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By maaglide
I'm one of those old-time Clinch pilots, from ~77-80 or so. I think the GPS waypts given previously are where we used to launch, using both NW and SE launches, but I sure dont remember the tower just to the north. Back then we rarely soared the SE side given the low thermalling performance of the gliders, but we had great fun on the NW side. I had though Bruce Hawk opened up a different launch farther south, but that was after I had left the area.

FYI, we also used to fly a couple of SE sites down by Harriman, also a good SE site La Follette, and a great NW site at English Mtn. Maybe you are already familiar with that history, but thought I'd ramble on a bit.

Good luck with your efforts to reestablish the Clinch site. The landowners along the NW valley were very nice back in the 70's - seems like there should be plenty of LZ choices w todays gliders-?

Mark Allen

By AWing
I am another Knoxville Pilot. Keep me in mind if you start moving on this. If I can help at all.
It has been 6 years since the last post regarding Clinch Mountain flying near Knoxville.

Does anyone know if the site has been re-opened? Is funding still needed to purchase property?

The TTT currently has a fund raising campaign to purchase the parcel next door to the north and maybe a similar campaign could be made for the Clinch Mtn. site.

One lesson learned since the beginning of hang gliding is that launch and landing areas are worth their weight in gold.
wonderwind_flyer's last sentence is so, so, so true. I've been flying 30 years in 7 different states and have seen some spectacular sites get closed for a wide variety of reasons. These were among the best in the country though many never got to the point of "well-known." Thank God for good towing systems, but I think we should preserve all the foot-launching sites as well. There's hope for a few of the closed/endangered sites, but not the ones that become building lots. Why don't any of us have gobs of money to buy all the sites that are on private real estate?
Hey Guys -

I am the current owner where the launch site on which Joppa (Clinch) Mountain resides. I purchased this property back in 2007 and have had a few inquiries over the years about reopening. The primary issues with reopening this site in my view are:

1) As reported by many locals, as well as the neighbor who used to maintain the property back when there was a lot of HG activity here, is that the hang gliding community didn't respect the property and over 30+ years later there are still lots of trash and old beer cans on top of the mountain as proof.

2) As reported to me, there were serious injuries incurred launching from this site and the prior owners (as well as myself) were rightfully weary of liability concerns. No signed waiver will fully release an owner from potential liability.

3) The road to the top of the mountain is very difficult (and expensive) to maintain given the steepness, and there just wasn't enough money from the HG community to properly maintain the road and upkeep the property.

This is a beautiful location with wonderful views and thermals as you guys have pointed out, and it would be really neat to have hang gliding return to this site, but alas I will never consider allowing hang gliders launch from this site while in my possession due to the reasons outlined above.

Also, at this time, I am not interested in selling given this HG site is part of a larger 226 acre tract of land that would be difficult to divide given its along the top and side of Joppa Mountain, and providing easements to subdivided tracts would problematic.

Best of luck!

More info on this community and its hang gliding history can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joppa,_Tennessee
Greetings Snipehunt,

Thank you very much for giving a detailed update on the Clinch Mtn. property situation.

I would like to mention though, that I live near a club-owned launch site and most of the trash that occasionally accumulates on the property is from non-flying trespassers who visit the site when pilots aren't there. The club is considering a gate to discourage trespassing.

Also, I am not sure about the recreation liability laws in Tennessee but up here in Michigan landowners are not liable for accidents or injuries that occur on their land from visitors (hikers, hunters, bicyclists, hang glider pilots etc ....) as per: NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT Act 451 of 1994.

As you mentioned, maintaining a road is very expensive. Plus, considering that there are fewer pilots than there used to be ... would make this a show-stopper.

You have a beautiful area with incredible XC potential but all of the issues you mentioned are definitely a challenge for reviving foot-launched flying there. Perhaps there is another more easily accessible launch location along the 60+ mile ridge?
snipehunt wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:50 pm
FYI - The old Clinch Mountain launch site (located on Joppa Mountain, TN) is now for sale as part of the overall property comprised of 334 acres + plus a small house.

https://nationalland.com/joppa-mountain ... d-for-sale

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/8 ... 2_zm/1_fr/

The old launch ramp is still there!
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A couple of retirement funds and the right to clear a bit for top landing ...one flight park !
Just need to find a lawyer who can make a waiver that protects the good intention of the land holder .....now im dreaming!

I wonder why the drone operators are not standing on the ramp?

here in oz that property would be a bargain.
I dont know what the laws are like there but that house and all in it would be toast in a bush fire.
And they wont allow clearing in many cases.
Joppa Mtn gets 65"+ (165.1 cm) of rain a year, thus brush fires are not that big of an issue. Also given its Tennessee, USA they are not big on regulations and codes, thus you are pretty much free to do what you want with your property, within extreme reason.

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