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Paragliding Plowshare Peak , CA

Paragliding Plowshare Peak , CA

best Conditions

Wind Dir. : N E ENE NE NNE
Wind: Mini: 0| Maxi 25 mph Gust Max : 18 mph

Description

Plowshare Peak, located off Highway 166 approximately 20 miles WNW of New Cuyama, CA, is a renowned site for both hang gliding and paragliding. Known as a 'mini-Owens Valley,' this site offers a unique flying experience, especially for locally experienced pilots. The site is heavily dependent on a convergence moving down the valley from west to east. Timing your launch correctly can result in an exceptional flight, but mistiming can lead to rapidly changing wind conditions that can affect both safety and flight performance. It is highly recommended to fly with knowledgeable pilots familiar with Plowshare. Hang gliders typically launch from the top near the antennas, while paragliders usually launch down the spine to the west of the parking area. The XC potential from Plowshare is significant, with many hang glider flights exceeding 50 miles and paragliding flights commonly reaching 20-30 miles. The property is a mix of National Forest Lands and private communications company land at the launch site. Much of the valley land is private ranch land, and the owners are not welcoming to pilots landing on their property. Pilots should use designated public national forest lands along Highway 166 for landing and always respect private property rights. This mountain thermal site requires intermediate-level skills (H-3, P-3), and novice pilots should fly under instructor supervision. All pilots must wear a helmet and carry a reserve parachute, adhering to FAR Part 103 regulations. The site can be hazardous due to the long distance to the landing zone (LZ) near Highway 166. If lift is not found near the hill, head out to the flats as sink can be strong in the foothills. The valley is known for strong winds, making it crucial to launch early enough to avoid adverse conditions. Optimal flying conditions are typically in the spring and summer. Launching late morning into north or northeast winds before the switch to west or southwest winds is ideal. The convergence usually passes around noon, so being ready to launch by 11 A.M. is advisable. The launch area is a steep, smooth grass/dirt slope facing north, located in front of a microwave antenna station at about 4500 ft. MSL. Launch timing is critical as conditions can change rapidly from upslope flow to downwind conditions. Landing options within a glide of the launch are limited and mostly illegal. Acceptable bailout fields are near the main highway, about a 3-4:1 glide from the launch. Avoid landing near the ranch at the east end of the valley as the owners are hostile towards pilots. For more information, you can visit: - [SLOSA Plowshare Site](https://www.slosa.net/sites/plowshare.htm) - [Topa Flyers Site Guide](https://topaflyers.com/site_guide/siteguide.html#plowshare) - [Central Coast Wild](https://centralcoastwild.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/sky-high-paragliding/) Directions: Take Route 101 north to Route 166 in Santa Maria. Proceed east about 30 miles on 166 until Miranda Pines Rd. Follow Miranda Pines Rd. uphill about 5 miles and stop at the microwave tower.
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Paragliding Plowshare Peak , CA
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