Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2018

January - Really, are you kidding me? by Ron Ridenour

Recently a well known and respected pilot videoed a low altitude "save" from 300 feet AGL. He posted it on YouTube and Facebook. As might be expected, there were many comments, both pro and con, as to the advisability of such an attempt and also how it might be perceived by the sailplane pilot community as a whole. Read the full article.

February - Gliding Turns by Ron Ridenour

After a student learns how to adjust the glider's pitch attitude to maintain the desired airspeed the next task is how to make turns. The Joy of Soaring, a book written by Carle Conway for the SSA, speaks about the 5 "undesired side effects of the turn". The undesired side effects are present in every turn we make and all the training manuals I've read speaks to them to various degrees. Read the full article.

March - Stalls and the Glider Pilot by Stephen Dee

In a recent article from SSF, you learned the intricacies of what seemed like a simple task-turning flight. In this article, I would like to proceed to the topic of Stalls, and why its understanding is so important to the Glider Pilot. Read the full article.

April - Annual Soaring Safety Foundation Safety Summary by Soaring Safety Foundation Trustees

This report covers the FY17 (November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017) reporting period. Read the full article.

May - Glider Accident Rates – Validating the Estimates by Richard Carlson

In April the SSF published the 2017 Annual Accident Report. As usual, the report contains the number of accidents that occurred during the 12 month period from November 1, 2016 – October 31, 2017. While this report compared the number of accidents in 2017 to those that occurred in previous years, it cannot be used to draw good statistically valid conclusions on the accident rate in the U.S. To do that we need to know the number of flight hours flown during that same time period. Read the full article.

June - The Anatomy of a Steep Turn by Ron Ridenour

Steep Turns are a required maneuver for either the Private or Commercial pilot practical test in a glider. This maneuver requires the pilot to correlate many of the aerodynamic aspects that they have learned previously including load factor, increased stall speed and overbanking tendency. Read the full article.

July - Intentional Spins Encouraged by Tom Johnson

When I was a teenager, I came across a cool looking bi-plane that was obviously meant for aerobatics. I had to look inside and saw a placard that read "Intentional Spins Encouraged". It gave me a chuckle, because many of the aircraft I was flying had big placards bordered by black and yellow hazard markings that read "Intentional Spins Prohibited". Read the full article.

August - Glider Landing – The Goal Oriented Approach by Richard Carlson

Whether this has been a soaring flight lasting several hours or training flight lasting just a few minutes, as you approach the last 2 minutes of it you need to mentally prepare for your landing. Read the full article.

September - We're Almost There by Tom Johnson, Ron Ridenour, Burt Compton, Richard Carlson

Every good landing I have ever made began with a good approach. My definition of a good landing is a landing where I am in control and able to stop the aircraft at a predetermined spot (i.e., achieve the SSF Goal Oriented Approach). Whether it's a big Boeing, a tactical jet on an aircraft carrier, or a glider, the fundamentals of a good approach are the same. Read the full article.

October - Landing - The Last 100 Feet by Stephen Dee

In recent articles from SSF, you learned the skills of flying a good, hopefully Goal Oriented Approach to the landing site. In this article, I would like to address the final moments airborne through touchdown and rollout. Read the full article.

November - Taking Stock by Tom Johnson

This time of year is unique to the soaring world. We have much to be thankful for. While some of us have put our sailplanes away until the spring. Others of us are eagerly anticipating big wave flights. And some of us live in places where we can fly all the time. Regardless of your situation, we have all been given the gift of soaring. Read the full article.

December - Don't Crash. Really? by Tom Johnson

One of the challenges in writing this monthly column is coming up with ideas that are fresh. Or more importantly, presenting proven ideas in a fresh light. Read the full article.