Glider accidents: an analysis of 143 cases, 2001-2005

R.R.A. van Doorn*, A.J. de Voogt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: The majority of aviation crashes and casualties take place in general and sport aviation. Although gliding has gained popularity in recent decades, we could find no systematic analysis of glider accidents. This study determined factors associated with both non-fatal and fatal glider accidents to document their position within sport and general aviation accidents, and to suggest preventive measures and improvements. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of glider accidents for the period 2001-2005 in the database maintained by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Results: A total of 117 non-fatal and 26 fatal glider accidents were reported for the 5-yr period. Adverse weather was the cause in 20% of all non-fatal accidents 60 % of which occurred in the cruise phase. Logistic regression revealed that fatal accidents were predicted by pilot error, flight phase, and home-built aircraft. Discussion: Factors contributing to glider crashes are specific to this type of sport aviation. Owners of home-built gliders should pay particular attention to the aircraft's specifications and design limits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-28
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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