The January 2020 meeting was one of the most well attended in recent history; 50+ pilots showed up to hear the guest speaker, get updates on Palomar and other club news including some exciting potential to improve our launches.
This past Sunday (January 12th, 2020) we got the year off to a fine start with another Holfuy weather station installation, this time at Little Black. After about a year and half of working with the park rangers there (well done Jeff Brown!) we agreed on a spot, set up a date, and rallied the troops.
So you found the SDHGPA weather station on El Cajon mountain, eh? Maybe you hiked out there and saw the QR code link on the mast*. Maybe you heard about it from a fellow paraglider or hang glider pilot. Perhaps you’re a supporter of the San Diego River Park Foundation, or a biologist over at the US Forest Service. However you found it, there’s a pretty rad story behind how it got there, who the players were, and just how much collaborated effort and expense we went to in order to plant that mast and gather weather data.
Like any good story, this one starts in a few different places.
Meeting was at Tony Boyer's house, Marjorie did the BBQ shopping and Jiri did the lion's share of the grill work and all were well fed & watered. Standing room only!
Here are Nik's notes:
San Diego XC pilots! In keeping with making the club even more rad and useful for our members, the SDHGPA now has an Ayvri Pro membership.
What the heck is Ayri? It's a piece of software that allows you to visualize your flight in 3D once you upload your flight track.
Here's what it looks like:
Ayvri is particularly useful for team flying operations, when you want to see where everyone else went, where you split up, what you missed, and how you could have worked together better.
The problem with Ayvri is this: For the free memberships you can only upload 3 tracks. Obviously that limits the group size to 3, and we often have more than 3 pilots team flying.
The PRO account upgrade is $144/year, and the SDHGPA Board approved getting a membership, so if you're a member of the SDHGPA and you'd like to use the Pro feature, the cost is included in your membership!
Ayvri Usage FAQ
I did my team flying with my SDHGPA buddies, what should I do with my track files to see the animation?
Go to our Ayvri form page and bookmark it. Use the form to let the SDHGPA Ayvri XC Animation team know who flew, when, and where. You can also find that page via the top navigation bar under More-->XC Contest SDHGPA-->Ayvri Flight Animation
How do I generate a track log?
We wrote up a tutorial on how to do this, check it out here.
I'm not a SDHGPA member but was team-flying with the SD crew at one of the local spots, can you include me?
If you launched from a site maintained or frequently used by San Diego members then you'll need to have a membership to be included.
I'm a temporary member of SDHGPA, can I use this while I'm here?
Yep, we are stoked to include you under this umbrella while you're here in San Diego!
I'm an annual SDHGPA member who traveled outside of San Diego and had a rad team-flight experience with a couple of non-SDHGPA members, will you still post our flights?
Yep. If you're an Annual dues-paying member and you travel outside of the San Diego area and have a team flight you want to share with the SDHGPA crew, we're all about learning from others. Load 'em up to Leonardo and let us know who to look for.
Hey, I just emailed your crew 8 times in 7 minutes but they haven't responded, is the system broken?
Relax, turbo. This is an all volunteer organization. While we are absolutely stoked to watch and learn from each other we all also have other stuff to do. It may take a day or so to get it loaded up.
What other cool stuff do you guys have? I like the way your club operates!
Check out how some of best weather-guessers run their system, here. We try and put in high-end weather stations at most of our sites. Here's a rundown on what many of our pilots have on their flight decks. We do a decent amount of traveling to fly as a group, check out our pro "travel to fly" tips here.
This month's meeting was generously hosted at SportRx, just east of PB. We had a strong turnout, with 40+ pilots showing up including a bunch of pilots from Torrey. Thanks to everyone who showed up and mowed down the pizza!
Robert Michiels attempted a livestream of the meeting on his YouTube channel, and while he wasn't psyched on the results (in fact, I think he's deleted the 2nd half of the meeting from his channel) it was a step in the right direction. Live-streaming is an often requested action item for those of us who can't make the physical meetings. If YOU are a tech-geek who wants to commit to attending the meetings and live-streaming 'em, please let me (Nik) know so we can do this.
6:30 - 6:45
-Thanks to SportRx, quick explanation of what they do: Offer a TON of sunglasses that they can make prescription. They're offering a 15% discount to any pilot who showed up at the meeting, contact Nik for how to get that.
-Try ’n Fly day with SportRx, location TBA (though probably at Torrey since that's the easiest for most pilots to get to and fly/land safely.)
News Items (see below)
Phil Russman, Voice of Darkness - Flight Safety
Steve Rohrbaugh & Ryan Bloum, accident reports
Phil Russman, Team Flying
- How To
- Team Building
- Kinetik has offered up their space for us to do a Mon or Thurs reserve repack 7-9 pm, we've got to coordinate someone who'll run it (Betty?) and then set a date.
-Any interest in starting up a stolen gear telegram thread national and international? This met with lukewarm feedback, probably not worth it.
-Blog post, spots to kite in San Diego
-near Little Black
-ball fields at the western terminus of the 8
-where else can you kite in San Diego? Let's build a map and post it on the SDHGPA site!
-fire hazard/BBQ concerns to fire hazards (neighbors are complaining on the NextDoor app, one of them came up and talked to pilots on launch. Robert M got the neighbor psyched on flying, BUT others are still unconvinced. It seem as if other groups of Off-roaders have been seen partying and BBQing up on the hill creating this valid concern. )
-parking issue on the road (neighbors are complaining that it is hazardous to have so many cars parked on the road. No solution offered.)
-RC pilots invited to meeting, and while I didn't see 'em (maybe they came and I didn't realize it) I think involving RC pilots and inviting them to our meetings is a step in the "build a strong flying community" direction.
-El Cap weather station
-Bill Kimball’s proposed position has been accepted. We still need to hike out there to figure out how we're going to anchor it, AND we're waiting to hear from wildlife agencies re. golden eagles, they’ll give us a 20 min presentation on it Nov 21st
-Dave Metzgar’s advice for climbing up at the Cap: Stay out front to avoid a North vs staying in tight to cliff.
-Palomar is still a tender site. You MUST check in and check out, they keep track of this pretty rigorously in order to make sure pilots have landed safely and are off the property. All other Palomar Site Protocols must be followed regardless of the launch used to keep all landowners happy and the site open for all to enjoy.
-SDHGPA member Sofia Puerta Webber wanted to make sure you guys know about her tour down to Columbia with Kari Castle. Reach out to Sofia if you're game to head south and LEARN!
Ideas if we have time:
-opening up new sites…check with landowners first, be ready to hike a TON, the "best" sites are the ones we already fly.
-what does membership mean? Why join? What does USHPA & SDHGPA get you? For a listing, see : SDHGPA Benefits
-why carry a radio? What should you get? What should you know how to do?
Pilots of San Diego, rejoice! Restrictions on flying Palomar have been lifted, you may now go back to using the Main LZ, launch, etc.
However, we still need to follow all of the Site Protocols including Checking-in and Checking-out at the Start and End of every day. Refer to the Palomar site guide for the most updated guidance.
See ya in the sky (and thanks to Steve R for doing the legwork on this!)
Effective 7-25-19 The Palomar Main LZ is Closed for a Roberts Ranch Project until further notice.
We are trying to see if we can keep the site open using the other LZs and Bailout. Until we have confirmation on that, The Entire Palomar site should be considered closed.
From the Pala EC:
“The Executive Committee is currently working on a project at Robert’s Ranch, and are storing equipment and water linings and etc., on the LZ Landing Area.
This project is going to last 4-6 weeks, maybe longer. Chairman Smith asked me to notify you to cease using the LZ Landing Area until further notice.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during the time we are having projects done on our property. Please notify all your members immediately. “
Palomar has been reopened for Weekday flying starting 7-16-19.
However, there are new Protocols worked out with the Pala Roberts Ranch for checking in and out with the Ranch office and Tribal Security along with a few other protocol updates.
Make SURE all Pilots read the full updated Palomar site guide!
Key updates and those not followed 100% in the past few months:
Flying Laguna? There's a new protocol. More to follow, but the short version is this:
As soon as it is known how many are going to take off from the upper launch, send a text to Bill Helliwell (his area code is 760, then dial 500 followed by 1265) with the number of pilots. Sorry for the robot avoidance attempt.
Bill will text the park ranger Point of Contact. Also As soon as it is known how many pilots are landing at the Earthquake Valley LZ (the number could be zero) send another text to Bill Helliwell.
For all Site Protocols and information, see the full Laguna Site Guide.
The San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association