Almost all of the San Felipe Valley comprises the “ San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area”, which is controlled by the California Department of Fish and Game. Some of the Area is closed to public entry all of the time. During the summer months, June, July, August, the entire Area is closed to all public entry. See the map at this website: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=87881&inline
Clearly there is an exception for the highways. But the Area is on both sides of the highways. If you land on BLM property at the San Felipe Hills you are not allowed to walk to the highway. The North end of the San Felipe Valley has some privately owned property. Some quite level and almost like a meadow. The North end is also where the Sheriff station is located. It is at the small gray triangle next to highway S2.
If you are forced or choose to land in the San Felipe Valley you risk getting a trespassing ticket from the Sheriff, or some kind of ticket from a Fish and Game Ranger.
For more information on the Wildlife area: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/San-Felipe-Valley-WA
Note that Laguna is listed as a Sensitive Site. For this and all the Latest Laguna Site Protocols, Be sure to check the Laguna Site Guide for updates each and every time you fly.
The entire San Felipe Valley, including the usual Banner Emergency landing areas, are closed for the summer to all use, including foot traffic, and is being actively monitored effective June 1st 2017 through Aug 31st.
What to do on a windy Blown out Day?
And before heading out to fly any other day?
For instance, Palomar is now listed as: Minimum Ratings: H3 / P3 - (M1 to Bail out LZ; M2 to Main LZ); or H2 / P2 with other higher rated pilots present, site briefing for the day, and instructor sign off.
Also as a Reminder:
If you are an Instructor or School, please also review all Site and Instruction Protocols that include all Tandem Flight at all SDHGPA Sites. Note that any and all Instruction or Tandem Flights from or to any SDHGPA Launch or Landing Zones / LZs must comply with our Site Protocols. By not doing so puts the Site, Land Owners, SDHGPA, Students, and yourself at risk and violates SDHGPA flight SOPs.
The Palomar Launch Maintenance and Purple Star-Thistle round up work party on 1-8-17 and Portable Prep on 1-15-17 to installation were a huge success!!!
The 1st weekend, we were able to effectively pull out and remove a large portion of the Star-Thistle seed heads that developed late last season before they were able to break off to germinate and spread on launch and set-up areas. This was another big step in getting the Star-Thistle invasion under control.
Other Work accomplished:
A big thank you goes out to All the Pilots that came out to help!
After the hard work, all that came out were justly rewarded with nice gentle lift with many getting to 6K on this amazing 100+ mile visibility day ! From launch the view reached down and beyond the Coronado Islands off of Mexico, out to San Clemente Island, and up to Catalina Island.
The 2nd weekend 1-15-17, we focused in on creating a level pad and access trails to a new long term portable head to be placed on Launch. The Location is just off the Access Road but sub grade and out of line site from the gate. All that came out did a great job and even threw in some fine details like stone steps.
The West and SW HG Keys were also detailed out and widened a bit more to minimize tip strikes.
Flying Sunday was great and most all that came out had fun flights taking thermals from sun patches to cloud base at ~ 5k. By the end of the day, CB drooped to Launch level.
For Site & Gate access: Join or Renew SDHGPA Membership if you have not already done so.
You can check Current Membership Status under the Membership menu.
The Palomar Purple Star-Thistle round up work party on 5-14-16 was a huge success!
We were able to dig out and clear or able to effectively cut and remove a large portion of the seed heads before they were able to germinate and spread on launch. This was a big step in getting the Star-Thistle invasion under control.
A big thank you goes out to the 15 pilots that came out to help today!
After filling Wild Bill's truck with Star-Thistle till it could take no more, all that came out were able to get into the air to play with the low cloud base & mixing air.
Purple Star-Thistle has taken over the Palomar launch and we will be working to eradicate this non native invasive plant. This will likely be a several year project and take diligence to stay on top of until we get it in control.
Purple Star-Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa L.) is a noxious, invasive weed that severely competes with our native grasses and wild flowers. It also has a nasty spiked seed pod head. Simpy mowing this weed will actually help spread it and is not an option. For more information, see the following Technical Bulletin from the Marin County Department of Agriculture:
THANKS TO ALL PILOTS:
The USHPA RRG initial minimum funding Goal Has Been Reached!
If you have not already donated, it is not too late to add your name to the list of donors!
The money we raise above this initial minimum goal will be used to increase the RRG's initial capital, offset startup costs, and make it easier to gain approval from the insurance commission. This will make the RRG stronger and better able to protect our sites, schools, and members.
If you have already made a donation and did not name SDHGPA as an Affiliation -
You can update your Chapter Affiliation , or privacy settings using this form:
USHPA is getting close, But Let's drive this over the top!
The USHPA fundraising goal was set as a minimum. The more we raise, the lower our premiums will be.
Yes, this is a big deal.
If we as USHPA members do not reach the , Free Flight Forever self insurance fund raising goals, and if USHPA is not able to reestablish insurance policies. We , SDHGPA members, will likely lose our ability to fly as we do today at Palomar, Big Black, Little Black, Laguna Upper Launch, Laguna Earthquake Valley LZ, Horse Anderson Field LZ. All of these sites will all likely be closed starting March 1st of this year if we do nothing.
What is SDHGPA doing about this big threat to our Flying Sites
The SDHGPA Board has met and we feel that this is as rainy day as it gets. The Board unanimously agreed to bleed down our SDHGPA reserve funds to help ensure that USHPA meets it's self insurance objectives. The following motion was passed unanimously:
SDHGPA will match $100 of each SDHGPA Member's "USHPA Free Flight Forever RRG Capitalization Fund" donations for those that donate naming SDHGPA as a Chapter Affiliation up $10K in total from SDHGPA reserve funds.
That would make a total of at least 20K from SDHGPA. This is about $80 per Annual Member that we had in 2015 if each member donated. It would be great if all members could donate, but unlikely; So we raised the SDHGPA Matching to $100 per member.
To Enable SDHGPA Free Flight Forever Donation Matching:
We need each and every SDHGPA Member to step up and help save our sites
When Making your Donation, add SDHGPA as your Chapter Affiliation
If you have already made a donation and did not name SDHGPA as an Affiliation -
You can update your Chapter Affiliation using this form:
FAQ: Yes the SDHGPA match is retroactive. However, you will need to add an Chapter Affiliation if you did not list it. Early donations did not get the option of adding a Chapter Affiliation or sign up for the Donation level Shirt or Jacket. If you need to update your Chapter Affiliation, public/anonymous status and sign up for a shirt/jacket from previous donations, you can do that on this page: https://fs30.formsite.com/officeushpaaero/form25/index.html
Need more convincing on why it is so important?
Think of it as a cheap insurance policy that is tax deductible!
Would you consider driving down the road without auto insurance? - Don't think so -
Open Letter from Bill Helliwell
Will you fly without USHPA insurance?
The 1st 2 Work Party days were a huge success!
For pictures of those days, see: A Big Thank You for Making Horse and Little Black look great!
The Follow-on Work Party for Little Black is scheduled for:
The LZ has become greatly overgrown and the Launch has eroded leaving many exposed rock snags and Windsock poles have been vandalized.
Horse Draft Work Plan:
What a great way to start off the 2016 new year with yet another great fly-in at Palomar!
A BIG THANK YOU!!! to ALL of the FLY-IN VOLUNTEERS!
First off, I would like to extend a big thanks to all those that pitched in to make the SDHGPA New-Year Fly-in an enjoyable event and a huge success. There were too many to name, but your contributions were noticed. We were very appreciative of even visiting pilots pitching in to help with what ever was needed.
We would like to especially thank Bill Davis, Angela A, Anto Z, Dave Metzgar, and Bob Barry for tacking a lion share of the Prep and execution of the work event with other conflicting events on the day.
A Big thank you also goes out to The Pala Tribe and Roberts Ranch for letting use the LZ for our Fly-in BBQ for the extended hours and all those that helped to make this such a great event.
Bill Helliwell's account of the Fly-in
John Gallagher's Fly-in Perspective
The Rich Matros Memorial X-C Contest 2015:
Milestone Shirt Awards:
For the XC Contest Rules and How to Join:
Martin Palmaz on State of USHPA Insurance
Martin Palmaz (USHPA Executive Director) spoke with us and answered many questions regarding USHPA's insurance issues and what USHPA is working towards.
Some of his key points in his address are outlined in this video:
When Making your Donation, add SDHGPA as your Chapter Affiliation!
SDHGPA on State of USHPA Insurance
Yes, this is a big deal. If we do not reach the , Free Flight Forever self insurance fund raising goals, and if USHPA is not able to reestablish insurance policies. We , SDHGPA members, will likely lose our ability to fly as we do today at all but two of our San Diego Mountain sites.
Without Site Insurance Palomar, Big Black, Little Black, Laguna Upper Launch, Laguna Earthquake Valley LZ, Horse Anderson Field LZ will all likely be closed starting March 1st of this year.
If you need More convincing on why this is such a big deal to us as local San Diego pilots, see Bill Helliwell's article on our SDHGPA Donation Matching fundraising page.
SDHGPA Free Flight Forever Donation Matching?
Annual New-Year Fly-in and Awards Ceremony @ Palomar
Saturday January 16th 2016
Check this page for info updates up to day of fly-in.
Last Update: 1-16-16
Palomar Fly-in for this weekend Jan 16th is a Go!
SDHGPA 2016 Membership is required to fly this event & BBQ.
(Full Annual Membership or Visiting Pilot membership is valid for this event. However Visiting Pilots will not receive gate codes & must fly with Full Annual Members for access)
This will be a great event!!!
Rough Time Table:
11:00 - General Meeting Time & Set-up in LZ:
12:00 - Drive to launch
12:30 - Site intros on Main Launch
1 - 4:00 - Launching
~3:30 BBQ Set-up & Start Cooking
~ 4pm - BBQ starts
~5:30 - Guest Speaker Martin Palmaz (USHPA Executive Director) on state of USHPA Insurance
~6:00 - Awards Ceremony
Post Flying BBQ:
Fly-in Special Guest: Martin Palmaz on State of USHPA Insurance
Martin Palmaz (USHPA Executive Director) will be flying in to join us for our Fly-In on the 16th. He would like to talk with us, answer any questions, and get our feedback regarding USHPA & Insurance issues.
Yes, this is a big deal. If we do not reach the , Free Flight Forever self insurance fund raising goals, and if USHPA is not able to reestablish insurance policies. We will likely lose our ability to fly all but one of our San Diego Mountain sites.
Annual Awards Ceremony:
Stay Tuned to hear all the Big Flight Stories of the Year
Photos from Last Year's SDHGPA Annual New Year Fly-in 2015 @ Palomar
The San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association