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Flight Safety

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How to locate a missing glider

Use this comprehensive checklist to expedite finding a missing glider.

Missing Glider Checklist

How to set up your display on OGN

Use these steps to set up your OGN access.

Set up OGN

Use one these forms to set up your specific device.

Set up with SPOT

Set up with inReach


National Glider Transponder Squawk Code 1202
(as of: 3-07-2012)

The FAA has assigned transponder code 1202 for use by gliders not in contact with an air traffic control (ATC) facility with an effective date of March 7, 2012. The notice was published in JO 7110.577, a copy of which is available on the FAA web site. Read the FAA notice:

Update 3-8-2012:   Gliders are to Squawk 1202 in Wave.
See Wave Windows.

Altitude Encoding Transponders Recommended

The Potential conflict between gliders and commercial air traffic near Reno has increased with the growth of commercial jet traffic into Reno-Tahoe Airport (RNO) . PASCO emphasizes that glider pilots operating in the Reno area must be alert for all air traffic arriving and departing RNO.

Transponder signals are received by Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) on board commercial aircraft as well as by Air Traffic Control (ATC) Radar.

PASCO recommends that gliders operating cross country, within 50 NM of Reno-Tahoe Airport, install and use an altitude encoding transponder.

Transponder Definitions:

  • SQUAWK: The 4 digit code set in the transponder, such as 1202
  • IDENT or SQUAWK IDENT: A controller may ask you to "ident" or "squawk ident" to verify your location on the radar screen. Do NOT push the ident button unless they ask you to. When asked, push the button on the transponder marked IDENT. This causes the target on the controllers radar screen to change, identifying your transponder location.
  • Tow Planes are to Squawk 1200, as normal.



Reno Air Traffic Area Changed to "Nor Cal Approach" - effective Oct. 23, 2010

  1. Radio Contact is now with NorCal Approach
  2. North Sector is called "Nugget" frequency 126.3
  3. South Sector is called "Silver" frequency 119.2
Reno Pilot Cockpit Card 02-14-2013 UPDATED (PDF 213KB)
By PASCO. Thanks to Sergio Colacevich for his work to update this information. Cockpit Reminder for Gliders Flying in Airspace Around Reno, NV. Updated for NorCal Approach and new Transponder Squawk Code 1202.
Reno Glider Pilot RNO Procedures Revised 02-14-2013 - (PDF 350KB)

Thanks to Sergio Colacevich for his work in getting this document updated, and to Rolf Peterson, PASCO, for originally putting this together.
RECOMMENDED Communications Procedures for Glider Pilots Flying Gliders in the vicinity of Reno, NV. Revised Feb. 14, 2013.

Glider Pilots must now communicate with NorCal Approach. This is a "MUST READ" for your safety. Page 7 is the Pilot's Cockpit Card.

Reno Area - Traffic Procedures "Talking to ATC" (PDF 15KB)
by: Mike Schneider. IMPORTANT UPDATE, where this document says
"Reno Approach", you now contact "NorCal Approach"

A great 3 page "Cheat Sheet" list of radio communication lingo to use when talking to ATC, includes common phrases and expected responses. Print this out and take it with you to study. Practice with a friend.
Reno ATC - Reno Air Traffic Control - 2006 (PDF 2.9MB)
By Don Brooks PASCO 2006 - So you think you are alone in the big friendly skies? - Don's presentation will open your eyes. IMPORTANT UPDATE, where this document says"Reno Approach", you now contact "NorCal Approach"
Transponders in Sailplanes-2014 (Link to Soaring Safety Foundation Site - PDF 1MB)
By Eric Greenwell - Updated in 2014. Eric provides a lot of important and useful Information on Selecting, Installing, and Using a transponder.


Wave Windows - FAA Agreements

Minden and Pyramid Lake Wave Procedures
Wave windows at Minden and ASI have been terminated and are being re-negotiated with the FAA. See their respective websites for updates to this process.
Williams Soaring Center - Williams, CA Wave Procedures

Visit the Williams web site to view the Wave Window information that was prepared by Peter Kelly and Darryl Ramm. Be sure to ask the WSC staff to review the requirements and be sure download the SUA file for your PDA prior to any wave flight attempt to make sure you stay in the window boundaries..


Safety Articles & Documents

PASCO Safety Report - 2010 Safety Seminar (PDF 757KB)
By Fred LaSor. 2010 Year in Review. A eye opening review of Glider Accidents in the USA, and Region 11. Reasons, statistics. View the supporting Excel spreadsheet 2010-PASCO-Accident-Tabulation.xls
Staying Safe In Wave (PDF)
by Fred LaSor - PASCO Safety Officer -- Wave season is upon us in PASCO-land, and it's time to review some considerations of flying at high altitudes for extended periods of time.
Complacency: What Me Worry? (PDF 117 KB)
By Martin Hellman - Presented at the PASCO 2007 Soaring Seminar. None of us think of ourselves as resembling Alfred E. Newman, the "What me worry?" Mad Magazine character – until after an accident, when we rigorously review what we could have done differently.
Safety Comes First (PDF 64KB)
By Bruno Gantenbrink - A candid commentary on soaring safety. 'That sentence, "The most dangerous part of gliding is the trip to the glider field" is the dumbest, most ignorant saying that has found a home in our sport.'
Mountain Flying Safety (PDF 114KB)
By Richard Pearl - 2006 - Do you know the affect of high altitude on your glider? What speed should you fly? Take off? Landing?
Generic Safety - What Causes Accidents (PDF 271KB)
By Bill Reuland - 2006 What Cause High Percentage of Accidents? Fatigue.. lack of practice.. Failure to maintain situational awareness...
FAA Physiological Training Course Brochure (PDF 182KB)
High Altitude Chamber Ride and the FAA Basic Survival Course information. What it is, and where to schedule it. You must have a FAA Class 3 medical to go into the High Altitude Chamber, but not for the classes.
Physiological Hazards of Soaring Flights ( PDF 1.3MB)
By Dr. Walter B. Cannon MD 2003 - Medical conditions which could create dangerous situations in flight... Hypoxia, Skin Cancers from Chronic Sun Exposure... more...
White Mountain Safety - Procedure Alpha Map & Info card- (PDF 51KB)
You should print and memorize this information (two pages) and have them in your cockpit when flying the Whites.
  • Set Altimeter to Bishop ASOS Pressure Alt (freq. 119.025)
  • Report Position on 123.5 per the position map.
  • Maintain 1,000 ft vertical separation.
  • Use a transponder and squawk 1202.
  • Install a PowerFlarm and use it.
  • Open and PRINT the Procedure Alpha Document.

Does Soaring Have to be so dangerous? NEW! An analysis of over 250 soaring accidents - by Clemens Ceipek


AOPA, and SSA Safety Links

AOPA Air Safety Foundation
Ranges from publications to online courses. Air Safety Institute SafetyCasts bring the nation’s leading safety experts right into your home, 24-7. With so many to choose from, you’re bound to find no-nonsense safety advice tailored to your specific needs—advice you can use on your very next flight. Each seminar runs about 60 minutes.
Soaring Safety Foundation - Major Goals:

Reduce accident rate in soaring

Increase pilot awareness of safety

Disseminate Training Information and material


FAA & NTSB Safety Links

FAA Physiological Training Course Brochure (PDF182KB)
High Altitude Chamber Ride 'CAMI' and the FAA Basic Survival Course information. What it is, and where to schedule it. You must have a FAA Class 3 medical to go into the High Altitude Chamber, but not for the classes. NOTE: The High Altitude Chamber Ride is no longer given in California. Interested parties need to research sites in the US still offering this training.
Safer Skies through Education - Aviation Learning.
NTSB- National Transportation and Safety Board - Aviation Division
Accident Database & Synopses, Accident Statistics.