Monthly Soaring Magazine Articles for 2020
Earlier this week I received a couple of emails informing me that winter is rapidly approaching and the soaring season in the Chicago area is coming to an end. The first email reminded me that it was time to disassemble most of the club gliders and pack the hangers with private trailers for the winter months. The next email indicated that it was time to start our winter council meetings, one night a month – starting at 7:30 PM. Who in the glider world starts something after the sun has set? Read the full article.
"Good morning! I’m with the FAA, and I’m here to conduct a Ramp Inspection!" These words often strike fear in the hearts of pilots everywhere, but it need not be so. To my great surprise, I have been Ramp Checked quite a few times during my 52 years of flying, (even once in France) and am glad to report that each opportunity for the FAA "to help" was met with success. Read the full article.
By the invitation of soaring clubs and commercial operators, the Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF) has conducted 107 free, friendly and confidential “Site Surveys” of soaring operations across the USA. This article touches on just a few of the recurring issues we’ve observed. Read the full article.
For the twelve-month period ending October 31, 2019, ten (10) gliders, six (6) motorgliders, and one (1) tow-plane were involved in seventeen (17) separate accidents meeting the reporting requirements of NTSB Part 830 of the Code of Federal Regulation. This represents a 37.0% decrease in the number of accidents reported during the previous reporting period. Read the full article.
In late February my glider club held its mandatory annual safety seminar to prepare for the start of a new soaring season. In preparation, the club's operations director sent a draft version of his presentation to the club instructors for comment. The main point on slide one was 'the club had no incidents in 2019'. Note this does not say no accidents, but no incidents. Given that I knew of several, I questioned that statement and got it changed to "no serious incidents". Read the full article.
It was a long winter and a very long spring with the threat of exposure to Covid-19 limiting our flying. If you, like us, have not been flying for several months we may not be current and definitely not "proficient." Here are three perspectives from the SSF on how to get us all back to flying safely once the social distancing restrictions are loosened or eliminated. Read the full article.
Throughout all of aviation, the current state of affairs with the pandemic virus is affecting the amount of flying we all are doing. Numerous websites report airline traffic, business jets and turboprops, and light aircraft are not flying like they did a year ago. Read the full article.
It seems everything old is new again. Unfortunately, when it comes to ways to harm ourselves in or with our sailplanes, we never seem to come up with new ideas. Read the full article.
Remember that old arcade game, Whack-a-Mole? The idea of the game was to hit the mole on the head with the mallet as soon as the mole popped out of the hole. As the game progressed, the moles popped up faster and stayed up for less time. It soon became almost impossible to keep up with the pace of the moles. Read the full article.
As a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) I have an opportunity to test many applicants each year for their pilot certificates. The FAA and the general aviation training industry have been promoting SBT for many years now. They acknowledge the value of SBT in the training environment as a useful tool to reduce the accident rate. As examiners we are required to test using scenarios as much as we can. However, in my observation scenario based training by our glider instructors is not happening. Here are a few examples. Read the full article.
I've been debating how best to write an article to describe and address a topic we have been beating to death for years, but continue to see occurrences. My fear is there is a point, where we desensitize folks and they stop listening. However, my recent observations highlight the drastically different situations where things can go bad all producing the same result. So let's give it a try. Read the full article.
Over the years, one of the great opportunities for aspiring young pilots to learn has been the chance to rub shoulders, or at least hear stories of the exploits of the pilots in their circle of peers. We used to call it "hangar flying," but now it has the more formal title of "Scenario Based Training!" Call it what you will, I would like to inject this article into the SSF stream of instructional articles into what we hope will become a popular series. Read the full article.