Flying in the Camp 9 corridor

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
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Flying in the Camp 9 corridor

Post by gregangsten » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:37 am

Everyone needs to be aware of the need to keep the helicopter launch corridor in front of Camp 9 open and clear of gliders. We received a call from them during the Dahlsten Cup complaining about gliders thermaling in front of the helicopter launch area. Remember, we are required to only be in this area when we are transitioning to the east or west and we cannot linger there. Joe G is planning a presentation to give to the pilots and new director there to familiarize them with our flying and to get feedback from their pilots. Here is a letter that Joe received:
Hello Joe,

I was able to get more information from the pilot on duty at Camp 9 on the 26th. He stated that there were 4-5 gliders operating directly S (May Canyon) of Camp 9 that day. They were not transitioning the area but were “flying� or “thermaling� as he put it to me. He described their altitude as “even� with the Camp elevation. He also said that he called the phone number for the LZ and was told that there was a “big party� going on at the time and that some of the members might not have been briefed about the “no fly� area S of the camp. With that information, I am definitely concerned that there might be a problem with some of the operators in your organization.

I want to assure our pilots that it is safe for us to deploy from Camp 9’s two pads for emergency responses but I need to be able to tell them that the SHGA is also committed to making sure that all of the operators are briefed on the Association’s Guidelines and Rules. Let me know when you are available for a visit to the Barton facility for an update to all of us.

I am cc’ing my boss, Battalion Chief Joel Harrison, so that he can stay in the loop on our discussions.



THOMAS SHORT, Senior Pilot

County of Los Angeles Fire Department

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Post by JD » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:55 am

Here are the tracks from the 7 open class pilots during the Dahlston Cup and my own visualization of the helicopter corridor. There are only 3 brief turns inside the corridor before the pilot leaves the area. With the exception of the brief thermalling incursion this is how it should be. I recently had a conversation with an SBSD helicopter pilot who does rescues in the San Bernardino Mountains. He is a combat veteran who flew a Blackhawk in the Middle East. He told me that combat flying was a cakewalk compared to performing mountain rescues. He assured me that we are difficult to impossible to see in the air. They are busy watching the terrain or their instruments and things happen fast.

I have spoken with other chopper pilots and crew who I've flown near against a blue sky while flying X/C. THEY DON'T SEE US PERIOD! Hang glider pilots need to comprehend that we are virtually invisible to helicopter pilots and their crew.

Please look at this graphics carefully. Click either one for larger scale. If pilots need assistance in learning how to work the lift around May Canyon just ask any of the race pilots where the thermals are located and how they work. We are here to mentor each other to get the most out of our flying site. This is not some elitist club. We are here for each other. Just ask for guidance and avoid re-inventing the wheel, please.



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Post by vannoppen » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:35 am

I was unaware that we can't fly there unless transitioning. I was definatly one of the guilty parties that day. I did report on the radio that the copter was taking off and proceeded to leave the area but when I saw it go over the back NW I went back. My bad. Now I know

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Post by dhmartens » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:54 pm

The bad news is a Colossus "Hang Glider Control" APP developed by has suspended your flying privileges at Sylmar for 30 days.
Artificial intelligence programming I developed to "control the world" for the mining industry has been adapted to create a "Hang Gliding Renaissance". The BOD can commute your sentence for 2 weeks this time only for fessing up to it. The good news is you can still get it 4 times a week.

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