Category Archives: Sites

Mingus

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The Center of the Universe for Hang Gliding and Paragliding

Mingus Mountain, located in the Prescott National Forest between Prescott Valley and Jerome, is the AZHPA's premier flying site. Free (to USHPA members) camping at launch, a poured cement launch ramp and a 'natural ramp' 150 feet north, approximately 4300 feet vertical, stunning scenery, and a grassy breakdown area combine to make this site one of the best in the USA.

Description

Location: Cottonwood, Jerome.
Usage: Foot Launched: Hang Gliders, Paragliders, Rigid Wings.
Season: All year, but best from Spring to early Fall.
Requirements: H3 / P3, key access during Winter.
Affiliation: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Radio info: USHGA standard business band frequencies, 2M Ham with proper license.
Land ownership: Launch is owned by U.S. Forrest Service. LZ is private land.
Other use: Sightseers and campers near launch.
Emergency: Cottonwood, about 45 mins. drive.
Maintenance: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

Launching

Launches: Two cliff launches at 7,800' ASL can get rowdy in strong winds. During best season, launching should be in the early afternoon, before winds switch West.
Winds: SE from 0 to 25 MPH. Wire crew needed for winds over 15 MPH.
Driving directions: Take state route 89A either north from Prescott Valley or south from Jerome to top of mountain. Follow exit to Mingus Recreational Area where a packed-dirt road begins. Follow on dirt past meadow, small lake, church camp and campground. Take a left at the campground to go to launch.
Road conditions: 2WD dirt road in fair condition, 20 MPH speed limit must be respected.

Parking: 20 to 25 vehicles. More space at campground.
Facilities: One Port-a-let at launch. Camping available at campground half-mile from launch.

Setup area: Max. 30 gliders. More space between trees.
Hazards: Frequent rotor on launch ramp: this is typically a morning site. Launching in afternoon is uncommon and can be very hazardous. Visitors should contact local pilots for detailed information.

Flying

Type of flying: Ridge soaring rare, but possible. This is one of Arizona's prime cross-country flying sites with routes into mostly Northwest to East directions depending on winds aloft.
Restrictions: No special flying restrictions.
Hazards: A few radio towers behind launch. During monsoon season, violent thunderstorms may be present or may develop very quickly.

Landing

10th Street LZ: See it in googlemaps Do NOT cross the Cottonwood Airport runway at less than 2000 feet AGL.

Bailout

Old dump: LZ at 3,800' ASL about 200' by 400'. Slight down slope from South to North. Approaches are typically from S->N and WE. Break-down area is on far east edge of LZ.
Driving directions: Drive to Cottonwood airport, stay on pavement past airport, go past cattle guard where road turns to dirt. Continue another two-thirds of a mile to LZ entrance on right. Have the locked-gate combination handy.
Road conditions: Gravel, 2WD.
Parking: Far east and north ends of LZ but leave room for overshooting gliders.
Facilities: Several in Cottonwood.
Hazards: Half mile from Cottonwood airport, look for small airplanes in the air. Several large rocks, steep drop-off on south end of LZ. Use good approach pattern to clear three small knolls about 100' high on west and north sides.

3rd Local Option

Cottonwood Airport: Special training is required to land at Cottonwood Airport. Do NOT land at Cottonwood if you have not been trained on how to use that site! For detailed airport info, please see http://www.airnav.com/airport/P52.

Sedona

Sedona airport: Please check with local hang glider pilots for the current Sedona Airport HG landing protocol.

Contacts

Kris Thomsen (HG Site Director)
Tanner Patty (PG Site Director)
Bill Comstock (HG Flight Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Flight Director)

South Mountain

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Our Big City Hang Gliding and Paragliding Crown Jewel

South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the world. It consists of a range of mountains thirteen miles long across the southern part of Phoenix, Arizona. Hang Gliding has been a recognized sporting activity in the park since the early 1980's.

The Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and the Parks, Recreation and Library Department have agreed to a set of guidelines for flight operations in the Park. The Master Plan for South Mountain Park, adopted by the City Council confirmed hang gliding as an appropriate use of the park and specified areas for launching and landing hang gliders. As the sport of hang gliding has grown the variety of hang glider types has grown as well. Now known as un-powered ultralights hang glider types include flex wings, rigid wings, paragliders, and ultralight balloons.

The City of Phoenix Parks, Recreation and Library Department has given permission for people to fly from designated launches and land in designated landing areas within South Mountain Park under the following conditions:

  1. All pilots must be current members of the Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (AZHPA). Visiting Pilots Get A Pass Here
  2. All pilots must be current members of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA).
  3. All H2 and P2 pilots must have an H3/P3 or higher USHPA rated site sponsor present while flying
  4. No commercial operations or instruction permitted within the park.
  5. All pilots must print, sign and submit this liability release waiver to AZHPA or present it to a club officer before flying this site.

GENERAL RULES THAT MUST BE ADHERED TO BY ALL PILOTS:

  • DO NOT park in front of the gate at the Kart Track which is near the north side landing area.
  • DO NOT park in the Kart Track parking lot if the Kart Track is in use. Kart Track Schedule
  • DO NOT launch anywhere in the park except for in the designated launching areas. (See Images Below)
  • DO NOT land anywhere in the park except for in the designated landing areas. (See Images Below)
  • Park only in designated parking areas and spots.
  • DO NOT hike or venture off designated trails.

Know Before You Go!

South Mountain Information Brochure

South Mountain Airspace PDF

VFR Sectional Symbols PDF

PHX Terminal Chart at SkyVector.com

SITE DESCRIPTION

Location: South Phoenix
Usage: HPRF (Hang Gliding, Paragliding, Rigid Wing, Foot-launch)
Season: Flown all year.
Requirements: H3, H2 sponsored, P3, P2 sponsored. Show valid USHGA and AZHPA IDs upon request. Visiting pilots can obtain a visiting pilot pass here and show the registration/payment form as proof.
Affiliation: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Radio info: USHGA standard business band frequencies. Local weather info on 162.550 MHz.
Land ownership: City of Phoenix Municipal Park.
Other use: Heavily used by general public for sightseeing, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and more. Can be considerably crowded during special events and on weekends.
Emergency: Several hospitals near park.
Maintenance: Arizona Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association.

SOUTH LAUNCH


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Orientation: Faces 180 degrees at 2625' MSL, PG and HG friendly.
GPS Coordinates: 33° 19' 50.91" N     112° 03' 40.15" W
Winds: SSE to SSW 0-??mph. Summer evenings are usually too west to fly from the south launch.
Directions: Take Central Ave. south to the park entrance. Follow the two lane, paved road 7.5 miles to the top, following the signs to "Gila Valley Lookout".
Conditions: Two-lane paved road to launch (7 miles). 25 MPH speed limit, no passing.
Parking: Marked for up to 30 vehicles.
Facilities: Ranger station just past park entrance and at most lookouts.
Setup area: Unlimited in parking lot. Don't block road.
Hazards: Unmarked power lines to the right of launch. Very difficult to see. Locate them before you fly.

 

NORTH LAUNCH


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Orientation: Faces 340 degrees at 2300' MSL, PG and HG friendly.
GPS Coordinates: 33° 19' 43.21" N     112° 05' 14.81" W
Winds: NW to NNE 0-20 mph. Can be launchable in the evenings when the south launch is indicating west winds.
Directions: Same as for south launch. Follow road to 2.5 mile marker and park at the next pullout. The Ranger Trail is right at the 2.5 mile marker. Very good trail, moderate slope, about 30 minute hike. Follow trail to the ridge top on the east side of ravine. Launch is at trail marker. Excellent no wind HG launch is on the left, PG launch on the right.
Setup Area: Don't block trail or damage vegetation.
Hazards: None.

FLYING

Type of flying: Thermal
Restrictions: Class B airspace starts at 5000' MSL. Please refer to the Phoenix Terminal Area Chart.
Hazards: 300' radio towers, unmarked power lines, lots of air traffic flying under the Class B.

DESIGNATED LANDING AREAS


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South Side: Straight in front of launch, just before the houses, visible from launch as a small, circular, bare patch. Has slight downhill slope to the south. Paraglider pilots should set up their approach so as to not overfly the wash to the west of the LZ and plan on landing short of the LZ to compensate for the famous South Mountain Pop. Much of the terrain around the LZ is usable for landing, just avoid getting popped and floating into or close to the houses.
GPS Coordinates: 33° 19' 13.80" N     112° 03' 43.55" W
Directions: From I-10, take Pecos Rd. west to Desert Foothills Dr. Take Desert Foothills north for two miles, turn right on Granite View Dr. Drive to north end of street. Walk along rock wash to the main trail, turn left, go west 200 yds to LZ.
Conditions: Paved roads in residential area with schools.
Facilities: Ranger station just past park entrance on North side and at most lookouts.
Hazards: Many tall saguaros and chollas. Ravine bordering West side of LZ.
Restrictions: Don't walk off trail.

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North Side: Straight in front of launch is the Kart Track. Its got a large paved parking lot and a big open dirt area to the west, the LZ is the dirt area to the west, not the parking lot! Wind sock should be just to the west or northwest of the large dirt area (check on your way up). Do not land in the Kart track parking lot, its a very good thermal generator and has been known to kick off some good ones, the asphalt surface doesn't do your wing any good either. Much of the terrain to the west of the large dirt area is usable as well. Its not a good idea to approach low over the deep wash that is just south of the Kart Track. Its claimed a few victims over the years.
GPS Coordinates: 33° 20' 19.77" N     112° 05' 28.77" W
Directions: You pass the landing area on the way to launch, fairly obvious, locked gate. Do not park in front of the gate or block the road into the parking lot. Contact an AZHPA member before you go and they can open the gate for you, help with parking and rides up to the saddle.
Restrictions: Don't walk off trail. Do not park in, use or land in the Kart Track if any Kart Racing/Practicing is going on.

CONTACTS

Gregory Porter (HG Site Director)
William Alms (PG Site Director)
Bill Comstock (HG Flight Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Flight Director)

Shaw Butte

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A Historic Hang Gliding and Paragliding Site in the Heart of Phoenix, pioneered in the early 70's, Shaw Butte is still surprising pilots with epic and memorable flights quite often. There's not many sites that offer such a grand view of Phoenix and put our way of flying on center stage. While 4 wheel drive vehicles are still permitted to haul pilots and gear to the top, we must always remember to be respectful of the hikers and bikers on the road to the top. Travel at the pace of a desert tortoise with the attitude of David Cane (Grasshopper) and the journey to the top should be pleasant and uneventful.

The City of Phoenix Parks, Recreation and Library Department as well as APS, has given permission for people to fly from designated launches in Shaw Butte Mountain Park under the following conditions.

  1. All pilots must be current members of the Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (AZHPA).
  2. All pilots must be current members of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA).
  3. All pilots must sign in at the top prior to flying. Steel lock box with sign in sheet.
  4. All pilots must have an H3/P3 rating or greater
  5. All pilots must print, sign and submit this liability release waiver to AZHPA or present it to a club officer before flying this site.

Know Before You Go!

Shaw Butte Information Brochure

VFR Sectional Symbols PDF

PHX Terminal Chart at SkyVector.com
SITE DESCRIPTION

Location: Metropolitan Phoenix
Usage: HG, PG
Season: All year. Reduced use during summer due to heat and turbulence.
Requirements: H3 or P3. Gate key or AZHPA member with a key to meet you at gate. Arizona Public Service safety course. Visitors will need AZHPA membership after three flights. Sign in at steel lock-box at launch. USHGA membership required for all pilots.
Affiliation: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association
Radio info: Standard USHGA business band frequencies. 2M Amateur on 146.440 and 146.550 with 162.2 Hz squelch tone. CTCSS squelch. Local weather info on 162.550 MHz.
Land ownership: Road to launch is maintained by Arizona Public Service. Site and LZ are in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
Other use: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding.
Emergency: Several nearby hospitals.
Maintenance: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association
LAUNCHES

Launches: Three at 2,100' ASL. Main launches are cliff launches and face SW.
GPS Coordinates: PG Launch: 33° 35' 38.25" N 112° 05' 14.23" W HG Launch: 33° 35' 37.88" N 112° 05' 13.46" W
Winds: SW (2) and SE (1).
Driving directions: Meet with other pilots at LZ (see below). Drive up or down only during daylight hours. 5 MPH speed limit.
Road conditions: 4WD only, steep, winding and very rough in spots. Lots of foot traffic as well.
Parking: Space for about 10 vehicles along road and at top.
Facilities: None.
Setup area: 15 gliders max.
Hazards: 20 KV marked power lines. Several 150' tall radio towers. Dangerous boulders below all launches. Unsafe for winds below 5 MPH or above 20 MPH.
FLYING

Type of flying: Ridge soaring and thermaling. Usual house thermal over pad to South of launch.
Restrictions: Heavily-used airspace with three nearby airports, including Sky Harbor. 6,000' MSL limit over the Butte. KDVT and KSDL Controlled Class D airports to the NE. Please refer to the Phoenix Terminal Area Chart
Hazards: Same as launch hazards. Keep eyes open for low-flying airplanes, helicopters, hot-air balloons, and blimps.
LANDING

Landing zones: Large, sloped retention basin along foot of mountain in N-S direction. Avoid landing down slope (towards SW). Alternate, smaller 100' by 150' pad on West side of ravine (North Pad) to be used with West or no winds only. Break-down area next to parking lot fence.
GPS Coordinates: 33° 35' 07.14" N 112° 04' 52.31" W
Driving directions: From Black Canyon Freeway (I-17) take Peoria exit East. Follow to end at 7th Ave., take left and follow to trail head parking area.
Road conditions: Paved road and parking area.
Parking: 30-49 vehicles shared with other park users.
Facilities: None, but many shops nearby.
Hazards: Power lines next to homes, ravine between both LZs, several Palo Verde trees. Very turbulent between May and August. Some sharp rocks and a few solid trail markers that won't bend.
Restrictions: Don't land on golf course just North of Thunderbird Road.
CONTACTS

Shawn Jarrell (HG Site Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Site Director)
Bill Comstock (HG Flight Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Flight Director)