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  • in reply to: Shade Structure Design Selection – Time to Vote! #12740

    A bit of history on the shade structure recently lost.

    Built in about 1996. It attached securely to the 6,000 lb 20′ container. The foundation was with 4 by 6 columns bolted via brackets to railway ties sunk (dug) into the dirt. There was no concrete slab yet.

    5 years later in about 2001 a slab, the one we see was poured. A frame of a couple sq ft was placed around each column base to keep the column open with followup temporary mini slabs filling in around each column base poured the next day. The idea was to be able to jack hammer out this tiny amount of concrete to inspect or repair column bases. But it also put the lowest 5″ of the column below grade and sealed trapping water. Not good in hindsight. And I don’t think any attention was ever given to inspection the column bases for rot. Our bad.

    Then 13 years later in about 2014, a metal roof was added. Prior, it was 2 by 6 decking with 1/2″ gaps. It allowed the roof to breath but the metal roof not only added nice protection for the pilots from rain, it increased lifting forces during Santa Ana’s.

    It is possible however that the metal roof added negligible lift.

    It is also possible that the column bases might have actually been compromised for years since we had no easy way to inspect the column bases.

    Regarding fire, it is obvious that wood burns more readily than metal. However there is a fairly good fire break around structure location. In Oct 2003 the “Old” fire burned all around the LZ. The house 800′ NW of the LZ was lost. The upwind hang glider storage container heated to the point of melting several gliders inside. The entire water infrastructure was lost and needed to be rebuilt. The shade structure (wood) had no damage. Go figure. Perhaps the fire break was a factor.



    in reply to: Shade Structure Design Selection – Time to Vote! #12688

    The shade structure recently lost to a wind event lasted 25 years. It had an initial cost of a 3 or 4 $k. It required periodic maintenance in paint. A little bit of wood rot at the base of the support columns caused the complete loss. Mitigating the wood rot either by adding support straps going a few inches up each column to bite healthy wood or replacing columns every 10 years could have likely extended its life to 50 years or 100 years. This is all 20 20 hindsight.

    For years we enjoyed the shade it provided. I don’t recall any recent discussions prior to the structure loss about a need to improve the amount of shade. We seemed quite content with its function.

    I would hazard a guess that if we utilized the existing foundation that sits there with its proof of lasting a quarter century and was not culpable with respect to the loss of of the structure, and rebuild to similar strength with perhaps a better column base connection, the total materials might be well under 10K and built by members with 4 or 5 work parties spread across less than a month.

    in reply to: Who’s in favor of having a launch and landing clinic? #12078

    Dan. I agree with your statements about the value of practice and suggestion to utilize the great resource already in place vis a vis the training hill and you or Tim with the gator.

    What would be the charge and description in range of number of flights, or time on the hill? Let’s assume that either 1 or 2 already rated pilots would be the potential customers and they have all their own equipment. I imagine the price would be a balance between typical training hill fees and the public service being encouraged.

    in reply to: Need white x picture #11586

    This is more historical. First photo on the day we first made the x. Note grass coverage.



    Not sure what Mitch means by an easement claim. Here is where we were in Feb 1989. The Dept of Water Resources informed Juanita it intended to purchase her land at fair market value to build the Devil’s  Canyon 2nd Afterbay. Juanita would have the option to do what she wanted with that money. If she chose not to sell then the DWR intended to condemn the land and a judge would decide what value Juanita would get for it. The amount of money that Juanita would receive was estimated to be perhaps in the $150k to $200k range at most. There was no way that the money received would be enough to build another Airpark. Additionally there were no obvious sites that were suitable.

    An embarrassing challenge was that the business definition of the LZ was almost non existent plus it was conducting operations that violated San Bernardino city ordinance. Neither of these were huge challenges but would be additional hurdles to tackle.

    Pilots bickering among themselves was not making it attractive to convince Juanita to spend her nest egg and build another landing field from scratch. Pilots even started dividing into sides independently drawing the DWR into the pilot bickering. It was a time of tact and diplomacy. What else is new?

    Mitch is absolutely right that the State had no desire to operate a hang gliding facility. They wanted nothing to do with it mostly due to obvious liabilities.

    That was Feb 1989. As mentioned in a previous post we were awarded rights to receive a replacement landing field just 17 months later by means of an amendment to the FERC license to Devils Canyon 2nd Afterbay. That was a busy and challenging 17 months.


    Yes. What David said. It’s legal to fly from the local mountains through our local airspace. Part 103.

    The LZ is however private property allowing public use based on specific regulations being followed. And it is in an almost identical situation as the Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area. Both are part of FERC Project P-2426  with the LZ created following the FERC amendment dated 7-23-1990 to that project. By luck and careful negotiating we don’t have state hired uniformed employees guarding the LZ with a gate that opens only on particular hours and days like at that recreation area. The state is trusting the CSS to do that for them. It is a win win for the pilots and the State of California. The state requires that the CSS provides insurance and the insurance company in turn requires certain regulations to be followed such as USHPA membership and pilots skills being evaluated, both of which the CSS is responsible to monitor.

    It should be obvious that we all benefit by unifying and not scattering our landings in the adjacent flood control. But scattered landings are a minor risk when compared to Andy Jackson landings not meeting our insurance requirements.

    The old expression applies regarding our LZ. It is ours, to lose.

    I used to believe that the HG and PG pilot community was unstoppable and able to meet any challenges that the city, county, state or federal governments threw at us. We did indeed jump all those hurdles. You have no idea how proud I was of how we all pulled together to get the LZ.

    I never imagined that the pilots would encore those successes by tripping over their own feet just trying to walk a straight line.


    David, I appreciate the work done by you and all the CSS officers this past year. 2020 has had many challenges. The professionalism displayed by the CSS is at a higher level than it has shown for quite a few years.

    Thank you for your service!

    in reply to: Kenny Westfall R.I.P. #10343

    We lost Kenny in a single vehicle driving accident about 9 PM Oct 4th in the Lake Arrowhead area.

    Dianne and I are heartbroken.

    Keep the pics and memories coming.

    We love you Meg.

    I spoke with Mike Johnson this evening. Mike talked with kenny 4 days ago. Kenny was in good spirits and recently has been doing some powered flying while waiting for the forests to open back up.


    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10327

    There is a 100 person limit on attendance. I am told that the close family and friends will likely be well under that limit so those who knew Nita and want to attend please feel free to join. Masks and distancing will be required. No hugs or hand shakes.

    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10301

    Here is the info on Juanitas service.

    The service is oct. 8th at 10 am Montecito Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3520 E. Washington St. Colton, CA 92324 (909)825-3024 is the phone number

    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10171

    Pine Crest Air Park started in 1979 as a 3.5 acre chunk of rock and sage. With a lot of work it became a bit less of both.

    Andy n Nita decided to get a cow and some turkeys. The cow (named “moo”) was in a small fenced area and the turkeys ran around uncaged.

    One day Andy tells us it’s time to elastrate Moo. So I say I will tackle and hold Moo down then Andy can work the tool and rubber band. I had seen videos of cowboys doing 3 second tackles of this sort of thing so I was game. Andy and Nita got years of laughing memories from seeing me being dragged around end to end of that fenced area. I was getting beat up and busting a gut laughing as well.

    The turkeys loved to join in the haki sack games. The game involves a bit of jumping while using the feet to keep the sack in the air. Those turkeys were sneaky. Their goal and success (usually 2 or 3 times an hour) was to wait until the perfect opportunity and Blitz Kriege to intercept the sack and run away with it. Then it became a game of chase with all the pilots running around in circles all around the break down area trying to get the haki sack back.

    Most memorable haki game was when a couple of swedish female pilots were visiting for a few days. By the 2nd or 3rd day they were feeling quite at home and decided to go topless (like at home) during the usual after flying beer time. Of course on seeing the tops come off someone immediately got the haki sack and asked the girls to join the game. Usually there were 3 or 4 pilots at most in a game but this time there was at least a dozen. And the pilots were very accommodating by passing the sack constantly to the girls to keep them busy jumping and learning the game. 15 minutes of this went by before Nita decided to exit the mobile home to investigate all the noise and laughter. She pointed a finger and waving it back and forth including verbal instructions, it meant the shirts had to go back on. Imagine 25 pilots in the LZ collectively groaning a big “aw” like whiney kids who were just told by their parents that play time was over.

    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10168

    A pic taken the day Andy ‘n ‘Nita got their new sign and placed it by Kendall and Pine Avenue. John Zurlinden (standing by the sign) was who painted it for them.


    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10167

    A pic of Andy ‘n Nita taken about 1980.


    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10162

    ‘Nita after a tandem flight from Marshall to Andy Jackson Airpark.Screenshot_20200905-151117_Dropbox

    in reply to: Sadness and Gratefulness #10161

    Thank you Andy and Juanita for all you both have done. Screenshot_20200905-145423_Drive20200905_150028