launch at Valle de Bravo, Mexico powered paraglider launch at Gardiner Turf Grass farms

SOUTHWEST AIRSPORTS

paragliding training center

Weather Info

Explanations of the tools below and more weather info

Intro to Weather in the southwest

El Paso National Weather Service - start here!

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 72364

OP40 balloon soundings forecast for Santa Teresa, NM

OP40 balloon soundings forecast for any location

NWS hourly graphical forecast - temp, winds, & gusting at the surface

Jet Stream and 4 day forecast

El Paso US Airnet winds - temps aloft

NOAA Satellite image of clouds over west Texas - NM

National forecast of fronts, pressure & weather - easy to read

Soaring Forecasts - (go here for the thermal index)

Dixon White's Notes on Desert Flying (courtesy of Eagle Paragliding)

Wind Map - animated map of winds and other data over the surface of the world.

Wind History Map - actual vs. forecasts

Midland, TX weather tools

SkyVector Aeronautical Chart - road maps of the sky including TFR's

Current and Future Events

August 22 - September 14 -- No training during this time

Is it legal fly where you are?  We have added a link to SkyVector (page to the bottom of "Weather Info" on our front page).  It is a handy tool to inform pilots of airspace rules and, more importantly, TFR's.  Learn how to read these charts!  Although TFR's are rare in our region, launching in a TFR can be very expensive (fines) as well as dangerous (aircraft that do not immediately respond to instructions from patrolling aircraft may be shot down.)

Contact us to schedule/confirm if you have not already done so.

All training is 100% dependent on weather conditions. Before coming out, check your email and the web site to be sure training is not canceled.  If something comes up, we will attempt to contact scheduled pilots.  We usually train at sod farm #4.  Training times can vary because of weather or equipment issues.  Pilots can always arrive earlier than the scheduled times to setup and practice kiting.

Check out our featured video and introduction to paragliding from the National Geographic website.

Recent Events

August 9 - 17 - Training at the sod farms & Highway 9

Steve Crye and Jason Tilley made it out to the sod farms August 9, Sunday, for a morning of training.

Jason getting ready to setup for a landing at the sod farms.

paraglider in the air near Santa Teresa, NM

The following has nothing to do with training but it's a nice shot of a pilot (yours truly) launching from the Bates Site near Carpentaria, CA.  Aggressive launches must be done in order to ensure that the glider has as much energy as possible = safety.

paraglider luanching from the Bates site, southern Californai

Jason on his way up to altitude (5,000' AGL) above Highway 9 via tow. 

paraglider flying above Highway 9 in southern New Mexico

August 8 - Saturday - Sod Farm Training

We were about to tow Steve Crye up into the air but then the sky began to darken everywhere as overdevelopment took over.  There was light rain, thunder, and modest winds all around us.  It was time to pack in up.

Below Steve rosettes his glider rather than take any chances launching into the active air.  We will try again tomorrow morning.

Packing up the glider because of storms

July 4-24 Sod Farm Training, sites Anapra and Alvarez, Storms, the Franklin Mountains, Virga

July 4th -- Student pilot, Bill Cobb, coming in for a landing at the sod farms.  The air was very buoyant that day.

paraglider pilot coming in for a landing at the sod farms

July 4th -- We warmly welcome new paragliding student pilot, Steve Crye!

new paragliding student pilot getting ready to fly

July 7th -- Here is what a thermal looks like (the towering cumulus cloud) over our region.  The extreme desert heat creates these monsters which often have rain.

towering cumulus cloud over southern New Mexico

July 12th -- Lee Boone soaring in front of Anapra Mesa.  The winds were too weak to launch, so we had to motor up and find air that was just fast enough to keep us up, as Lee did here.  Steve Crye (on the ground) provided important help to the pilots.

Paraglider soaring in front of Anapra Mesa, Anapra, NM

July 12 -- PPG pilots Daniel Rivera and Phil Ehly pose for the camera.  The sod farm is such a safe place to train.

PPG pilots Daniel Rivera and Phil Ehly

Flooding at the Gardner Turf Grass farms.  When we checked in with the Border Patrol Air Operations, they corrected us when we said "sod farms".  It should be "sod ponds".

flooding at the Gardner Turf Grass farms, Santa Teresa NM

More flooding at the Gardner Turf Grass farms.  This lake had ducks and other waterfowl on it.  We thought we might need life jackets to safely here.

More flooding at the Gardner Turf Grass farms, Santa Teresa NM

July 15th -- Alvarez -- PPG pilots getting ready to launch at this new site in the upper valley off Alvarez Rd.  (L-R) A visitor, Max Bennett, and Tom Bird.  Tom used his own lawn mower to clean up this corner of the field so pilots would not have to fuss with bits of bracken getting caught in their lines.

Powered paragliding pilots training at the Gardner Turf Grass Farms

Pilot Tom Bird over the Rio Grande Valley near La Union, New Mexico.

The Rio Grande Valley near La Union, NM

July 19th -- New student pilot, Steve Crye, getting towed up over the sod farms.  There is a lot going on for new pilots to handle when first training.  Fortunately, paragliders pretty much fly themselves if the pilot does nothing....

paragliding pilot training over the Gardiner Turf Grass farms, Santa Teresa, NM

July 21st -- What does this look like?  A boxer ready to strike.  When we fly in strong air, we feel like we have been hit by something like this.

Cumulus cloud shaped like a boxer

July 22nd -- Above N. Mt. Franklin looking east into a brilliant sunrise after a storm, Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso Texas.  The air was soarable over the Franklins early in the morning.  It was some of the nicest air, ever.

Above N. Mt. Franklin looking south after a storm, Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso Texas 

July 24th -- Just at dawn a big black cloud west of the Franklin Mountains in Santa Teresa, NM was dropping virga.  It was quite a show.

Virga west of the Franklin Mountains, Santa Teresa, NM

Hope you enjoyed our photos of paragliding and the adventures we have in the air.

June 17-19 Training at the sod farms

Dave Jensen celebrated his first good quad PPG flight, taking off under power, flying a pattern, and then landing safely.  Jason Tilley also advanced his PG training by consistently landing within 30' of the LZ marker.  Training is always intense -- but it pays off in ensuring pilot safety.

Jason about to nail the LZ.

Paragliding at the Santa Teresa sod farms

Jason (L) and Dave (R) celebrating an intense afternoon of training -- good work, guys!

happy paragliding pilots celebrating a good training session

Turkey Vulture