Explanations of the tools below and more weather info
El Paso National Weather Service - start here!
Meso West Region (Current conditions at stations in the SW - view profile without logging in)
Santa Teresa NWS (current conditions)
SPC Balloon Soundings (every 12 hours)
UoW Balloon Soundings - usually available before the SPC soundings 72364
NWS hourly graphical forecast - temp, winds, & gusting at the surface
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)
Wind Map #1 - animated map of winds and other data over the surface of the world.
Wind Map #2 - this animated map loads faster but is the US only
Wind History Map - actual vs. forecasts
There will be no training while I am in Valle. Training will resume in December when I return.
Contact us to schedule/confirm training.
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.
When the weather is not suitable for flying, there are alternatives. Pilot Jason Tilley and a handsome buck he took on a ranch in the Big Bend area.
During the weekend he, some other roughnecks, and yours truly (Had Robinson) celebrated a time or two, This was the annual meeting of the WCC (Women Can't Come) club.
Thanks to the near invisibility of the upper cascade lines in higher performance gliders, it is easy to launch with a cravat. This happened to Tom Bird when he launched at the sod farm and had a cravat in the left tip of his wing. What to do? If directional control without excessive brake input works, it is best to climb out (PPG) and/or get away from the terrain (PG/PPG). If the pilot is clear of all potential obstacles and has plenty of ground clearance, THEN attempt to clear the cravat. While the stabilo is the first choice to work, other lines may need attention.
It may take awhile, as it did here. Pilots must be persistent and not quit, pulling on the lines and seeing if there is any improvement. The wing wants to assume its original shape and the lines have to work their way off the fabric. When this photo was taken, Tom was calmly assessing the situation. Note that he has a reasonable amount of opposite brake. Just the same, he was turning to the left but slowly. Apply brake ONLY as needed.
Flying away after fixing the cravat. If he had failed to fix it, then it is always best to land ASAP. AT ALL TIMES, DO NOT TURN IN THE DIRECTION OPPOSITE THE CRAVAT BECAUSE OF THE DANGER OF SPIN. Nice work Tom.
PPG pilots Tom Bird, Daniel Rivera, and Had Robinson were invited by the match organizers to perform our yearly air show during a time-out at the match. Marilyn Robinson provided air-to-ground communications and ensured that the air show went smoothly.
A paraglider is such a unique aircraft because it moves so slowly. In this way, pilots can do "fly-bys" very close to spectators. Both Tom & Daniel were able to launch right in front of everyone. Had launched in a field nearby as he had to get to altitude to deploy a 1,000' long streamer as soon as the time-out began. All three pilots landed at front & center. As soon as they touched the ground, they were able to pick up their gliders and walk over to a crowd of children eager to see these flying machines close-up. No doubt a few of them will want to learn to fly someday.
Everyone should watch a polo match, an amazing event. The rider on the horse must swing a long mallet and hit a small ball on the ground, all the while in the midst of other horses galloping about with other riders swinging their mallets at the ball. It is sort of soccer on horseback. It takes great skill with both rider and horse and it's a wonder no one gets cracked in the head from a mallet hit.... But, like paragliding, it looks like a tremendous amount of good fun.
After the match, the pilots were treated to a great meal catered by Famous Dave's Barbecue. Below, L-R, Daniel, Tom, and Had.