Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2021

January - The Accident I Never Had by Ron Ridenour

In 1968 my father had a sailplane accident that almost cost him his life. He was flying his homebuilt HP-13A (a hybrid of an HP-11A fuselage and HP-14 wings) in a Region 7 contest in down state Illinois. He suffered numerous injuries, including a broken heel and crushed vertebrae in his lower back. Fortunately, after many months of rehabilitation, he recovered completely and was able to return to his flying career. Read the full article.

February - The Expected Wave-Off by Richard Carlson

The February morning was bright and clear, just as the forecast had predicted. It was a perfect day to go out to the glider school and knock some rust off and beat those Chicago winter blues. Read the full article.

March - Heartache Avoidance 101 by Tom Johnson

The airline world demands a "Sterile Cockpit" during essential phases of flight. For example, whenever the aircraft is below 18000 ft., the crew must limit discussions to safety of flight items only. No talking about the Cowboys, or how great the Lifetime Christmas movie was last night, or where dinner will be. Checklists, traffic avoidance, and safety related items only. Read the full article.

April - 2020 Soaring Accident Summary by Soaring Safety Foundation Trustees

For the twelve-month period ending October 31, 2020, eight (8) gliders, seven (7) motorgliders, and two (2) towplanes were involved in seventeen (17) separate accidents meeting the reporting requirements of NTSB Part 830 of the Code of Federal Regulation. This represents a 22.7% decrease in the number of accidents reported during the previous 12 month reporting period. Read the full article.

May - Be Proactive in Evaluating your Pilot Risk by Ron Ridenour

The Soaring Safety Foundation has long advocated the use of the P.A.V.E. checklist to help pilots evaluate the risks associated with a scenario. In this article, we'll talk about the pilot risk evaluation. As stated in the Pilots Handbook for Aeronautical Knowledge FAA-H-8083-25B (PHAK), "The goal of risk management is to proactively identify safety-related hazards and mitigate the associated risks." This article is directed toward pilots and instructors alike. Read the full article.

June - There I Was by Tom Dixon

This flight started the late morning of September 8, 1979 at the Friedman Memorial Airport (aka Sun Valley) Idaho. I was flying my SGS 1-35C and had a total of 55 hours solo and dual time to date. From the get go I had heard, been told, reminded and instructed some very important safety items about flying. Read the full article.

July - Loss of Control as a factor of Aerotow Takeoff Accidents By Ron Ridenour

Over the last several years, a few of my friends have had takeoff accidents in a glider that have involved the "Loss of Control". The pilot of the first accident was tragically killed after releasing at a very low altitude. The pilot of the second accident suffered minor injuries and the pilot of the third accident had severe injuries from which he is recovering. I was not an observer of any of these accidents; however I did personally speak to the pilots of the second and third accidents. Read the full article.

August - The Hard Deck: Its Time Has Come by Tom Johnson

A few years ago, the Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF) offered a new concept to the soaring community, the Hard Deck. The time has come to implement the concept of the Hard Deck into our Badge flying and SSA sanctioned contests. Read the full article.

September - I was taught to... by Richard Carlson

Glider flight instructors provide both explicit and implicit training to trainees at their club or commercial Fixed Base Operator (FBO). Explicit training is when the CFIG demonstrates a skill or evaluates the pilot's actions and decision making skills. Read the full article.

October - My Towplane Engine Failure by Burt Compton

In my 54 years since my first solo flight, I’ve been surprised twice while flying the towplane by a partial power failure, then landing safely. It was 40 percent luck and 60 percent “I can do this.” Sadly, I’ve known two experienced towpilots killed when each attempted a “turn back” to the runway after their towplane engine had a power failure. Read the full article.