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

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)

ADDS - wind & temp forecasts at various altitudes

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

Corpus Christi, TX weather tools

Current and Future Events

June 23 - 28 No training this week

We will resume training the week of June 28th.  Contact us to schedule.  If it is short notice, please text.

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 are at sod farm #4 at 7AM and 4:30 PM unless otherwise specified.  These times are always approximate, depending on current weather and 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

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

June 6-14 Training - Flying

Dave Jensen continued his PPG quad training, launching via the winch with his engine off.  This saves a lot of anxiety and often expense by eliminating a moving propeller during the early stages of training.  We also were joined by PPG pilots Tom Bird and Max Bennett.

We also had a PG pilot, Lothar Schmidt, visiting us from Colorado.  As the air was not much good for soaring at our usual sites, he decided to get his tow certification instead.  Once pilots learn to fly, learning how to be towed into the air is easy.  The best flying sites for long distance and safety are in the flats -- which is why learning how to be towed up is a good idea.  We hope to see more of Lothar when he visits our region again.

I (Had Robinson) did some more pro-bono videography for Capstone Productions of El Paso.  These last few days, the emphasis has been on features around the pass of El Paso including the original ASARCO workers' town, El Paso Canyon, and more video of the Onate crossing near the Hacienda Restaurant.  It was fun flying right over the main Mexican border highway -- and the route taken by Conquistador Juan de Onate on his way north.

It was great to see moisture coming into our region -- we need it...

clouds over El Paso, TX 

Whether you fly with or without an engine, all paragliding pilots must learn how to kite.  New student Dave Jensen is practicing his skills.

PPG pilot learning how to kite a paraglider

PPG pilot Max Bennett taking off.  It is always refreshing and delightful to fly at the end of the day in the desert.

PPG pilot Max Bennett taking off from the Gardiner Turf Grass farms in Santa Teresa, NM

Tom Bird flew until the last minute.  The closer to night time it gets, the smoother and cooler the air.

Landing at dusk in a PPG

While, going towards downtown at dawn, I was able to get this nice shot of Cristo Rey, Anapra, New Mexico.  And I did not have to hike to the top....

Mt. Cristo Rey, Anapra, New Mexico at dawn 

Dave (in the quad) getting ready to launch.  If you look carefully, he has no propeller -- he will be towed up.  Lothar Schmidt, right, was a great help to us in getting pilots ready.  He is getting suited up to launch via tow just after Dave.

PG training at the Gardner Turf Grass farms, Santa Teresa, NM

Lothar had plenty of tows.  Even though conditions were not strong enough to be able to thermal away from the sod farms, he was able to fly back to launch and land almost exactly where he took off.

Paragliding pilot coming in for a landing at sod farms, Santa Teresa, New Mexico

May 30 Monahans Sandhills State Park

Flightbabe1 & I spent a couple of days at this unique and beautiful park west of Midland/Odessa, even taking some aerial photos that we could give to the Park.  The largest dune in the Park is maybe 70' high which means it could have soaring potential for a paraglider.  We will check it out next time we are near there.  Now wouldn't that be a load of fun -- even a sled ride?

entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas, from the air 

The terrain is bit like White Sands National Monument.  The overnight camping fee is just $15 -- a good buy considering that each camping site has water and electricity.  There are showers.  The view here is northeast from our campsite.  The dune in the foreground had a number of hikers who went to the top and slid down the other side.  The winds blow the sand everywhere so the roads and sites must be regularly plowed.  According to one of the Rangers, the Park is situated over a river bed just below the sands.  The Park has a unique tree called the Shin or Harvard Oak.  It looks like a mesquite mound from a distance and does the same thing: stabilize the dunes.  The local Indians were able to hollow the mounds out because of its unique root structure.  It helped them to hide from the U.S. Calvary.

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas 

During the night, we had a severe thunderstorm with thunder, heavy rains, and wind.  When the storm ripped loose at 2AM we saw the tent campers skedaddle in every direction, mostly into their cars.  No tent was able to stand the winds and they all got flattened -- no doubt fun for those inside.  There are advantages of being in an RV....

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas, after a severe thunderstorm 

The Park entrance, headquarters, and area open to visitors.

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas, from the air 

These are the main sand dunes within the Park where visitors surf the dunes with disks and toboggans.  People are just barely visible on the large dune in the right part of the photo.  From left to right in the photo is about 1/3 mile.  Some of the camping sites can be seen in the foreground.  My RV is the one in the lower right.  I launched my Top80 about 20 yards in front of my site.  Training in deep sand is not too bad if you go "splat".  However, sand is really bad for engines and equipment, in general.  The Park Superintendent was enthusiastic about flying in the Park – something for which all pilots both powered and free can be thankful.  It is always important to be considerate of landowners and get permission before trespassing..  The Park Superintendent was enthusiastic about flying in the Park – something for which all pilots both powered and free can be thankful.  It is always important to be considerate of landowners and get permission before trespassing.

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas, from the air

Turkey Vulture