How safe is gliding?
Gliding is an adventurous air sport and as such is not as safe as travelling on a commercial airliner.
If you are looking for a totally risk-free sport, gliding may not be right for you. But on the same basis neither would horse riding or skiing! Being in control of an aircraft isn’t for everyone.
Like all other forms of aviation, a lot of training is provided to ensure pilots can, primarily prevent but also, deal with any potentially dangerous scenarios.
There is a lot of formality over the airworthiness of gliders just like any other aircraft. Gliders have a certificate or airworthiness and are subject to strict annual checks. Pilots also carry out daily and post-rigging checks with additional precautions before each take-off.
The whole organisation of gliding from club level through to the national UK British Gliding Association (BGA) is highly safety conscious.
“The BGA gives priority to continuing to reduce the fatal accident rate and to not harming any third parties. In the latest 10 year period, the trainee glider pilot serious injury rate was 0.4 per 100,000 flights with zero fatalities. For all glider pilots in the same period, the serious injury rate was 1.9 per 100,000 flights with a fatal injury rate of 0.7 per 100,000 flights” – taken from the BGA Website 18th Jan 2019
If you visit a gliding club you might be surprised that most pilots are level headed, modest and cautious people. Certainly not extreme sport or thrill-seeker types.
If you are thinking about taking up gliding, the instructors at your local club, as they are at Black Mountains Gliding, will be highly experienced, certified by the BGA and able to illustrate what is done to mitigate risks.