Launch is on private property which is pilot friendly. Current USHPA membership and P2/H2 rating or foreign equivalent is required. Please use the same etiquette which would be displayed whenever launching from private property.
Minimum requirements to fly this site:
P2 or H2 USHPA rating (or P1 rating with instructor) with current USHPA membership and completed site orientation.
P2 or H2 USHPA rated pilots with a current USHPA membership.
Foreign pilots holding the equivalent of P2/H2 ratings after completing a USHPA 30-day affiliate membership application and signing the liability release waiver.
Tandem passengers must be temporary USHPA members and have signed USHPA release and waiver.
Site Protocol for foot-launched aviation at Cliffside Point
1. The aluminum company no longer owns the launch site. The renter is still there and should be respected, but he doesn't call the shots anymore. There is now a very steep road that you can drive up in a 4WD vehicle. It may be possible that we can use 2WD vehicles, but it might be very easy to tear up the road and make it impassible. Do not spin your wheels. Keep your speed up.
2. Do not drive beyond the parking area, even though you could. A single set of tracks would be visible for years. Do what you can to improve the vegetation around/on launch. It would be really nice to keep a bit of grass growing there.
3. Yeah, I'm excited about the road up Cliffside. It's a great place to fly, with a safe launch, easy landing by the river (landing by Hwy 14 is dumb) and it often works when the coast doesn't.
4. But you have to be there when the flying is good. It responds to day/night cycles, so you might want to be there in morning before it gets blown out, or in the afternoon when it finally gets strong enough to be soarable, or in the evening when it's finally backed off enough to be safe. Cliffside does have glass-offs, often after people have started heading for home.
5. Sitting up there exposed to the elements for hours is not my idea of fun. There may be some among us who enjoy the challenge and while I admire their resoluteness I doubt their wisdom.
6. So being able to drive up and have your stuff with you up there is great. And we can do what we want, it's our private land (well, technically, mine). We could make a fire pit for BBQ. We can have picnic tables, shelters, drink beer, smoke dope, sunbathe nude, target practice… umm, if there are disagreements about what's appropriate, ask me, I will decide arbitrarily. Actually, target practice and loud music is hereby banned unless everyone up there is OK with it.
7. When you get up there, you may notice that even a wimpy 2WD vehicle can wander over the landscape. Don't. We will have to decide on parking and party areas. For now, don't go where there aren't already a lot of vehicles.
8. Pull weeds. Use a weedeater to clear the starthistle when it's green early in the season.
9. Pee on launch. Do it when you are done flying for the day. Spray it around a bit, not in a puddle. Dew will carry the nutrients into the soil if rain doesn't. The launch area will be bare dirt with increased use if we don't do something. Maybe we should make an effort to carry jugs of water to water the area and soak in the pee, and fertilizer and seeds. Maybe just a little would make a big difference, maybe it's just too much area. Worth a try.
Notes: In the 1980's, Cliffside aka Pollution Point, was a bandito site for hang gliders. One time the plant called out the sheriff, and he said we were on state right of way and we were OK. In 1995 Jay Carroll cozied up to the aluminum plant and arranged for permitted flying. Sometime around 2012 CB learned that the plant was going to be dismantled and sold, and sounded the alarm that any new owners might restrict paragliding. He talked the plant into parceling out the launch area and offering it for sale. Jay Zollinger stepped in as lawyer and went through all the legal documents. CB went back to the launch area with surveyors to get the coordinates right. Eventually it was done and the property is owned by a PG pilot. Reed Gleason provided the cash.
Launch and Landing Areas:
Paragliding launch: Hike up about 10 minutes from the upper parking pullout by crossing the road, then following the fence line to the stile and up the trail to the paragliding launch and top landing area on the open grass fields above the fence line. Or drive through the farmhouse gate, take an immediate right, then drive up the steep 4WD road to the parking area west of the paragliding launch area.
There are multiple landing zones (see map below) with the one along the river being used most frequently these days. The alternate LZ is the large field southeast of the lower parking pullout, below the road. From the alternate LZ it is a slight up-slope walk to SR-14, use stile to cross the fence just east of the pullout.
Some general cautions:
Be very careful to avoid the power lines that run from the hang launch down to the aluminum plant. They are sometimes difficult to see.
Use caution when ridge soaring west of the hang launch or top landing at the hang launch. There is a venturi area between the hang launch and the farmhouse. Penetration back can be difficult if you fly too far west of the hang launch.
The alternate LZ has large rocks and undulating terrain. The air over the alternate landing zone can also be “funky” when the winds are light and it is thermic. The lower LZ across the railroad tracks or landing at the riverbank near the red and white tower and the Native American boat launch, nice flat graveled LZ may be safer options depending on your altitude.
Hang Glider Landing Zone Vehicle Access for Retrieval
1. Park as to not block any gates or roadway, the gates have a wider area for parking.
2. Please park next to roadways and not drive out into fields.
3. Please land in the area specified and walk your glider to vehicle. Stay away from power lines.
Site Liaison: Todd Taylor
Submitted by: Jay Carroll
Last revision date: 2/5/2016 by Reed Gleason