Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2019
The Soaring Safety Foundation is a strong advocate of the Hard Deck. In case you are not familiar with the term, the Hard Deck is your personal Above Ground Level (AGL) altitude below which you do not thermal. The idea is that below this altitude, you do not have enough time to recognize and recover from an inadvertent stall or departure from controlled flight. Read the full article.
Looking for traffic and verifying our gliders position in space requires us to visually gather information from the environment. We scan the environment outside the glider for traffic and other hazards. We scan our instrument panel to verify that the visual cues we gathered from outside are valid. Read the full article.
March 15th is generally known as the Ides of March. In 44 BC Julius Caesar died on that day. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy of his death had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone." Read the full article.
For the twelve-month period ending October 31, 2018, fourteen (14) gliders, seven (7) motorgliders, and three (3) tow-planes were involved in twenty-four (24) separate accidents meeting the reporting requirements of NTSB Part 830 of the Code of Federal Regulation. Read the full article.
I sat in the cockpit of new sailplane looking obviously confused. The local check pilot looked at me and said, "Confused? First time?" I replied "No, I’ve been confused before!" Read the full article.
In the aviation community, distractions in and outside the cockpit have been found to be either a direct or contributing cause of many aircraft accidents. One such accident occurred last year when the glider, while on tow, flew far enough out of position behind the towplane that the towplane pilot lost control of his aircraft and was tragically killed trying to recover. Read the full article.
The phrase 'Normalization of Deviance' became a catch phrase in American English in the aftermath of the tragic destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, with the loss of the entire crew. I recall exactly where I was, that January day in 1986, when I heard the terrible news, and how hard I took it. I bet you, too, recall where you were, and how badly you felt, when you heard the news. Read the full article.
Last month in Soaring Magazine, Bob Wander did an excellent job of defining Normalization of Deviance. He raised our awareness of how easily and insidiously our safety standards can be compromised. As he said, “It’s human nature”. This month, I will provide some ideas of how to avoid and correct the erosion of standards on a personal as well and as an organizational level. Read the full article.
Many of us remember the classic Friday night comedy, “The Brady Bunch”. While I never had a live-in housekeeper like Alice, I nevertheless experienced the frustration of living with my brothers and sister. Jan Brady, the female middle child, would express her frustration over the lack of attention she received while the parents fawned over her older sister by yelling “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” whenever Jan had to yield to her sister’s needs. Read the full article.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the back seat of our club’s ASK 21 with a 15 year old student on his 21st or so lesson. At 1400 ft AGL, he stumbled into a thermal and proceeded to climb to cloud base 4000 ft higher. The winds were light, about 5 kts, and they drifted us right over our home airport. Read the full article.
It was just over 52 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. On my second flight in a Glider, just after takeoff, I heard a loud BANG, and then silence, all except the constant rush of air around the canopy of the SGU 2-22 that I was learning to fly in at age 14. Read the full article.
When you walk on to an airliner, you probably realize the Captain is the one in charge. But what you may not know is that a Dispatcher, somewhere in a windowless room deep in the bowels of the airline operations building, is also jointly responsible for the safe operation of the flight. Read the full article.