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Kagel PTZ Camera

Weather Underground PWS KCACALIF63

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!

Chloe Burgis learning to fly, with Baby Lamb as copilot, 6/21/2020   

Angeles National Forest OPEN
October 27th

Launch Weather Station
February 10th, 2021

We have a new weather station on launch. Use the link located on this page, left column, just above the LZ web cam picture.

Jim Mercadante passed away from complications of COVID on January 10. He was a long-time SHGA member, though family obligations pulled him away from flying over the past few years. He would always cheerfully contribute to any project, whether it was building a barbecue (remember our old cinderblock one?) or repairing the road to launch, or driving for a pilot eager to fly. Jim worked at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, but his top priority was always his nephew Vinny and the rest of his family. We miss him, but know hes flying with the angels.

A new, 36X camera has replaced the old (20X) camera that was pointed at launch. The old camera is now pointed at the LZ permanently and this is the still shot shown on the front page of our website. However, if you click on this picture, you will also see a live shot of the launch. This live picture can be made to fill the entire screen by clicking on the small square in the lower right corner.

April 20, 2021 8:58 am
Report of one stellar flight on Monday. Pilot went over the back at 7,900ft and flew to Baker near the Nevada border. TODAY...back to normal. Lot's more marine layer leaving behind low valley haze. Very strong inversion creating summerlike ceiling conditions. Winds aloft will be S between 8 and 12kts by 2pm. Max altitude of 4,900ft.

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Towers Launch Clearing Party
Thanks to many volunteers, the towers launch is once again a good place to fly from. 10 pilots worked in hot weather on a steep slope to clear the brush. The work was tough enough that some chose not to fly after the launch was cleared. 5 pilots did manage to launch is windy conditions.

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.

There are lots of reasons not to fly with wheels. First, they cause drag. When flying in a competition against other pilots on equally fast gliders and of similar skill, then leave the wheels at home. Likewise, skip the Go-Pro camera, and make sure there aren't any wrinkles in your racing harness.

Wheels are also expensive; they cost as much as a downtube or two. For those who have never bent a downtube or scratched up a carbon fiber basetube, wheels are superfluous.

Wheels can also be problematic on a few launches; for example, they're discouraged at Yosemite. Then again, on rare occasion, one will observe a nearly-blown launch saved by wheels.

Aside from those special situations (competition flying, abject poverty, or Yosemite), consider flying with wheels. They really do reduce injuries, damage to gliders, and long-term cost.

Airspeed is What You Need
How much airspeed do you need for the roll control you want when flying close to fixed objects? How much do you need for the insulation against stalling that you want then?

Launching a glider is essentially a process of increasing airspeed. Consider that it's not a number of steps, or how fast, and read the Airspeed is What You Need post in the Safety Forum. Some conditions, some locations, need more.


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