Safety Corner

Welcome to the Soaring Café Safety CornerThe Safety Corner is where we will collect various articles on safety related issues. Aviation safety culture also includes discussion of your own experiences and errors which everyone can learn from. Therefore, the key element of this new column will be Share your Experience – a venue for our readers to talk about their mishaps, incidents and accidents to help others avoid the same mistakes.

Of course, Share your Experience is not our invention; nowadays, the same idea plays an essential role in the safety culture of most major airlines. Their safety departments depend on pilots’ safety reports – not to punish them, but to find and eliminate possible threats to safety. Columns such as Flying magazine’s “I Learned About Flying from That” and “Never Again” in AOPA Pilot encourage general aviation pilots to share their mistakes and close calls. In commercial aviation as well as in gliding, flight safety can be improved only when incidents are worked through and the findings distributed.

Share Your ExperienceIf you have a story to share with our readers, please send an email to We will publish any suitable contributions. If you prefer, we will publish your account without names or identifying information will be disclosed.

Share Your Experience Articles

No Big Deal? (7/11/2013) - This report was submitted by Bill Hanson, who flies his Pégase 101 out of Randall Airport, NY. It belongs to those stories that make you think “Oh boy”. Thanks to Bill for sharing his experience and contributing to our mission for more safety in gliding! “Here is what happened to me last weekend: I use…

The End of The Road for TA – Part II, the Crash Report (6/22/2013) - On Saturday June 1, 2013 I crashed my Ventus 2bx glider into trees on a mountainside near Moriarty, NM. Miraculously I walked away (literally, as I had to hike more than a mile to the nearest road) with only very minor scratches and a bruise or two, but the plane was very heavily damaged.

Swimming with a Shark (6/2/2013) - I felt the cold clammy hand of fear on the last Friday of April 2013. It wasn’t an irrational fear, like "oooh there is something under the bed" or a nervous fear like standing up to give a presentation; it was from the grim realisation that I had flown myself into a hole with no way out. I know my last article started by alluding that we should do one thing everyday that scares us, as some motivational way to grow and become a better person but I think, on this occasion, I might have taken that notion a bit too literally.

Rafting the Hiwassee (4/21/2013) - Rafting is a popular activity in the hills of eastern Tennessee, and the Hiwassee is reckoned to be a good river for this. But a raft made by Schempp-Hirth is probably a poor choice.