The Crestline launch sits at approximately 5200′ MSL and is located on Playground Drive, just west of Crestline. The Crestline launch includes parking, a portable toilet, setup areas, and launches for both hang gliding and paragliding. This section describes the flight operations at the Crestline Launch and identifies related risks, along with techniques that can help mitigate those risks.
Pilots must familiarize themselves with this information before arriving, and this information DOES NOT replace the need for an in-person site briefing from a local pilot or instructor familiar with the area.
Visiting Pilots: All launches and LZs require a P3/H3 rating or above. Visitors NOT meeting P3/H3 requirements must schedule instruction or observation with a local instructor before arriving.
- Minimum ratings: Intermediate (P3/H3). Read the General Site Guidelines for exceptions.
- GPS Coordinates: 34.2360, -117.3130. View Map.
- Type: Carpeted Slope Launch.
- Altitude: 5262′ MSL.
- Orientation: S.
- Best conditions: Light S, SSW winds (0-10 mph for PG, 0-15 for HG). Conditions tend to be 50% stronger at Crestline Launch than Marshall Peak Launch, so if too strong at Crestline, Marshall Peak Launch may be a better option.
- Glide ratio to AJX: 5.2:1; there is no direct straight glide from Crestline to AJX because the front range obstructs the flight path; best route is west off of launch, up the ridge towards Billboard, then south to Regionals and AJX.
- Vehicle access: Paved road and paved parking area directly behind launch.
Local Conditions & Hazards
Caution: Pilots Who Do Not Fly Desert Mountain Sites
Crestline is a mountain site with high desert immediately to the north, which produces very strong thermals even in early spring and late fall. Pilots who typically fly ocean-prevailing sites especially are highly recommended to contact one of our instructors for a thorough review before flying at Crestline.
Crestline Launch Rotor
When the wind has a Westerly component the rocks and bushes below and to the west of the hang glider launch can create a rotor that can negatively affect the attitude of a launching hang glider. Hang glider pilots are advised to establish a balanced glider with level wings and to maintain appropriate pitch for a strong run.
High Wind and Gusty Wind Conditions
The Crestline Launch can be susceptible to gusty winds and high winds. Pilots are advised to consider their launching technique and experience before launching in these conditions and to use a wire-man. Pilots are discouraged from launching alone at any time, but especially in gusty winds or high winds.
Setup & Launching
Unattended Gliders in the Setup Area
The setup area at Crestline is reasonably well shielded from the wind by the terrain and trees. However, high winds can and do cycle through the setup area. Hang glider pilots are discouraged from leaving their gliders unattended in the setup area, especially when spectators are present.
Crestline Launch is surrounded on 3 sides by tall trees, and there are power lines in the trees directly behind launch. Due to these hazards, and because conditions tend to be stronger on Crestline Launch than the other CSS launches, pilots are strongly advised to make an honest assessment of their own skill level and the current conditions before attempting to top land here.
Driving Directions & Parking
There is a paved parking lot directly behind launch.
Spectators & Pets
Spectators are both welcome and common at the Crestline Launch. Spectators often do not understand hang gliding or paragliding and can put themselves in areas where they are at risk of being struck by a launching glider. Make sure your launch path is clear of spectators before launching.
Since spectators may not be aware of the dangers present on launch, if you see spectators with pets, please ask that they keep them on a leash as pets may interfere with launch operations and introduce unnecessary risks for pilots.
Last Revised: April 13, 2021