Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2007

January - Starting the Year off Right by Gene Hammond

The Soaring Safety Foundation introduced, the “First Flight” program in 2006 and again remind you to take the first flight of 2007 with an instructor. As we frequently see during a sports event, the coach appears and stresses the need to return to fundamentals rather than “looking pretty.” Since many pilots do not have a “coach” (unless you consider the grouchy instructor at your site as a coach), the Soaring Safety Foundation wants to reinforce the need to review the fundamentals learned in the past and use that knowledge to build an even more solid base for flying safely. Read the full article.

February - 100 of us will have Accidents in 2007! WHO? by Bernald Smith

Please read this next sentence out loud: I may have an accident on this flight. That is my way of getting readers to put themselves into the position of knowing that I’m meaning the sentence to apply not just to me, the author hereof, but to all readers.  What in the world am a doing, you rightly may wonder. Read the full article.

March - Emergency Response Plan, Suggestions for Soaring Sites by Burt Compton

How would you respond to a wingrunner falling and seriously scrapping their hands and knees? A bee sting? A glider that has landed just off the airport and has run through a fence, trapping the pilot and the passenger in the cockpit? A towplane that flips over after a bad landing, and now has fuel dripping onto a hot engine? Read the full article.

April - Soaring Accident Rates by Rich Carlson

A cursory look at the 2006 soaring accident rates shows both good and bad news. The bad news is that the number of accidents remained constant from the previous year. The good news is that there were 50% fewer fatalities than in 2005. Read the full article.

May - Four Simple Steps to Improve your Proficiency by Rich Carlson

Most pilots will agree that being proficient is much more desirable than simply being current. The major question these pilots ask is, how can I become proficient? Read the full article.

June - Three C's Promote Safety - SSF Safety article reprint

The following is a reprint of an article published in the October, 1987 issue of SAILPLANE SAFETY, the house organ of the Soaring Safety Foundation prior to SSF’s commencing publication of safety articles in SOARING in 1996. Read the full article.

July - Avoiding Surprises! Motorglider Safety Tips by Stephen Dee

How many times have you heard, “Flying is safer than driving,” or “The most dangerous part about airline travel is the drive to the airport!” While I agree entirely, there is no escaping the fact that the environment we fly in, regardless of the type aircraft, is simply not a forgiving one. Whether mistakes are made in execution or through simple ignorance, both have the same potential for disaster. I am of the opinion that the best safety device in any airplane is a well-trained and prepared pilot. So, I offer these suggestions for preparing both the pilot and his machine for an upcoming season. First, let’s talk about pilot preparation. Read the full article.

August - Risk Management Tools for Soaring Pilots by Mike Bamberg

The general aviation community has had, for several years, tools to help pilots develop personal minimums and for assessing risk for individual flights. We have modified these tools to make them more appropriate for the soaring community. Read the full article.

September - Ground Non-Flight Damage. Is Your Canopy Insured? by Bernald Smith

No, not the one over your back patio, nor the one you use at the beach. I'm talking about the one on your sailplane. Most of us have them insured, as part of our glider hull insurance policy. So, when we have a hull loss claim for a damaged canopy, we have coverage, minus deductible of course, which may be as low as zero if we've had no claims for several years. Read the full article.

October - Motorglider Certification and Training by Stephen Dee

When I got involved in soaring in 1967, motorgliding was considered such an oddity that it was not mentioned in polite company! The prevailing philosophy back then seemed to be that if you wanted to fly an aircraft with an engine, you were encouraged to go fly an airplane, because sailplanes were reserved for the purest form of flight. Forty years later, the purists still exist, but I’ve heard that nearly 70% of all gliders built today are equipped with some type of engine, whether it be self-launcher or sustainer, so the concept seems to have taken root. The machines have matured with the concept, and we now have a wide variety of motorgliders to choose from, that span the field from trainers to high performance sailplanes. In this article, I will address some of the certification issues, both for motorgliders and pilots, and provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve fielded along the way. Read the full article.

November - Which Approach by Richard Carlson

“Tell me your touchdown point. What is your stopping point?” At some point in your training you probably heard your instructor utter these two phrases. Instructors ask these questions because precision landings are a specific task spelled out in the Practical Test Standards (PTS). While every licensed glider pilot has made precision landings, most of us would agree that not every landing we make would meet the PTS standards. Read the full article.

December - Last Flight by Bernald Smith

Don't have a last flight! Unless it's because you've retired from flying. SSF advocates First Flight! That's our program where we urge everyone to make their First Flight of each year, one with a Glider Flight Instructor. Not a BFR, but just a flight to add to the middle name of SSF: Safety. Your safety. Is it worthwhile? What if you're the most experienced pilot in the world? What if you're much more experienced than any flight instructor you might be able to find? Read the full article.