In early 1980, Rob moved onto the newly formed landing area a few weeks after it first opened. He volunteered at the park doing much of the heavy lifting, helping Andy and Nita, and also networked the local pilot community to build support for Pine Crest Air Park.
In 1980 and 1981 Rob lobbied the Forest Service to arrange a first-of-its-kind-in-the United States Special Use Permit for a hang glider launch facility, which was finally issued to the CSS in May, 1982. Rob and Dianne teamed up about this time as well.
The couple worked as a team over the next 30 years with the following contributions to the flying site.
In 1982, 1983, and 1984 a series of local and national competitions promoted by Rob and Dianne raised 10’s of thousands of dollars to benefit Pine Crest Air Park and the Crestline Soaring Society which made possible the construction of the excavation, fencing and paving of the Crestline parking lot.
In 1989 the couple began negotiations with the Department of Resources and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to leverage the existence of Pine Crest Air Park for the creation of a new landing facility we now call Andy Jackson Airpark. A key factor in accomplishing this was to petition the city of San Bernardino to obtain a zoning change for the existing Pine Crest Air Park to one that recognized the air park as an officially park within the city. This was necessary because of a city ordinance banning hang gliding within the city.
In the fall of 1999 Rob started a project of extracting a trickle of water from a series of tiny aquifers, each less than 1 gallon per minute, and transferring the water downhill to begin what most claimed would be nearly impossible, to actually grow grass on the LZ’s gravel surface. The project started as about 1 acre coverage and did eventually cover the entire 4 acre landing area and over 100 sprinklers installed.
Following the “Old Fire” of 2003, access to Marshall Peak was closed by the Forest Service. When the existing club officers were failing to get progress to reopen the site, Rob and Dianne organized a letter writing campaign that within several weeks led to the reopening of Marshall Peak including the 750 and Regionals launches. The heat and fire dangers of the summer of 2004 had the Forest Service again close access to all fire roads. Rob and Dianne worked a deal with the Forest Service where several key CSS members and local instructors were trained as official uniformed Forest Service Volunteers with duties to escort pilots daily into and out of the Marshall Peak area.
In spring of 2004 Rob set up an automated online CSS Directors meeting recording system to enhance transparency for the CSS members and to help maintain historical records. This system continued until early 2013.
Rains followed the 2003 fire and following an exceptionally heavy period in February 2005 Cal Trans closed all Hwy 18 access up the mountain due to rock slides. Following several days of intense negotiations Rob and Dianne worked out a deal with Cal trans and the CHP to allow CSS members unique access up Hwy 18 to Marshall Peak for the duration of the 2 month closure.
Developers of the land east of Andy Jackson Airpark made their presence known in fall of 2005 and with it came a threat to our hang gliding approach airspace. In addition they were making offers on the 14 acre parcel directly on our north side which would be devastating. Two locals Owen Morse and Len Szafaryn jumped in to help the situation by making a second offer to compete with the developer’s which was accepted and it became the current XC Ranch.
With the growing need for our own tractor to repair our parking lot and roads up Marshall, we now had yet another reason for a tractor which was to help blend the newly formed XC Ranch into one large landscaped facility. In 2007 Rob applied for and received a grant from the Foundation For Free Flight to cover 50% of the cost of a tractor. Rob then assembled a small team of pilots who were experts in heavy equipment and headed to Phoenix to attend an auction which led to the purchase of Gracie the tractor for $18,000. The new hang glider 80’ training hill was soon cleared by Rob as well as his doing nearly all the road repairs from 2007 until 2016.
Dianne did the membership paperwork processing, post office pickups, and hiring and training of the site monitors for most of the period from 1982 until 2010. The thousands of hours that this ongoing job entailed cannot be overstated.