Location and Arrival Park at 800 Channing Circle in front of the park. Take the stairs up and head to the back of the park and walk up the hill on the center path. You will hike up to the top and over the hill. On the photo above you can follow the yellow trail up to the first or second yellow X.
Optimal Conditions East at 7-12 MPH Flyable from 45-135 (ese-ene) Choosing your launch Depending on wind strength and pilot skill, you can launch from almost anywhere on the hill denoted by the yellow X’s. If the wind is strong on top, you can go way down the hillside to launch. The purple X is an advanced launch. This launch sits in the rotor of the hill that the locals call “Bantry”. LAUNCH HAZARDS: Standard hazards include rocks and bushes but a more serious hazard is being dragged in a strong wind or blown over the top or sides of the slope. In strong winds, Channing requires excellent kiting skills to get the wing over your head and control it without getting dragged in any direction. Choose your launch spot wisely and know your own skill set. Be aware of the barbed wire fence that is seen in the above diagram as red lines.
Terrain Above is a view from the air looking at the site. The red lines mark the boundaries for the property owned by a local farmer. The red line is a barbed wire fence, if you land within the fenced area on accident, please ball up your wing and get out as soon as possible. We have an agreement of only emergency landings on his property. Wind socks are not permanent and may not be standing. The ground here is mostly grass but there is an occasional rock and bush. For launching, pilots should be out of their harness and ready to run until they are at least 30 feet above the ground. If you are ridge soaring, expect to have to work with a hummocky topography that creates rotors in various places depending upon the wind direction.
Air This site is island. The air can range from smooth laminar flow to very thermic bumpy conditions or anywhere in between. Channing is used for both ridge soaring and thermal flying depending on the conditions. Ridge soaring at this site often requires tight turns low to the ground in order to maintain flight. On thermal days, it is possible to get thousands of feet above the hill. The vertical yellow line in the diagram shows the end of useable lift, unless you are extremely high, do not go past it.
Landing There is no real designated landing area besides staying out of the farmer’s land that is inside the barbed wire fence. Landings here are tricky in that a pilot must side hill land or top land. The extensive barbed wire fence and hummocky topography are hazards that pilots should always be aware of. The large green X in the above diagram is the easiest place to land for newer pilots. LANDING HAZARDS Barbed wire fence, uneven topography, rocks, bushes, cows.
Property This property is part of the county and is public. The site has been flown regularly since 2002. We operate here with the support of the local community so please be respectful to homeowners and hikers. If you see hikers in the launch areas, please respect their space. The area within the barbed wire fence is a working ranch, stay out of it unless you are forced to make an emergency landing. If you do land in the ranch, try to stay away from the cows. Ball up your wing and get on the other side of the fence as soon as possible.
Pilot Requirements Although Channing West is an unregulated site, a USHPA P3 rating is strongly encouraged. P1s and P2s are welcome if they have an instructor present. P2s may fly solo at Channing if they have had at least one day of instruction at the site. For a site intro, please text Rob at 707 654 6750.
Other Notes There are no restroom facilities or food vendors of any kind so please be prepared.