A Sweet Ridge & Thermal Site South West of Phoenix

Oatman is a bit off the beaten path and away from the congestion and airspace restrictions found at the Metro Phoenix sites. Offers good ridge soaring opportunities when a good wind is in the forecast.

Description

Location: Gila Bend, Painted Rock Dam.
Usage: Hang, Para, Rigid; Foot-launch
Season: All year, but very hot during Summer.
Requirements: Hang 2.
Affiliation: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Radio info: USHGA standard business band frequencies, 2M Ham with proper license.
Land ownership:
Other use: Sightseers and campers near launch, military jet training on weekdays.
Emergency: Gila Bend.
Maintenance: Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

Launching

South Launch: Great for ridge soaring and a good thermal collector.
Winds:
SW from 0 to 25 MPH.
Driving directions: Take Painted Rock Road off I-8 (about ten miles West of Gila Bend) and go North. Where the road veers right and a dirt road continues West, follow the dirt road to the South LZ. The road to launch is by the riverbed on the East side.
Road conditions: 4WD dirt road in fair condition after turnoff to South launch.
Parking: 6 vehicles max.
Facilities: None.
Setup area: Max. 10 gliders.
Hazards: Power lines going up south face of mountain from LZ. High speed jets on weekdays. Crosswinds on launch from right (SW) are generally turbulent and produce little lift.

North Launch: Faces small valley crosscutting the mountain.
Winds: N from 0 to 25 MPH.
Driving directions: Same as for South launch but continue on paved road to top of mountain.
Road conditions: 2WD paved road in fair condition.
Parking: 6 vehicles max.
Facilities: None.
Setup area: Max. 10 gliders.
Hazards: Several large telecummunications antennas, some with cables. High speed jets on weekdays. Crosswinds on launch should be avoided.

Flying

Type of flying: Ridge soaring and thermaling.
Restrictions: No special flying restrictions.
Hazards: Power lines on south side going up face of mountain and East of LZ. High speed jets on weekdays.

Landing

South Landing Zone: Large, flat areas with room to overshoot and undershoot.
Driving directions: See directions to South launch.
Road conditions: Gravel, 2WD.
Parking: Next to vegetation.
Facilities: Gila Bend.
Hazards: Power lines to East of LZ. Several ravines about 15 to 25 feet deep should be avoided.
Restrictions:

North Landing Zone: Large, flat areas surrounded by tall vegetation and barbed-wire fence along dirt road.
Driving directions: Same as directions to South launch but continue on dirt road where paved road to launch begins.
Road conditions: Gravel, 2WD, 4WD after erosion by rains.
Parking: Ends of LZ.
Facilities: Gila Bend.
Hazards: Barbed-wire fence, tall trees.
Restrictions:

Contacts

Mark Warfel (HG Site Director)
Bill Comstock (HG Flight Director)
Jorge Arango (PG Flight Director)

Oatman WX

Notice to Pilots

The information presented here is for reference only!

It is meant to supplement NOT replace a site walk through with an experienced pilot. In the interest of safety the AZHPA recommends that all pilots unfamiliar with the site fly in the company of an experienced pilot once or twice before flying there themselves. Remember, this is the wild, wild west! Even though a site may be Novice rated, conditions can change quickly, turning it into an unforgiving Advanced site!

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