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
Midwest CFI Minor Minor Instructional Auto Tow ASK-13
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Flight Substantial 2021-05-24 1200-1400 Yes
Incident Description Auto Tow at 69G. Sixth flight of the day. Two CFIG's. On the previous flight the rear seat pilot was receiving a checkout from the front seat CFIG. The rope was used without weak links. Total runway length 2400 feet. A rope break occurred at an altitude of between 100 and 200 feet the pitch was somewhere between 30-45 degrees nose up. The airspeed appeared to be slow and the airbrakes were opened. The K-13 left wing impacted the ground and the glider turned 90 degrees to the east (takeoff heading was to the south). The main wheel left a long impact mark. The main wheel axle was bent and some damage was noted to the wing.
Other Comments More thorough pre-launch briefing Establish who is PIC and proper transfer of controls Use a stronger rope with weak links at each end Re visit auto tow procedures and update if necessary from the SSA I was an observer of this flight.

Find out more about the Soaring Safety Foundation: (trustees, mission, By-Laws, or Contact us by email).