Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2020

January - First Flight – A great way to start a new Decade by Richard Carlson

Earlier this week I received a couple of emails informing me that winter is rapidly approaching and the soaring season in the Chicago area is coming to an end. The first email reminded me that it was time to disassemble most of the club gliders and pack the hangers with private trailers for the winter months. The next email indicated that it was time to start our winter council meetings, one night a month – starting at 7:30 PM. Who in the glider world starts something after the sun has set? Read the full article.

February - Surviving a Ramp Inspection by Stephen Dee

"Good morning! I’m with the FAA, and I’m here to conduct a Ramp Inspection!" These words often strike fear in the hearts of pilots everywhere, but it need not be so. To my great surprise, I have been Ramp Checked quite a few times during my 52 years of flying, (even once in France) and am glad to report that each opportunity for the FAA "to help" was met with success. Read the full article.

March - Soaring Site Observations: The Good the Bad and the Ugly by Burt Compton

By the invitation of soaring clubs and commercial operators, the Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF) has conducted 107 free, friendly and confidential “Site Surveys” of soaring operations across the USA. This article touches on just a few of the recurring issues we’ve observed. Read the full article.

April - 2019 Soaring Accident Summary by Soaring Safety Foundation Trustees

For the twelve-month period ending October 31, 2019, ten (10) gliders, six (6) motorgliders, and one (1) tow-plane were involved in seventeen (17) separate accidents meeting the reporting requirements of NTSB Part 830 of the Code of Federal Regulation. This represents a 37.0% decrease in the number of accidents reported during the previous reporting period. Read the full article.

May - Proactive Safety Program by Rich Carlson

In late February my glider club held its mandatory annual safety seminar to prepare for the start of a new soaring season. In preparation, the club's operations director sent a draft version of his presentation to the club instructors for comment. The main point on slide one was 'the club had no incidents in 2019'. Note this does not say no accidents, but no incidents. Given that I knew of several, I questioned that statement and got it changed to "no serious incidents". Read the full article.

June - Three Perspectives on Resuming Flight Operations by SSF Trustees Burt Compton, Ron Ridenour, and Steven Dee

It was a long winter and a very long spring with the threat of exposure to Covid-19 limiting our flying. If you, like us, have not been flying for several months we may not be current and definitely not "proficient." Here are three perspectives from the SSF on how to get us all back to flying safely once the social distancing restrictions are loosened or eliminated. Read the full article.

July - CoVID 19 and You by Tom Johnson

Throughout all of aviation, the current state of affairs with the pandemic virus is affecting the amount of flying we all are doing. Numerous websites report airline traffic, business jets and turboprops, and light aircraft are not flying like they did a year ago. Read the full article.

August - Let’s Go Fly a Kite? by Tom Johnson

It seems everything old is new again. Unfortunately, when it comes to ways to harm ourselves in or with our sailplanes, we never seem to come up with new ideas. Read the full article.

September - Whack-a-Mole, Glider Style by Tom Johnson

Remember that old arcade game, Whack-a-Mole? The idea of the game was to hit the mole on the head with the mallet as soon as the mole popped out of the hole. As the game progressed, the moles popped up faster and stayed up for less time. It soon became almost impossible to keep up with the pace of the moles. Read the full article.

October - Scenario Based Training by Ron Ridenour

As a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) I have an opportunity to test many applicants each year for their pilot certificates. The FAA and the general aviation training industry have been promoting SBT for many years now. They acknowledge the value of SBT in the training environment as a useful tool to reduce the accident rate. As examiners we are required to test using scenarios as much as we can. However, in my observation scenario based training by our glider instructors is not happening. Here are a few examples. Read the full article.

November - Let’s NOT go Fly a Kite by Glenn Collins

I've been debating how best to write an article to describe and address a topic we have been beating to death for years, but continue to see occurrences. My fear is there is a point, where we desensitize folks and they stop listening. However, my recent observations highlight the drastically different situations where things can go bad all producing the same result. So let's give it a try. Read the full article.

December - There I was... by Stephen Dee

Over the years, one of the great opportunities for aspiring young pilots to learn has been the chance to rub shoulders, or at least hear stories of the exploits of the pilots in their circle of peers. We used to call it "hangar flying," but now it has the more formal title of "Scenario Based Training!" Call it what you will, I would like to inject this article into the SSF stream of instructional articles into what we hope will become a popular series. Read the full article.