Weather for Aircrews – Basic weather info for non-professionals
Explanations of the tools below and more weather info
El Paso National Weather Service – start here!
Pivotal Weather – an outstanding site for anything weather but it requires some work and know-how
NWS hourly graphical forecast – temp, winds, & gusting at the surface
Meso West Region – current conditions at stations in the SW
Santa Teresa NWS (current conditions)
SPC Balloon Soundings (every 12 hours)
UoW Balloon Soundings – usually available before the SPC soundings for 72364 (ELP)
NOAA Satellite image of moisture and clouds over west Texas – NM
Windy – animated map of winds and other data over the surface of the world
Wind History Map – actual vs. forecasts
Weather Spark – Monthly, daily, and hourly graphical reports anywhere on earth
Training - We are in the peak of our training season. Payment of tuition will reserve your preferred date and time.
Introductory videos: The Dream of Human Flight is now a Reality - The Joy of Paragliding – a fine video production
by Steve Crye showing the elements of why we love
to fly. Let's go places (from Toyota),
Featured video and introduction to paragliding (from the National Geographic), Fly like a bird (from USHPA),
Paragliding in Franklin Mountains State Park (from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas). Eagle Paragliding has this outstanding video on the front page of their website of a pilot flying in the Alps.
Nearly every country in the world promotes and loves adventure sports, like hang gliding and paragliding. Switzerland even put an image of a guy paragliding on their 50 Franc note. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has opened the doors of Texas parks to USHPA pilots. Other public land administrators in the U.S. should do the same.
Soaring the Mesa was a joy today even though it was a bit rough. The winds would stop and go and change direction 10 or 15 degrees. The air before a storm is always a bit rowdy, twitchy and why post-frontal flying is always smoother.
It's hard to tell but the atmosphere was on the edge: the dewpoint spread was close and temperatures high. Just 30 minutes after this photo was taken, the sky began to OD. It was obvious so it was time to get down!
It is good practice to fly in all reasonable conditions as it continues our education on how the atmosphere works, increasing our level of safety.
Paragliding in Big Sur
The wintertime is one of our better seasons to fly in the southwest because of the more relaxed air which makes our flying days safer, longer, and more consistent. Sunday January 20th was one of those days when Mag Rim was "on" -- modest winds that pilots with all levels of skill could enjoy. Those who made the trek to Mag were: Alejandra Chacon (and her husband, Mauricio), Steve Crye, and yours truly.
Mauricio stands ready to help Alejandra launch. She is the second woman ever to paraglide at Mag Rim and the 1st to soar it. Congratulations!
Alejandra shortly after launch flying south to the Point.
Steve was the first to launch and flew the highest that day (the glider in the distance). Alejandra is below.
Alejandra getting ready to setup for her 1st top landing ever. Mag is the ideal place to gain confidence in this maneuver that is usually daunting at nearly all other sites. Mag Rim presents little rotor turbulence behind launch which makes top landing safer and more pleasant.
The three pilots in the air near dusk. Magdalena Peak is in the distance.
Alejandra setting down just SE of launch. Mauricio ran over to help. Steve (foreground) had just landed.
Today was another great day for flying the southwest. With west winds at 8-9, Kilbourne was soarable. The call went out and Alejandra was able to make it out for the afternoon. She had flown Kilbourne once before but not with air strong enough to soar in. A pilot's kiting skills have to be excellent to safely launch from any mountain/cliff launch. Before launching, I had Ale practice some kiting. It is NOT the same as kiting at our primary training site, the sod farms. The prospect of going over the edge of the cliff is a distraction that must be overcome in order to launch safely.
Ready to turn and go!
Heading north along the rim of the maar.
Ale had just done her 2nd top landing as a pilot (the 1st was at Mag Rim earlier in the week). She had a total of 4 flights this day and top landed every time.
Yours truly launched at the end of the day, after training was over. View is looking north along the east part of the rim.
View of launch at dusk. Time to land at the truck.
I had hoped that more could have joined us for the afternoon at Kilbourne.
Paragliding in south central New Mexico. The towering clouds in the distance are strong thermals coming off the Potrillo Mountains. It rains a lot out there, probably double of what we get in the Rio Grande Valley. Photo by Steve Crye
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