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 Contest Aero Tow ASW-27b
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Flight None 2015-03-17 1400-1600 Clear Yes
Incident Description During the Seniors Soaring Championships on a blue contest day, on course, in a large gaggle (30+ gliders), a glider (ASW-27) came into view from under my glider. He was turning and accelerating into the core of the thermal. His wing tip came very close to my cockpit. After the task, I spoke with the pilot about the event and he indicated to me that he was accelerating out of sink and rolling into the stronger part of the thermal, and was not aware of me or how close he came to my glider. The next day he came to me and said that he review both of our traces and that were missed each other by 42 feet. Assuming that our flight recorders are in our cockpits, his wing time was likely within 20 feet of my glider. I did discuss thermal edicate of not flying under other gliders, and pushing down as he does not know what is under him.
Other Comments This was a very close call that could have resulted in a mid-air collision. It was luck that it did not. The pilot was accelerating (descending) and would not have know if another glider was under him. The pilot should have practiced proper gaggle edicate.

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