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#405025
Couch (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm season grass that is also known as Bermudagrass. In New Zealand, we call it "Kooch grass." Our launch at Pakiri is overgrown with it. We mowed it back at the end of last summer, but over the wet winter, it has gotten away on us.
Here's the video of assisted launching on this troublesome substrate. Maybe we should cover it all in Astroturf.

#405029
flybop wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:36 pm
Do weed eaters spin in the opposite direction down there?
Flybop,

Only if you are looking at them from North America, straight through the Earth.

:mrgreen:
#405032
Hi again fellow flyers over the ditch. Another nice site you have there Odakyu-sen, i live in a high rainfall, sub tropical area and we came up with a good solution which made a lot of sense... When you make a new launch, if you can add in a "forgiving factor", occasionally a pilot will be glad you did! If you can "landscape" the take- off, try adding a earth ramp. This will give the designer the option of steepening the run and also making the pilot point exactly the right way too. As equally important is the fact that the gliders wing tips are further from the ground, allowing for some minor poor techniques, as I heard on John"s launch with his rh wingtip. The last finishing touch is to cover the earth ramp with astoturf, {we used second hand pieces from a renewed tennis court}. The grass still grows on either side of the astroturf however because your "ramp"is so much higher,{ we added a lot of dirt, 800mm?} you can let the grass/weeds get away for longer months between working bee"s. :thumbsup:
#405033
We in North Carolina and Virginia have plenty of vegetation growth as well. Every time we go fly a site, we have the weed whackers in the back of the trucks, and take 15 - 30 minutes to trim all the vegetation down to nub-height. Otherwise the weeds become head-height and the site would revert back to it's natural state in a matter of months. Most of the launches are not cliffs, and in mild conditions have to run a good distance, so the launch needs to be reasonably free of snags with clear sight of the big rocks we have to run over.
As such, it's a constant maintenance chore, especially this year with all the extra rain we've had.
Thank G@d that most of the owners of the privately-owned sites maintain the LZ's in decent fashion with their farm machinery (tractors and brush hogs, etc.).
So, the weed whacker, string/blades, fuel, and extra pants are merely essential pieces of our flying kit.
Those pilots out west seem to have it all too easy. ;)
#405036
We have the same problem here in Oregon. The local club removed our carpet stating it was a danger in case one of them need air lifted off the top. We never had any reason to be air lifted off until they started to use our site. This started with the paragliders taking over our local club. Then they applied for a BLM permit to move a pile of gravel in the set up area, at our local wood rat mountain flying site. Once they received the permit they move the gravel and reshaped the launch to be more effective for them, and very shallow for us. This was done without telling any of us local old hg pilots. The same system was used at whales head (nor/cal) flying site. Now hang gliders can’t launch there it’s to shallow, despite the fact we found it. It’s so disrespectful I can’t comprehend their mindset.
Its no wonder why we get along like the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s,
#405038
DMarley wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:05 am
We in North Carolina and Virginia have plenty of vegetation growth as well. Every time we go fly a site, we have the weed whackers in the back of the trucks, and take 15 - 30 minutes to trim all the vegetation down to nub-height. Otherwise the weeds become head-height and the site would revert back to it's natural state in a matter of months. Most of the launches are not cliffs, and in mild conditions have to run a good distance, so the launch needs to be reasonably free of snags with clear sight of the big rocks we have to run over.
As such, it's a constant maintenance chore, especially this year with all the extra rain we've had.
Thank G@d that most of the owners of the privately-owned sites maintain the LZ's in decent fashion with their farm machinery (tractors and brush hogs, etc.).
So, the weed whacker, string/blades, fuel, and extra pants are merely essential pieces of our flying kit.
Those pilots out west seem to have it all too easy. ;)
A few years ago while carrying my wing the short distance to launch I darn near stepped on a rattle snake. My friends said that I leaped into the air, wing and all. The next day I brought my weed wacker and cleared a ten foot wide path to launch.

Lately it seems that the local red tails and eagles have kept the rattle snake population down.

On a serious note: Anything that can pose a tripping hazard on launch needs to be addressed.
#405040
>>Now hang gliders can’t launch there it’s to shallow

You should drive up there with a cement truck, and build a giant concrete & rebar ramp right in the middle of the PG launch. Then ask them if it's OK, just to be nice! Push out, /jd
#405042
>>Now hang gliders can’t launch there it’s to shallow

Except this is complete BS....it's perfectly fine as a HG launch. And the re-grading was done because it's BLM property, used as a gravel quarry, and the BLM shut down the site when they last had a major timber sale. They mined about 30 feet off the top of the mountain and crushed it for the haul roads. After that, the club worked with BLM to get the mountain re-sculpted as a launch. Both HG and PG pilots worked on this project. And it was YEARS ago....maybe 15 or so?

Hang glider launches from the "too shallow" launch ramp, here:






MGF
#405043
As for the other "too shallow" launch site, Whaleback, north of Mt. Shasta....I haven't launched my HG there yet, but the improvements made there certainly increased its usability for paragliders. That's a good thing; Jug was able to hold some league meets there, an assortment of new site records have been set from that launch, and it's a much safer site to fly now. The slope is pretty shallow for quite a ways out, not much steeper than a HG glide slope. I don't think the launch grading changes made that much of a difference. As I recall, the club solicited opinions and help from HG pilots, but I don't recall many becoming involved. There was heavy equipment already up there doing road work, and they were able to leverage that availability to get the launch work done.

Here's some Whaleback video:




MGF
#405060
So did you not see the videos above? What difference does it make with a comparison if they work just fine already, after the fact? Sounds like it's time for folks to brush up on their shallow slope launch skills even if the improvements aren't what one would call shallow!! :twisted:

8)
#405061
The claims that Woodrat is not hang gliding friendly are false. The Whaleback on the other used to be a sloped launch with a lot of room to run & allegedly the slope was demolished & replaced with a large parking lot like space. What little slope there is left is short, steep with rocks directly below it. No problem if u fly PGs, but down right dangerous for hangs.

Allegedly these launch improvements were made despite objections from local hg community. This was all before my time, so be advised what I am posting is heresay. What is not heresay are photo evidence. So before & after photos would help people decide for themselves.
#405062
Mark,
wood rat is my home, I was at the start thistle meet, the real one, the Rogue Hang Gliding group held 2018. The fly in that Rvhpa and Ushpa didn’t back or want. I have been flying Wood Rat for 29 years. I’m aware of the site history. I originally meet you with Wess Roberts 28 years ago, and lm well aware of your history also, (misinformation fake news ) this is why we voted to remove you as our regional voice. As far as I have witnessed your not much into flying hang gliders anymore, trikes may be your only flex wing experience at this point. Your last attempt to launch a Hang glider while I was watching. As a flight instructor I was terrified for your safety, thankfully you quit attempting to hang glide that day, and defaulted to paraglide.
I can easily launch wood rat, I’m talking about my new pilots have a hard time launching wood rats club made shallow slope, without wanting to naturally stall, after the sweet improvements for paragliding on wood rat.
Just saying it the way it was, because I was there, every day all weekend flying wood rat.
#405063
I just have to disagree here... Woodrat, as far as launches go, is pretty fricken awesome, the culture and vibe not so much. I have been walking to launch with my wing and literally had a PG pilot walk in front of me & plop his s--- down, forcing me to walk around him on a windy launch. I have had my batons stepped on. I have been accosted in the LZ & falsely accused of bringing my own beer, which is forbidden. Make no mistake, there is a sect of the PG community that, for whatever reason, does not want us around. So I get where DSH is coming from, I just disagree that the launch at Woodrat is difficult for hang gliders. It is not.
#405064
DAVE 858 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:29 pm
The claims that Woodrat is not hang gliding friendly are false. The Whaleback on the other used to be a sloped launch with a lot of room to run & allegedly the slope was demolished & replaced with a large parking lot like space. What little slope there is left is short, steep with rocks directly below it. No problem if u fly PGs, but down right dangerous for hangs.

Allegedly these launch improvements were made despite objections from local hg community. This was all before my time, so be advised what I am posting is heresay. What is not heresay are photo evidence. So before & after photos would help people decide for themselves.
I never said it wasn’t safe. I did say the so called improvements brokered by paraglider, dominated club made it suck for Hang gliders now, and I don’t stand alone, Its not like whales head where it’s nearly impossible to fly now for hang gliders. Come fly here well show you, see for yourself why only two Hang pilots are local club members. Rogue Hang Glider pilots are our voice, not Rvhpa or Ushpa.
#405103
D Marley: we aren't so lucky at many sites out west, the ones where "foxtails," California's only native grass, I think, destroy socks and shoelaces and harness velcro (and fill paraglider cells) with stickers once they dry out unless mowed-down and raked out of the way. "Goatheads" are a lovely addition, too. I don't know their proper names; that's just how everybody refers to them.

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