The Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF) is the Training and Safety arm of the Soaring Society of America (SSA). Our mission is to provide instructors and pilots with the tools needed to teach/learn both the stick & rudder skills and the Aeronautical Decision Making skills needed to safely fly a glider. We also provide information and analysis of incident and accident trends in order to develop better training tools.


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The Soaring Incident Database is now available to help pilots, safety officers, clubs, and commercial operators develop new programs that can help prevent incidents from becoming major accidents. See more incidents by searching the database or register a new incident.

Region Pilot Certificate Pilot Injuries Passenger Injuries Type of Flight Launch Method Type of Aircraft
East CFI None None Instructional Grob 103 Twin II
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Preflight None 2015-05-09 1000-1200 Not a Factor Yes
Incident Description The weather was not cooperating and it was taking longer to clear so the Grob 103 was moved from the flight line back to the hanger to replace a broken boom microphone. While the glider had already been preflighted, I had a new student so I went through the preflight procedure once again. While explaining how to read the altimeter I realized that it was set to 400 ft below 0 (-1000 ft MSL) instead the field elevation of 600 ft MSL. A quick look at the rear altimeter confirmed my suspicion that the previous pilot had set the altimeter to 0 and the change in pressure from last week to this week caused the setting to fall by 200 ft. The pilot doing the preflight had simply twisted the Kollsman knob to bring the hundreds hand down to 600, not realizing that the thousands hand was below 0. I pointed out the error to the student and we corrected the setting before sending the glider back to the flight line and having an uneventful day of gliding.
Other Comments Setting the altimeter to field elevation, instead of 0, would have lessened the possibility of miss-setting the altimeter in the 1st place.

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