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.

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April 4, 2015

The SSF is pleased to announce a revised web site with a new look and feel. As with any update, it will take a few days to find and fix any links that don't work. If you find a broken link or notice that something you use to use is no longer available then contact the SSF webmaster at Simply note the page you are looking at and the link that no longer works, or the typo that you think needs to be corrected. New features and content will be uploaded as the site stablizes. Thank you for your willingness to support the SSF. The SSF Trustees Rich, Ron, Burt, Steve, and Tom.

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
East CFI None None Instructional Aero Tow Pilatus B4
Incident Activity Damage to Aircraft Damage to Canopy Incident Date Incident Time Weather SSA Member
Preflight None 2017-09-03 1400-1600 Clear Yes
Incident Description As CFI, I performed an incomplete, inadequate, pre-launch aircraft checkout for a newly rated private pilot. The pilot had previously flown several 2-place Grobs and a modern single-place glider when he asked to be checked out in the clubs single place Pilatus. The pilot was told to take a high tow (4,000 ft AGL) and get used to the gliders handling characteristics. After landing the pilot reported that he did an intentional straight ahead stall shortly after release, but one wing dropped and the glider entered a spin. The glider lost 2,000 ft before the pilot finally recovered and returned for a landing.
Other Comments A better, more through, pre-launch checkout highlighting the different stall/spin characteristics of the Pilatus as compared to the gliders he had previous flown, with an emphasis on stall recovery techniques, would have prepared the pilot to handle this situation.

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