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Sylmar is the world capital of hang gliding and pilots have been flying hang gliders in these mountains since 1969. The first U.S. National Hang Gliding Championships were held here in 1973.

The Flight Park is located just outside of Los Angeles and we enjoy around 300 days of flying a year. Please check out the rules and site information before flying here. The Sylmar Hang Gliding Association is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization. Dues and other payments can be sent via PayPal.

Pilots and non-pilots are welcome to enjoy our flight park year 'round! Fly high, fly far, fly safe!

Kagel launch, Andrea Margolin, 2011   

Corona Virus
March 22nd, 2020
Although our club remains open for flying, we encourage everyone to comply with "social distancing" guidelines. Avoid riding together in trucks where possible. Consider hiking up the mountain so that trucks carry as few people as possible. Also consider wearing masks (or scarves) when in a truck going up the mountain. And wash your hands a LOT while in the LZ.

Help needed to preserve our landing approach
March 15th, 2020

Our club is featured in the latest edition of USHPA Pilot Magazine. The article asks all pilots to write letters to our Councilwoman, Monica Rodriguez, asking her to NOT change the current zoning rules of "Dino's triangle". This property has been purchased by a land developer who may ask her to change the current zoning to allow houses to be built on that property. If this were to happen, it would significantly increase the dangers of our landing approach. Please see the article for details.

SHGA's membership billing will be changing to assure that we are non-commercial in the eyes of our insurance provider. The day-use fee has been replaced with a monthly membership at the same price. Glider storage assessments will be combined with membership dues and billed at the same time. Details will follow as they get worked out.

April 4, 2020 8:34am
Report of most pilots only getting a little over launch in air that wasn't too rough. One pilot got 5,300ft and it was rough. TODAY....a spring version of summer bumpy. Winds aloft are SW between 6 and 8kts by 2pm. Van Nuys TAF has clouds at 3,500ft by noon. Currently the marine clouds are topping out at 5K. The blipspot forecasts clouds with a base at 5K by 2pm. Burnoff forecast between 10am and 1pm. I'd bet on 1pm. Max altitude 4,800ft.

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Take a hike!
To practice "social distancing" in these coronavirus times, consider hiking up and flying down. A trail map is available here. Remember to stay at least a wingspan apart, and fly safe. This is an even worse time than usual to need a hospital bed.

Preflight upgrades
Moving up to a new high-performance glider? It's time to upgrade the preflight as well!

Most of us develop our preflight routine based on a single-surface glider such as a Falcon. When moving up in performance, one may be adding a nose cone, or a VG string, or sprog zippers, or a "dingle-dangle" hang point. I think pilots are particularly likely to overlook those items in their preflights, because they weren't part of the initial routine that they learned.

Avoiding a mid-air collision
It takes two pilots to have a mid-air collision, and one alert pilot can virtually always avoid disaster even when the error primarily lies with the other.

We're taught to clear our turns. What if the other pilot doesn't? Keep an eye out for nearby gliders, and have an escape plan if they do something unexpected.

What if the other pilot enters your thermal improperly? He'll sidle in from the outside, so if you're watching to the outside of your turn as well as the inside, you can dive away.

How about that pilot directly above in the same thermal, who hangs out in your blind spot and fails to yield to your right of way? Often, the shadows on the ground will reveal the situation.

Landing out
Landing away from a familiar LZ is one of the most challenging things we do as hang glider pilots. Practice is hugely valuable, and if the ability to land out is important to your flying style, then it's worth intentionally doing so on occasion.

Walking the most likely bail-out LZs is another great way to reduce risk. Here in Sylmar, our bail-out LZs change continually as the forces of wilderness and urbanization battle against each other along the foot of the mountains. While there are descriptions here, it is worth visiting them in person every now and again.


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