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SOUTHWEST AIRSPORTS

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Pilot Registration for Flying in Franklin Mountains State Park

All pilots must fly in a safe and courteous manner, protect the safety of other visitors, and preserve the Park's cultural and ecological resources.

For questions/info call Franklin Mountains State Park at 915-566-6441.

We recommend that pilots flying alone notify the Park Police at (915) 319-0589.  Tell them where and when you expect to launch and land.  If case you have trouble, they can be really helpful, especially if you are locked in the Park, cannot start your vehicle, or see some dangerous or illegal activity.

If there is an accident contact the Park Police at (915) 319-0589.  If you cannot reach them, dial 911.  It is always better to contact the Park Police first because they know the Park better than anyone and are familiar with what we do.  Accidents involving ultralights are treated as falling accidents (as in rock climbing) not as aviation accidents because there is no risk of fire.

If you are flying at Agave Hill, pilots should ask for the gate combo when checking in or they may be locked in if they land after the Park closes (5PM weekdays, 8PM on the weekends).

1. Register with the Park authorities before flying in the Park and every year thereafter.  Print and complete the permit application.  Leave the space after "...within Franklin Mountains State Park for_______" blank.   The underline is not a space for your name.  Initial next to each bullet.  Make copies of these (3) items which you will include with your application:

a.) USHPA membership with a H/P3 rating or the equivalent from your country's aviation agency.  Southwest Airsports can supply a temporary 30 day USPHA membership for foreign pilots, if needed.  If you are flying with an USHPA instructor, you may have an H/P2 rating.  Contact us if you need help.
b.) Proof of medical insurance – Pilots are not permitted to fly in the Park unless they have medical insurance.  We have lost many sites in the U.S. because of injuries sustained by uninsured pilots who must have their medical expenses paid for by taxpayers.
c.) Driver's license

You can email/mail/fax the permit application and copies of the required documents to Park Headquarters.  To email the permit application, scan or photograph the required documents and email them to erika.rubio@tpwd.state.tx.us

Pilots may also deliver the application and copies to a Park Police Officer or the Ranger on duty at the Tom Mays Unit.  If you cannot find a Ranger or the Police, it is temporary – please wait or call the Park police or HQ.  If you are with Southwest Airsports or the Rio Grande Soaring Association, one of the club officers can take your registration material when you arrive at the Park and deliver it the Park office.

Pilots who do not meet the minimum rating requirement must have an USHPA instructor present. We recommend that you have the CL (cliff launch) & TUR (turbulence) ratings.

2. Pay a use fee to enter the Park ($5/person/day as of 2015).

As of 2015 the cost of annual Texas State Park pass is $70.  The pass waives the entrance fee for up to (15) people total if all arriving in the same vehicle.  The pass is a better value if a pilot flies in the Park often (or uses any other of the dozens of State Parks in Texas).  To purchase an annual Texas Park Pass, call 800-792-1112 press 3 and then 3 again and have your credit card ready.  The Pass may also be purchased at Park headquarters Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or at the Tom Mays Unit booth on Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

3. Be a member of the RGSA (optional)  The cost is $ 25/year.  The Rio Grande Soaring Association pays for the USHPA site insurance for the launch sites in Franklin Mountains State Park.  Donations are appreciated if you do not wish to become a member.  Please go this site to donate or join.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!  REMEMBER TO ALWAYS FLY SAFELY AND COURTEOUSLY!

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