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slopeflyer.com - R/C slope soaring sites, news, planes and tips

 

Reprinted with permission form Have Sailplane, Will Travel

Outstanding flying can be found on the southern shores of our Great Lake Erie, near the metropolis of Cleveland, Ohio, at the northern border of our country.

 

Much maligned and the brunt of many jokes in the mid 70's, Cleveland has experienced a true renaissance period. With mass exodus of people to the suburbs in the 70's, the city realized to keep the population, many changes needed to be made. Effort was put into rebuilding much of the infrastructure as well as revitalization of much of the abandoned or under utilized industrial sectors. Achievements such as renewal of the Flats entertainment district, birth of the Gateway Project with Gund Arena and Jacobs Field, homes of the Cavs and Indians pro sports teams, opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Great Lakes Science Center and the new Cleveland Browns Stadium as well as strong support for the many established cultural and civic organizations such as the Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square illustrate our success in creating a truly "world class" city. Enough, you say?

 

07

Sep

2002

 

North Carolina Slope Flying Sites

 

The Wright Brothers Memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills, NC near Kitty Hawk. The entrance is just off 158. It seemed an appropriate place to fly. The hill was usable when the wind was out of the northeast. The back side may work for southwest. Actually, depending on the plane, almost any wind angle has potential.

 

07

Sep

2002

 

North Carolina Slope Flying Sites

Jockey's Ridge is a big sand dune that is just off 158, which is the main bypass thru Nag's Head. It is hard to miss as it is the highest point around.

On the day I was there the wind was about 15-18 mph out of the northeast. I had been flying the SH-50 for about 1/2 hour when Tom from Richmond, VA showed up to fly his Chrysalis. Tom mentioned that the wind direction we had was more like fall wind but not unheard of in July. He said that mid to late fall have more days with useable wind.

The hill had quite a few people on it but there was plenty of space to use. The kite fliers were on the bottom or back of the hill and the hang gliders never got above the crest.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

 

03

Sep

2002

New York Slope Flying Sites
Thanks to Dave Garwood for this info.

Location: The Capital District of New York State.
Just east of General Electric Knolls Atomic Power Lab on River Road in Niskayuna.

From Exit 9 on I-87, the Adirondack Northway:

1. Westbound on State Route 146 for about 6 miles

2. LEFT at traffic light where SR-146 turns southbound

3. Cross the Mohawk River in Town of Rexford

4. LEFT at light at top of hill, eastbound on River Road

5. Continue through rotary in front of General Electric.

6. You'll pass GE Knolls Atomic Power Lab

7. LEFT into Jeff Blatnick Park

8. Drive past two baseball diamonds

9. Go to end of parking lot, climb the hill.

 

 

Jeff Blatnick Park
Town of Niskayuna
Schenectady County, NY

This HLG and slope flying site is a capped landfill overlooking the Mohawk River, now used for walking, bike riding, roller blading. The hill is about 120 feet tall and about 400 feet long between tree lines at the ends of the field. It's clear out front down to a partial tree line at the river bank. The hill face and the top is a large grassy meadow so landing is easy, as is recovering a downed plane.  Pleasant view, too.

The main problem is it needs EAST wind, an unusual direction, but it's a public park so no problem with access. The Town has rules posted; one of the most interesting is "Animal traps not to be set within 200 feet of the centerline of the paved bike path."  Pack out your trash, be courteous to the walkers and skaters, and we should be able to fly here for years.

This flying site achieved 15 minutes of fame in the soaring community when a Dave Garwood photo of Traveling Soaring Writerman GordySoar Stahl catching a Vaquero sailplane Ninja style appeared on the cover of OCT 1997 R/C Soaring Digest. http://www.b2streamlines.com/RCSD.html

Written by Dave Garwood, APR 2002.

 

Traveling Man GordySoar catches a Vaquero Ninja Style at Niskayuna site, about 90 feet over the Mohawk River. Thanks to RCSD Magazine for use of the photo.

 

 


 

04

Sep

2002


New York Slope Flying Sites

Thanks to Dave Garwood for this info that originally appeared in
an RCSD article in 1998.

LOCATION: Park in a gravel parking lot at the south side of State Route 2 in Petersburg, NY about 1/4 mile east of the NY/MA border. The flying site is 200 feet up a gravel trail to the south.

LAND MANAGEMENT: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Formerly a ski area, primary land use now is a hiking/backpacking staging area. Parasailors also use the site, though they launch from a partially cleared area across Route 2.

WIND CONDITIONS NEEDED: The west side is flyable in 5 MPH or more wind from the west or northwest. The big slope faces NNW, but is in the wind shadow of another peak to the north. The east side is flyable in SE 10 MPH or better.

RECOMMENDED PLANES: In suitable wind conditions., anything you have trimmed well and can fly confidently.

 

Petersburg Pass Slope Site

(NY/MA border)

If you are going through the Taconic Mountains that run along the Massachusetts / New York border you'll find the Petersburg Pass Slope Site.

Pull into the parking lot at the top of the saddle back mountain on Route 2 between Petersburg NY and Williamstown MA, climb the gravel trail towards the south, and drink in two stunning vistas. To the west is Petersburg, and a bowl-shaped ridge that rises 900 feet above the valley floor. To the east is Williamstown and Mount Greylock, the tallest peak in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts.

Both sides are flyable, and dynamic soaring is possible, if you're really on top of your game.

This is Big Sky slope soaring, at least it seems like Big Sky to those of us who live where glaciers once covered the landscape. The bowl to the west creates a wide lift band when it's working - you simply cannot fly out of lift and still see your plane.

"This is the best inland slope site I've ever flown," said my 20-year old son, Lou, on our second trip there when we had 10-12 MPH wind. Lou's been flying slope for about six years, and on that day flew a DAW 1-26, his trusty Sig Ninja, and a Slope Scale lead sled Mitsubishi Zero.

In 20 MPH, vertical development becomes impressive, supporting 250-foot loops. On his first visit there, Bob Powers quickly put away his NSP Sparrow and pulled out his ballasted-up carbon Renegade. "I don't think we've ever flown this fast at Cape Cod," Bob said after a few whistling fast passes.

The east side is flyable in SE wind, but so is Mount Greylock, only about 20 miles away, and in rare SE wind Greylock is the place to go.

Petersburg Pass is not a beginner flying site nor a spot for the faint of heart. It has the absolute trickiest launch point that I've seen in ten years of flying slope in eight states. You must launch through some intense turbulence and shoot through a break in a tree line until you get out into the lift, holding the nose down all the while to keep the speed up. It is an adrenaline-pumping moment, because there trees below.

Many trees.

The landing zone is surprisingly docile. It's a grassy area about 100 by 125 feet containing only a few bushes and one surveyor's stake on our last visit. It is amazingly free of turbulence and if you set up a reasonable landing approach you can grease it in on grass. If your downwind leg is too long, though, you'll be in the tree line at the east end of the LZ.

CAUTION 1: Do not fly an untested or untrimmed plane at this site, at least not in wind higher than 5-8 MPH. Do not launch a plane with shaky batteries here.

CAUTION 2:  If  losing a plane will cause you permanent emotional damage, do not fly here. If a plane goes down over the forest below it will likely be impossible to recover.

CAUTION 3:  The Taconic Trail, a recreational hiking trail exits the woods smack into the center of the LZ. On landing, and for close-pass maneuvers you must post a spotter at that trail to watch for hikers. If we were to hit a hiker accidently, it could easily get us kicked out of the site.

These cautions are less urgent in lighter wind conditions. You can fly HLGs and long wing floaters in 3-5 MPH with less risk. Flying light and medium aileron slope soarers in 5-15 requires some attention to maintain safety. Flying slope screamers in 20 MPH or higher commands serious attention to safety issues.

All in all, Petersburg Pass is one memorable slope site. If your thumbs are up to it, consider putting it on your New York / New England travel itinerary.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

 

 

04

Aug

2007

L.P. How sent in this site in he Northwestern corner of New Mexico just outside of Chama.

He says  "Great landing area and my longest flight so far is over an hour with my Philip 600 e-powered hotliner. In the fall the color is beautiful not to mention surprising the train buffs with an airshow at one of the most beautiful spot in NM.

L.P. How sent in this site in he Northwestern corner of New Mexico just outside of Chama.

Directions:

  • Go north after Chama to Cumbre pass.
  • At the top there is a narrow gauge tour train stop.
  • Right after the pass, take the first left on to a dirt road and another left right away. (going behind the train station) 50~70 yards later you'll see a hiking trail going up the saddle on your right. (if you get to the underpass, you've gone too far).
  • A short/easy 5 minute hike and you are there.

2007-08-04Great landing area and my longest flight so far is over an hour with my Philip 600 e-powered hotliner. In the fall the color is beautiful not to mention surprising the train buffs with an airshow at one of the most beautiful spot in NM.

I made the trip to fly up there from Santa Fe, which is a two hour drive, about four times.

Conditions had been winds 15~20 mph and when it isn't blowing the thermal from the valley is just fantastic. I am not sure but I think on top of the pass is 10,500ft.

Get in touch with me if anyone is interested. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it







 

07

Mar

2007

Posted by Ezra (Edited by Greg) on Mar 28, 2007, 21:35


San Antonio mountain, located on highway 285 about 10 miles south
of the Colorado state line, about 35 minutes northwest of Taos, New Mexico. A
massive blob with 10,000 foot altitude and 2100 feet above the surrounding is land located on BLM and Forest Land. There is a dirt road 87 that skirts the backside (southwest) where the winds are most prevelant. It's size is deceiving, it's about a mile hike from the car to the slope. The lift is massive, very easy to speck out my Kulbutan in any direction. The slope is rocky in some areas.  

07

Sep

2002

 

New Mexico Slope Flying Sites
submitted by Richard in Albuquerque

Jemez River Dam
Location approx 3-5 mi N of Bernalillo, NM.  A lava mesa suitable for flying foamies and other disposable aircraft in S to WNW winds. Top of cliff is about 150 ft above reservoir. Wear sturdy boots or hiking shoes in the event a retrieval is necessary. Best wind conditions are January thru April. Beware of the very nasty rotor!! Be sure to bring extra strapping tape.

Detailed directions: Take I-25 to exit 242. Go W on Hiway 550 to the intersection of NM528 just past the Santa Ana Star Casino. Turn N on hiway and continue past the Santa Ana Golf Course. Continue straight for several miles to Jemez Canyon Dam, an Army Corp. of Engineers project. At the end of the road is a picnic area. All along the west and south facing cliff is flyable.  One caveat--the mesa is Santa Ana Pueblo land--it may be off-limits during Pueblo religious activities and driving off of the paved road to the south face may be prohibited (depending upon who you talk to). More details can be found at:
http://www.slopecombat.freeservers.com/custom2.html

A topo map of the area can be found at:
http://topozone.com/map.asp?z=13&n=3916822&e=359461&s=25

Local Pilots

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

 

18

Mar

2008

Berry Pasture Trail has long been a popular hiking trail leading to Burton Peak on Temple Mountain in Sharon, NH. A timber harvest was completed during the summer of 2007 which provides great views of Mount Monadnock and some awesome soaring when winds are blowing from the southwest. Use the Google Map below to get driving directions to the parking area.

From the parking area it's a strenuous 15-20 minute climb to the west facing slope site. Just follow the triangular blue blazes until you come to the clearing.

The site is accessible in winter, but Mountain Road is not plowed by the town.  Four wheel drive (along with common sense) is highly recommended when the road is covered in snow.


Continuing up Berry Pasture Trail leads to the summit of Burton Peak.  Near the top it meets up with the Wapack trail which is marked by yellow blazes.  Follow the trail uphill until you see the blue blazes break off to the left. When the wind is north-westerly this area probably provides much better lift.  However, it's pretty tight and not for the faint of heart.

Here is a link to a Google map of the area.

 

17

Jul

2005

Tom Chant lives in Mohave Valley, AZ, about 115 miles south of Las Vegas, NV and posted a story about a super slope there. Check it out: Mohave Valley Sloping

 

03

Feb

2009

Montana Slope Flying Sites

Jim Crook - Missoula This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
I have flown on a local hill, that seemed fine to me, but I have never been to a slope site that was known as a good site so I have nothing to compare my hill to. If you are in the area, and you are a sloper, maybe you can give an experienced evaluation.

Here are the directions to the hill in Missoula.

  • From Hwy 90 take the Reserve Street Exit.
  • Head north on Reserve (Reserve turns into Grant Creek at the highway).
  • Stay on Grant Creek for a couple of miles and turn right onto Glen Eagle Way.
  • Follow Glen Eagle until it dead ends.
  • Park there and walk up to the hill.

It looks like it is possible to drive up to the hill, but the owners will NOT be happy. Please walk up so the sire remains open.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

 

29

Jun

2004

Red Lodge, Montana is known as the Gateway to Yellowstone Park and is the northern town at the beginning the beautiful Bear Tooth Highway. It is a true western town where hospitality is still in vogue and has grown up as a mining town, center of area commerce and now a still not too crowded resort town with great attractions in both summer and winter.

 

29

Jun

2004

Whenever I am out west on vacation I usually find a way to get to Beartooth Pass. The road between Red Lodge, Montana and the NE gate of Yellowstone Park. On this trip I had several slope planes along and tried several slope spots on the drive. This one describes the Rock Creek Vista overlook.

Heading out of Read Lodge take US Hwy 212 up towards Bear Tooth Pass. This is one of the most scenic drives in the entire United States and would be worth the drive even if it were not for the many slope flying opportunities that are presented along the way. Venerable CBS newsman, Charles Kuralt has called this road "America's most beautiful highway."
 


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