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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April 4, 2015

The SSF is pleased to announce a revised web site with a new look and feel. As with any update, it will take a few days to find and fix any links that don't work. If you find a broken link or notice that something you use to use is no longer available then contact the SSF webmaster at webmaster@soaringsafety.org. Simply note the page you are looking at and the link that no longer works, or the typo that you think needs to be corrected. New features and content will be uploaded as the site stablizes. Thank you for your willingness to support the SSF. The SSF Trustees Rich, Ron, Burt, Steve, and Tom.

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 Private None None Local Aero Tow Grob Twin Astir
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Flight None 2016-08-07 1200-1400 Clear Yes
Incident Description During TWO attempted launches of the Grob Twin Astir (TA), the Tost ring at the glider end released after the tow plane applied tension. After the first attempt, the front-seated pilot admitted that he might have accidentally pulled the release since his hand was near the release knob. So we tried it again...SAME RESULT...even with the pilot’s hand well away from the knob. We stopped the operation and investigated the problem. We found the AFT release knob and had somehow become lodged UNDER the aft fabric seat cushion which extends forward to the instrument panel. The knob was completely hidden from view. How it got there remains a mystery.
Other Comments Apparently, the Tost release was partially opened, just enough to cause a release behind the tug even after a good pull test by the line crew. This was the third flight of the day for TA so I doubt the problem was a result of a previous maintenance action. It is speculated that the knob was pushed under the seat cushion when the aft-seated pilot got into the cockpit. A better cockpit check by the aft-seated pilot may have prevented this incident.


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