Accident rates for novice glider pilots vs. pilots with experience

Steve Jarvis, Don Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: It is a popular notion in gliding that newly soloed pilots have a low accident rate. The intention of this study was to review the support for such a hypothesis from literature and to explore it using UK accident totals and measures of flying exposure. Method: Log sheets from UK gliding clubs were used to estimate flying exposure for inexperienced glider pilots. This was used along with accident data and annual flight statistics for the period 2004-2006 in order to estimate accident rates that could be compared between the pilot groups. Results: The UK accident rate for glider pilots from 2004-2006 was 1 accident in every 3534 launches and 1590 flying hours. The lowest estimated rate for pilots with up to 1 h of experience was 1 accident every 976 launches and 149 h flown. For pilots with up to 10 h of experience the figures were 1 accident in 1274 launches and 503 h. Discussion: From 2004-2006 UK glider pilots with 10 h or less experience in command had twice the number of accidents per launch and three times as many accidents per hour flown than average for UK glider pilots. Pilots with only 1 h of experience or less were involved in at least 10 times the number of accidents per hour flown than the UK average and had more than 3.5 times the number of accidents per launch. Reprint &

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1158
Number of pages4
JournalAviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidents
  • Experience
  • Gliding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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