worthwhile. It would be interesting to see what options had been explored. I know road move had been looked at by VTS and Mapps in the past (quite recently for Mapps following the housing threat)  and conclusion from those with engineering knowhow was it would not be possible to do and retain live capabilities. Can't remember exact reasons. I personally think it would be almost impossible to get insurance to cover a ferry flight should a very jumpy CAA allow it post Shoreham which would leave a need for passionate team based reasonably locally to ensure 558 has a future. Mapps achieve this.  FGs seem a logical support network.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Rick Steer on January 20, 2017, 08:57:20 PM
Just seen the latest e-mail update, and feel exasperated.

A year in storage with no engine runs, and only a hope that free storage will be extended past April. Taff to keep her in current state - I've no idea how the systems will be kept live if there are no engine runs - I suspect she is being mothballed, so everything will stop working for at least a year, and then cost a fortune to bring her back to her current state....Another last ditch appeal no doubt.

The new hanger is being leased by the trust not owned by it - in the same way we leased Hanger 3, and look where that has got us. No information on the length of lease - is it a perpetual lease, and what safeguards are there to prevent us being kicked out when another tenant offers them more money for the use of it? 

Apparently all the obstacles to taxi runs have been resolved - just in time to be moved into storage! Why not taxy her there in front of us all?! Nothing in the Q&A to indicate if the airport will allow spectators onto the airfield? They weren't interested in allowing this for the final flight, so what has changed?

The Q&A's are an insult to anyone with any knowledge - Bruntingthorpe not suitable because of the runway - which of course is why the Cold War jets all use it twice a year without issue. Oh and because we cant fly the Canberra from there - sorry to point out the bleeding obvious, but the main reason we wont fly the Canberra is there is no money to restore or operate her, so thoughts about the suitability of a runway are irrelevant! No mention of any consultation with the CAA on a one-off ferry flight to somewhere people can go and see her - even though it is possible given her current state of maintenance.

According to the last accounts Dr Pleming drew between £70 -£80K in the last year - doing what exactly? Why is he paid at all - none of the trustees are. His salary is close on 25% of the total expenditure of the trust - How on earth is that acceptable to anyone? 

I really feel those at the top have lost their way, and let everyone down.

I'm sorry to say I'm done with this project.....Good luck everyone - I hope you are successful, but I will be truly amazed if she ever taxies again, let alone in front of her loyal supporters.

Over and Out.....
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Trev on January 20, 2017, 11:34:24 PM
I'm still here watching with interest.  >:( :'(

Regards to all Trev
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: eddief on January 21, 2017, 12:07:53 AM
Southend Trev per chance..?
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Gregg on January 21, 2017, 08:51:37 AM
Utter rubbish about Brunty. The runway isn't the greatest but it's suitable for ground running jets. On open days we increase the amount of fire cover we have and the people running the jets are either currently serving members of the raf or are former members. The rest of the volunteers are experienced or supervised etc.

There is, like anywhere, the odd cowboy but for the vast majority of us its done right and proper. Or not at all.

We always, always, check the intakes...
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PaulH2015 on January 21, 2017, 01:55:03 PM
You can moan all you like if it makes you feel better, but like all the bitching about ending her flying life it won't make one jot of difference.

They give arguments as to why Doncaster was chosen including "mainly related to the need to have a top-quality runway with emergency support so we can taxi XH558 regularly for her supporters."

XM655 does regular fast taxying at an airfield with minimal facilities and living out of doors.  Doncaster has significant disadvantages such as being booted out of house and home when commercial pressures take precedence as we have seen, probably very strict controls and potential penalties for fast taxying - imagine if there were a major problem on the runway and it couldn't immediately be moved.  But most importantly with the public road immediately adjacent to the full length of the runway and with far better views than anywhere the public are likely to be allowed inside the airport perimeter, just how many paying customers are they going to get?  They may well be regretting that decision, but I doubt they would admit it, and unless a one-off flight can be authorised (even assuming alternative proper accommodation can be arranged) they - and we! - are stuck with it.

They also mention needing somewhere to fly the Canberra from - eventually - but I can't see that needs a full commercial airport either.

"We always, always, check the intakes..."

That's just cruel ...  ::)
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PhillyJ on January 23, 2017, 10:15:11 AM
We always, always, check the intakes...
oooh, that made me wince...very cruel!  >:D
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Zero One on January 30, 2017, 12:40:46 AM
We always, always, check the intakes...
oooh, that made me wince...very cruel!  >:D

That's true we always do check the intakes
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Trev on January 30, 2017, 10:06:37 PM
Hi eddief

although i have been to Southend Eddie, i'm from Doncaster.

Regards Trev
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: nilocp on February 03, 2017, 04:16:23 PM
I have been following everything to do with Vulcan since the 60's when I used to cycle to Woodford, just to see what was going on.
In the final year of flight I saw her 3 times, the final one being the tear jerker at Southport!
To press I have not been over to Doncaster and I think I am unlikely to now.

What concerns me about this whole debacle is the desperate need for £200k. Nobody has explained why this is needed. We have been told that it isn't for rent. Also it is not for the new hanger, if it happens. There is no maintainance going on because the staff have all gone, and may not come back.
So why?
Has anyone looked at the trusts accounts and can comment?

Big mess in my opinion.

And why buy Canberra if there is such a desperate need for funds now. Bit short sighted.

Oh well, rant over. No doubt more will cral out of the woodwork in coming weeks.

Colin
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Sarah Abbott on February 03, 2017, 09:34:53 PM
Please do check out the Q&A on the website. Also the question of the £200k has also been answered.
http://www.vulcantothesky.org/news/855/82/Survival-Q-and-A.html (http://www.vulcantothesky.org/news/855/82/Survival-Q-and-A.html)

And here

http://www.vulcantothesky.org/xh558-s-survival.html (http://www.vulcantothesky.org/xh558-s-survival.html)

Also fully audited accounts are available on Charity Commission website
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Paddy Langdown on February 04, 2017, 10:36:59 AM

Eddie,

Dunsfold? Closer to you & me than Southend!
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PA28 on February 04, 2017, 11:17:55 AM
Paddy, but have you caught wind of this?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-38326318

Meantime, more Q/A's here: http://www.vulcantothesky.org/news/855/82/Survival-Q-and-A.html
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Mayfly on February 09, 2017, 12:41:14 PM
Not sure where the best place to to link this but as this thread was questioning the reasons behind some of the decisions the VTTST have made, I thought it probably the best place.

Yesterday Dr Pleming did a podcast with Dan O'Hagan from UKAR. Hopefully it will answer some questions.
It lasts just over an hour and covers a variety of questions Dan posed.

http://www.airshows.co.uk/podcast/


Mods if you wish to split it off, please do.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: MARKSIX on February 09, 2017, 07:18:39 PM
Good to hear Roberts detailed explanations and all credit to him having to face unreasonable overbearing questions from Dan O'Hagen. UKAH has always hated the VTTS and the Vulcan --that is clearer to see from the questioning . Robert stood his ground well .
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Mayfly on February 09, 2017, 07:47:16 PM
I actually think with all that has been said and not just on UKAR but social media too, the questions asked were fair and by posing those questions Dan O has helped to quell some of the vitriol that has been aimed at the Trust.

RP has always been open and honest and I've known him since 1997. 
It's a shame IMO that this podcast wasn't done 3 weeks ago.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PaulH2015 on February 10, 2017, 01:09:06 PM
"unreasonable overbearing questions"

Was I listening to the same thing?  To me his questions were polite, one could almost say respectful.  He asked short questions, and listened to long and sometimes a bit rambling responses without interrupting.  It would have been a farce of an interview if he didn't ask the questions that were being raised elsewhere.

However.  Dr Pleming seems to be attributing 18,000 hanger visitors to Doncaster - I suggest that was down to XH558.

He also mentioned Bawtry Road as a possible site for viewing fast taxying, but that has public access, and used by other organisations for their businesses.  One wonders how they could raise income from that.  Within the airport boundary viewing options are minimal and restricted.

One of the main reasons for Doncaster was to fly other jet heritage aircraft in and out safely, but elsewhere he says he can see the day when jet heritage aircraft flying no longer occurs in the UK.

And I still don't understand why it was necessary to move from Hanger 3 to Hanger 1.  The space is the same, if freight could go into Hanger 3 then surely it could go into Hanger 1.  And as the indications are that Hanger 1 was emptied for XH558, which couldn't the bonding be lifted so as to allow public access?

Regarding the double roll. it's the first time I've seen it confirmed that it did actually occur.  He mentioned a video, I'd love to see that!
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: PaulH2015 on February 10, 2017, 02:11:08 PM
I meant to add, that it is a pity they didn't publish something as clear as this weeks 'Survival Plan Update' newsletter in the first place, instead of vague references to 'secure storage' and no explanation of why the extra money was needed.  But even that doesn't make clear the £200k will cover until the new hanger is up and running, Dr Pleming said in the interview there won't be any more requests for emergency funding during that period.

£18-20M for the Etna  centre is another ball-game altogether!
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Mayfly on February 10, 2017, 03:43:23 PM
I think in all honesty in this situation you need to think BIG and that is certainly what the ETNA project is.
For a charity that has always live hand to mouth and on the edge it is certainly an ambitious project, however many 'not in the know' said that for years about flying 558.

It was certainly down to Dr P that was achieved. Whilst I do not agree with all the decisions made I do trust the fact that they know far more than I do and would never write off Dr Ps tenacity or stubbornness in achieving his aims.
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Checkflaps on February 10, 2017, 04:16:38 PM


Regarding the double roll. it's the first time I've seen it confirmed that it did actually occur.  He mentioned a video, I'd love to see that!

As far as I know, this is the only 'video' out there. There are some who debunk it. Make of it what you will.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kDPqElQGwo&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kDPqElQGwo&feature=youtu.be)

Garry
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Mayfly on February 10, 2017, 06:02:42 PM
Yes, a series of stills stitched together that's why it was poo pooed by many as having happened in the first place.

Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: eddief on February 10, 2017, 11:06:23 PM
I'm with Mayfly <response re DoH interview> - some awkward questions were asked (actually, just about every awkward question you could think of) but they were answered well.  No politician's responses - instead, straight, open & frank explanations.  And some of those questions didn't have 'yes/no' answers or were bordering on things Robert shouldn't/couldn't discuss but he did an excellent job all the same.

In my opinion, Robert continued to demonstrate why he was the right person to lead the team that brought 558 back to flight & why he is the one who has the best vision of how to build on that triumph for the future.

Right now we are all hurting but if anybody can turn this around then he's the one (again).
Title: Re: Extraordinary General Meeting Needed?
Post by: Vulcanatic on September 04, 2017, 05:21:09 PM
And many many months further down the line ...

It seems to me that the Trust is secretive, exclusive, (and I don't mean that in a good way), as well as totally unaccountable.
Has anything positive been achieved for XH558?
Are the VULCAN cash-cow milkers still looking after their own interests?