The Soaring Safety Foundation’s (SSF) Site Survey program is modeled after a similar program developed in Sweden. The Swedish Soaring Federation has determined that Site Safety Reviews have a major impact on soaring safety at the various gliding clubs. Their studies have shown a decrease of more than 50% in soaring accident rates. The Soaring Safety Foundation will come to your Club/Chapter for a Site Survey or we can conduct a Safety Meeting for Club Members Only, so they may express their views, concerns, and questions in confidence.

COST: It’s FREE.  Although a small donation tax-exempt donation to the SSF is welcome, and you will need to make arrangements for the evening safety meeting.


Burt Compton

Site Survey Program Manager


  • A soaring site cannot “fail” a site survey.
  • It is a review of the soaring site operations, and an update of airspace, new FAR’s, safety procedures – like you accomplish in a pilot’s Flight Review.
  • The soaring site must invite the Soaring Safety Foundation to conduct the survey.
  • A one-day survey of operations and procedures would include a club-member-only Safety Meeting to confidentially discuss club concerns and questions.
  • In many cases, non-standard procedures are used at a soaring site because “we always did it that way”. Often, pilots at a site wish that procedures could be improved but cannot find a basis to change the “culture” of that soaring operation.

To understand the “culture” of your operation, we learn about the . . .

  • Historical Background of the Soaring Site
  • Management Structure
  • Accident / Incident History
  • Airport Environment
  • Airspace

After the survey of your operation, we will verbally report to you about . . .

  • Preflight Inspections
  • Ground Handling
  • Launch Point Organization
  • Use of Checklists
  • Standard Signals and Communications
  • Takeoff and Landing Patterns
  • Emergency Scenarios and Options

We observe and talk with the people . . .

  • Line Crew and Towpilots
  • Students and Instructors
  • Pilots of Rental Gliders
  • Pilots of Private Gliders

. . . these are just a few of the specific items and procedures that we survey, then confidentially provide our observations . . .


  • Provide the people flying at the site a basis for modifying the “safety culture”
  • Reinforce a commitment to safety
  • Refresh CFIG teaching techniques
  • Generate a confidential verbal report to the site managers
  • Identify your “Good Ideas” that SSF may share with other soaring sites

Bottom Line: Save lives, prevent injury, reduce damage to aircraft and property, and likely help your soaring operation save money in terms of expenses related to incidents and accidents. A claims-free operation may reduce insurance premiums.