The Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF) is the Training and Safety arm of the Soaring Society of America (SSA). Our mission is to provide instructors and pilots with the tools needed to teach/learn both the stick & rudder skills and the Aeronautical Decision Making skills needed to safely fly a glider. We also provide information and analysis of incident and accident trends in order to develop better training tools.


Visit the Soaring Safety Foundation's Youtube Channelyoutube
The SSA's YouTube Video Playlist

The Soaring Incident Database is now available to help pilots, safety officers, clubs, and commercial operators develop new programs that can help prevent incidents from becoming major accidents. See more incidents by searching the database or register a new incident.

Region Pilot Certificate Pilot Injuries Passenger Injuries Type of Flight Launch Method Type of Aircraft
Midwest CFI None None Contest Aero Tow PIK 20
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Flight None 0000-00-00 1200-1400 Clear Yes
Incident Description Glider established in thermal, heard towplane engine getting closer and louder but unable to determine direction. During his circling, glider pilot suddenly saw towplane with glider in tow on direct head to head intersecting path. Glider took immediate evasive action by steeply banking. Tow pilot later confirmed he saw the glider in the thermal but did not think the situation unusual. Contest Director said that the GLIDER should not be thermaling in section of sky where towplanes may be dropping off other gliders.
Other Comments Towplane should never tow directly into a circling glider who is facing away from him. Towplane should have made a radio call to the glider as this was a contest where all gliders were on the same frequency. There were many other active thermals the towplane could have flown to. Tow Pilot endangered 3 aircraft for no reason.

Find out more about the Soaring Safety Foundation: (trustees, mission, By-Laws, or Contact us by email).